The cross-cultural missionary enterprise of the Lesotho Evangelical Church
The Lesotho Evangelical Church was established in 1833 by the three French Missionaries of the then Paris Evangelical Missionary Society, thus making it the first and oldest evangelical church in Lesotho. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and ascertain the involvement of this church in missions, particularly cross culturally, as a form of a case study that could cast light on the general participation of the church in Lesotho in cross-culturally mission. Since the aim was to evaluate the cross-cultural missions enterprise of the church, that is mission work beyond the borders of Lesotho, while not neglecting its work locally, much emphasis was placed on the involvement of the church in other countries. Firstly, the research searched for evidence of the past involvement of the church in cross culturall mission through its historical documents. The Morija Museum and archives in Lesotho provided much needed primary sources such as letters of Missionaries, Minutes of Synods, newspaper articles of antiquity and other helpful resources. With this past history, the foundation of the church in Mission was ascertained and understood. To understand what was currently taking place in the church, a qualitative and quantitative research method was used. Questionnaires were compiled and distributed in the 7 districts of Lesotho, which were then evaluated and computer-analysed. Results were then interpreted and conclusions and recommendations made. The research has established that the Lesotho Evangelical Church was involved in the late 1800s in cross-culturall missions in places such as the Northern Transvaal and Zambia. While the work was led by the PEMS in Paris, the church in Lesotho provided the Evangelists and some financial support. However, gradually that involvement grew less and less as the years progressed, to a point where it was found that currently there seems to be little or nothing really being undertaken by the LEC church in cross-culturall missions, and this phenomenon is probably prevalent in the evangelical community in Lesotho generally.