Missouri WMU prayer warriors plan to intercede for ‘beautiful’ Lesotho
By Allen Palmeri
October 12, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – Because the leaders of the Missouri Women’s Missionary Union (MWMU) deeply love the pastors and the 1.9 million people of Lesotho, a landlocked nation about the size of Maryland that is surrounded by South Africa, they aim to passionately “Lift Up Lesotho” at a Nov. 13 prayer rally in Jefferson City.
Barbara Popp, missionary advocate for the MWMU Board of Directors, is coordinating the rally, set for 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Concord Baptist Church. Popp was a signer of the original partnership agreement with Lesotho in 1987 and traveled to the African nation in 2001. She said she had prayed for about six of the pastors by name for many years before finally getting to meet four of them.
“I felt so humbled and honored that I got to represent this huge group of prayer warriors,” Popp said.
Vivian McCaughan, WMU/Women’s Missions and Ministry Specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention, said the depth and richness of the partnership will be on display in November through prayer testimonies, breakout prayer sessions and music. McCaughan, a former International Mission Board (IMB) career missionary in Ghana, has traveled to Botswana and sees Lesotho as an important piece of the prayer puzzle for MWMU. A wall hanging from Lesotho graces one area of her Baptist Building office.
“I want to go,” McCaughan said. “I want to be a part of one of those prayer-walking mission trips. I think it accents my love for Africa.”
The prayer rally stems from a vision that Randy Sprinkle, former IMB missionary to Lesotho and current executive director of the Wyoming Southern Baptist Convention, had 17 years ago for a partnership between Missouri Baptist women and the mountainous African kingdom. Wes and Beth Gestring now serve as IMB missionaries in Lesotho and plan to attend the Nov. 13 event. McCaughan hopes to see upwards of 250 people there.
Popp said she loves to lift up Lesotho because the people are so pleasant. It is a poor country—much poorer than South Africa, she said—but the friendliness of the citizenry speaks volumes about Lesotho.
“They’re a beautiful people,” Popp said. “They have beautiful smiles.
“I want Missouri WMU prayer warriors to come together in unity and love with our common interest in Lesotho. I want us to be so attentive to God’s Spirit during that day. We are going to be spending the day worshipping and praying.”