Spiritual and physical transformation comes in Lesotho.

By June 27, 2005

Lesotho (MNN)–In the high mountain ranges of Lesotho, the shepherds are learning to read.

The children, called “herdboys,” have been rented or traded by a family to watch a herd of cattle in a makeshift corral of rocks and twigs.

This group of boys and young men spend most of the year high in the hills grazing herds. Consequently, few receive a formal education.

Africa Inland Mission’s Steve Hill explains why they launched their ministry. “All the boys have to register their animals. For them to have to go into this place and put an ‘x’ near each animal, it’s degrading to them.”

It was this basic need that prompted the literacy program. Hill says, “Out of that has grown that we have herd boys who are now coming back and now teaching in our schools, and actually reading the Bible verses and doing the Gospel part of things.”

What’s exciting is how much ownership the indigenous church has taken over the project. “We started training nationals to help with the program,” Hill explains, “where we do evangelism and literacy work. We went from having three boys to having 16 schools going, just representing two-thousand boys. There’s no one else in the mountains working with them.”

It’s a field that needs workers. At least half a million people in the mountainous areas of Lesotho are virtually unreached by the Gospel.

A vocational school has also been started to open new doors of opportunity for the herdboys.

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