Boys in Lesotho receiving treats. (Photo by Todd Paris)
Scott Roloson has been running a camping ministry called Camp Die Kroon (“The Crown”) for the First Baptist Church in Kokstad, South Africa, only 1½ hours from the Lesotho border, for the past six years. After this discussion with Hill, we began to brainstorm a little together about the possibilities.
The next day, Roloson and I decided to head back to South Africa. After an exciting taxi ride out of Lesotho down Sani Pass we made it back to Scott’s house. He wasted no time in putting me to work. There had been many improvements made since I was last there in 2004. Roloson asked for my input on some of the climbing-related projects that he was working on. They are blessed with an incredible property with several rock climbs and bouldering right on the property.
On Saturday, Oct. 7, we took some of Scott’s staff and went into the Drakensberg Mountains to boulder.
On Sunday, Oct. 8 we attended First Baptist Church in town. It was great to be able to worship in a church family that was a blend of the diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds that South Africa has to offer, without a hint of the apartheid that so recently had been abolished. From there we made our way to three separate farms and held church services for the workers who didn’t have means of transportation to church otherwise. From there we went on to an orphanage and held a service for the children. What a full day of ministry. The staff of Camp Die Kroon do this every weekend.
Roloson and I discussed the possibility of a Climbing For Christ mission there and the idea of a backpacking trip into the Drakensberg Mountains. Scott was excited about the prospects. “We could take the boys from the orphanage. They have never had an experience like that,” he said. “Just think about the opportunities for discipleship that would be available on that trip!”
The next day I began my long journey home.
As I reflected on this trip, I realized that there will be some giants to be conquered as we go into Lesotho. But I am as confident as Joshua and Caleb that God will be with us and He will give us victory. Will you join us in saying, as Caleb later did upon finally entering the Promised Land, “Give us the mountainous regions!”?
This story originally appeared in The Climbing Way (Volume 6, Winter 2006-2007). Todd Paris is the director of missions for Climbing For Christ. He is working with Roloson to plan Mission: South Africa in September.