The Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, Rev Ziphozihle Siwa, led a small delegation to pay a courtesy call to His Majesty King Letsie the 3rd of Lesotho during an April mission visit to the country.
Lesotho, one of the six countries of [the MCSA] Connexion, forms part of the Northern Free State & Lesotho District, led by Bishop Andrew Motswenyane.
Also as part of the delegation were the General Secretary of the MCSA, Rev Charmaine Morgan, Mission Unit Director, Rev Dr K Ketshabile, Rev Bana Setshedi, Rev January, and Communications Unit Director, Ms Bongie Moyo-Bango.
The team was graciously welcomed by the King, who stated, “We welcome you to Lesotho and appreciate that you have made the time to come and see us. It has been a long time since the Presiding Bishop has been to see me, but we are thankful for your prayers and all that you do for Lesotho and the BaSotho. We hope that the conflicts you have been dealing with as a Church will eventually be a thing of the past.”
King Letsie went on to elaborate on the work of the MCSA in his country. “We appreciate all that the Church is doing here in Lesotho in terms of healthy, food security and education. I am available to support you in any way possible. I remember as a boy, helping to raise funds for the Semonkong Hospital.”
Regarding the political changes and elections due to take place in the Mountain Kingdom, King Letsie opined: “We are living in truly interesting times and all we can do is pray and hope for peace.
“What we need is true recognition that although we will always have our differences, we should always remember that we are one people, a hope bequeathed us by our fore fathers. It is our duty to recapture and reinvigorate the spirit of reconciliation.
“We continue to ask the church to pray for Lesotho and that the political transition may take place peacefully.”
Presiding Bishop Siwa apologized for the Church’s tardiness in visiting the King and thanked His Majesty for his open door policy.
“We thank you, Your Majesty, for the warmth of welcome that we always experience whenever we visit Lesotho; a warmth that permeates the whole region.
“We are part of a global Wesleyan Movement that seeks to lead the world to scriptural holiness. When we met with you in 2011, we were in the middle of conflicts that negatively affected the Basuthu people, for which we are very sorry. We are not out of the woods yet but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“We continue to walk with and pray for the people of Lesotho, the well from which we drink (a reference to the water that South Africa imports from Lesotho as part of the Lesotho Highlands Project). We are aware of the many BaSuthu working in South Africa and a model needs to be designed to protect them. The church is ready to support such a model.”
The King gave the delegation his blessing during their four day mission visit to the country.