Posted by: jflora | November 26, 2008

May 27 010

Email address: jflorafamily@gmail.com

Our  NEW Africa address is:

Jim and Teresa Flora

PO Box 151

Fouriesburg 9725

Republic of South Africa

Please note: If you need more prayer cards, please email Codi Freeman at codifreeman@gmail.com  to request them.  Thanks!

If you would be interested in coming to Lesotho on a volunteer mission trip please contact our Stateside Volunteer Coordinator, Stan Burleson at stan.burleson@fbcperryton.org  

To learn more about our ministry to the shepherds of the Maluti Mountains, email Delinda Marling at delinda86@aol.com

If you would like to receive our monthly updates, please email Debbie Trammell at  prayersintoafrica@gmail.com

 Please scroll down for the posts . . .

Posted by: jflora | July 21, 2014

News from the Mountains…

We were back in the villages for the first time in quite a while today.  After having been gone for a couple of weeks (Teresa in the US, visiting our brand new grandson, and me in the lowlands for a week, and then a week of vacation for hunting), I was surprised at the turnout for Bible study in the 2 villages today.  Usually, when we are gone, it takes a while for the people to “get back into the swing of things,” but today, we had better crowds than the past few months in these 2 villages.  Part of that reason is that harvest is over, but it was still good to see the people come out for Bible study.  Good groups at both villages, and one of the prayer requests from an older man was “that we would understand the Bible and what God wants us to do…that we would repent.”  This was right after I taught from John 6, where Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.”  Please pray for these 2 villages of Ha Rapooea and Sephareng. It was also good to see several of the new believers re-joining the Bible study after harvest.  Please continue to pray for these new believers.

We also found out today that there were 2 murders in villages nearby last week.  In one of the villages, a man returned home to find another man with his wife.  He killed him with an axe. The other man was drunk and was traveling from village to village buying joala (homemade beer).  He was found beaten to death outside of one of the villages.  There are no leads on whoever did this.  We did not know either of the men killed.  As far as we know, neither of them had ever attended Bible study. If we ever shared the gospel with them, they did not respond with belief. Pray that the Lord would continue to give us opportunities and open doors for the Gospel. 

Until ALL have heard, Jim

Posted by: jflora | July 8, 2014

Back in the blogging world…

After a long hiatus from blogging, I am back.  I admit, it has been a while…okay, too long.  We have had some laughs and some tears since my last blog, lots of volunteer teams, lots of pastor and church planter training, seen several commit their lives to Christ, and have had several new men join our pastor/church planter training.  Our new church planters have started going to new villages to share the gospel, ansd as a result of thier sharing, several more have believed the gospel.  They are in the proicess of taking the gospel to even more villages in the next few weeks.  It is quite a sight to see them standing in front of the map of Lesotho, selecting the next place they will engage with the gospel of Jesus Christ!

On a more recent note (the past couple of days), Our new apprentice and I travelled to Mohale’s Hoek (another region of Lesotho) to check out new ministry possibilities.  We were very encouraged by what we found.  Mohale’s Hoek is absolutely beautiful.  It is a huge valley along the edge of the mountains, and it is full of villages. The regional capital, which happens to be named Mohale’s Hoek, has housing available.  We are currently praying and seeking the Lord about placing journeymen there.  Lots has to happen before we could get anyone there, but the possibilities look promising. Pray for me as I consider writing a job for this region. 

Until ALL have heard, Jim

Posted by: jflora | March 25, 2014

Interesting Times…

That’s the best way I know to describe the past few weeks…”interesting.”  Lots of things have happened in the past few week.  After the River Oak/Missouri Medical Team left, we had exactly one day to prepare for the next adventure in our lives.  What was that adventure?  Teresa and the girls headed to Kenya for a homeschool conference.  They were able to connect with friends from the past, as well as make a few new ones.  Folks at the conference assessed where are girls are educationally…some by testing, some by writing, and some by observing.  The girls did very well!  What did I do while they were gone? I took a few days vacation and went hunting.  SInce I have not posted any pictures, you can gues that I did not kill anything on this trip.  It was a nice 4 days in the South African bush anyway, though.  The sky was beautiful at night, and evey morning and evening I could hear lions raoring in the distance. I did see things to shoot, but passed them up…always looking for something that did not come.

What else has been happening?  When Teresa returned with the girls from the conference, we got a call from the wife of one of the pastors.  Bees had taken up residence in their wall, and had gotten into the house, stinging the kids and the adults.  Missionaries to the rescue!  I put on all my Goretex raingear, my big gloves, and a couple of face masks, armed myself with 3 cans of Doom, and went to work.  It took a while, but by dark I think I got them all.  Hopefully I got the queen, and that should take care of the problem.  By the way, all of you who just laughed at what I put on….I did not get stung…not even once!

Teresa then returned to Kenya for a Community Transformation Conference…kind of how to use medical stuff to enhance your ministry.  While she was there, I tried to catch the girls up on homeschool.  When she returned, we spent a couple of days in Johannesburg, catching up with some old friends from a previous church who now serve in a different country.  I actually baptized both of them many years ago before they were married.

We returned to the mountains to rain, which has had some adverse affect on our ministries this year. the rain has been good, but it has caused us some “issues” this year.  We have, however seen the Lord give a harvest.  We had 2 more commit their lives to Christ this month, in very limited time in the villages.  I was back in the village today, where Rebekah shared the story of the woman at the well meeting Jesus.  I taught from the story following her sharing of the story.  I came home and was preparing some end of the month paperwork, when Teresa yelled at me.  She said the dogs were after something.  After a little inspection I found a snake in between 2 pieces of tin that lines the base of the fence around out house.  After “a little coaxing,” I got it to come out and killed it.  It was a puff adder…you can Google it…or see it here, but this one is dead.

All in all, a pretty good month: 2 salvations, dealing with African bees and not getting stung, and dealing with a puff adder, and not getting bitten.  God is good!

Until ALL have heard, Jim

Posted by: jflora | March 13, 2014

Bored? Are You Kidding Me?

Well, after almost 2 weeks of rain, a couple of volunteer teams, the girls’ trip to Kenya, a hunting trip for me, and a media team from Richmond, we are home.  It has been a while since my last blog (I seem to write that fairly often). We have had several more commit their lives to Christ, and baptized 5 while the media team was here.  We had a group of medical volunteers, and we did several days of clinics in the Katse area, then traveled to the Mokhotlong Province where we held a few more days of clinics. Many physical needs were met, and the gospel was shared.  One of the villages is only accessible by horses, and one of the nurses and her translator rode all the way in an ox cart.

The area we served in Mokhotlong is the area we are going to live.  We were also able to get the survey done on the land while we were there.  All in all, a pretty productive month!  Let’s see if I can communicate some numbers  here…in February, approximately 2500 people heard the gospel.  Many of those were waiting to be seen at the clinics.  While they were waiting, we had teaching of the scriptures and the sharing of the gospel going on almost non-stop. We hosted a media team from Richmond, and I can’t tell you how they are going to use what they did…just be watching and reading.  They had a couple of videographers, a photographer, and a writer.  I am not sure just when things will start showing up.

Here a couple of pictures of the baptism:

“King” George on his way to be baptized

“King” George being baptized by 2 of my pastoral/church planting students. Bo ‘Ntate Mpiti and Rakhoane…you remember Rakhoane (the one on the right), he was in the hospital after a stroke last year.  He is doing great!

One more:

Until ALL have heard, Jim

Posted by: jflora | February 4, 2014

Revealed Grace…

I have a pretty good handle on the grace of God.  I have a pretty good handle on the sovereinty of God.  But today, I saw those 2 in action here in Lesotho in a way that I may not have seen up until now.  Today, in the village of Ha Kh’unong, 2 men committed their lives to following Jesus.  One is 87, the other is 28…but here is where it gets amazing: as these 2 men committed their lives to Christ, they did it leaning on the rock wall of what was formerly a circumcision school…which just happens to be the place where boys learn about ancestor worship here in Lesotho.  Isn’t it amazing that God would demonstrate His grace in a place where such darkness has had its way for decades?  Light always dispels darkness, and today, 2 men, one 87 and one 28, saw the light!

It gets better…these 2 men heard the gospel today from 3 of my pastoral students.  I stood and watched as these 3 tag-teamed as they shared the gospel.  I listened as they read scripture.  I prayed as these men did what they have been learning to do!  the picture below tell the story…

Image

Image

ImagePhoto: This is Letsolo Rakuoane...he is 28 and today, he became a child of the King!  Pray for this young man as he will leave the mountains on Sunday to return to work in Soweto, South Africa.  PRAYING he takes the message of forgiveness to dark Soweto.  Hamlin Baptist and Pastor Pat Findley....Letsolo is from YOUR village...PRAY!

Photo: I LOVE to tell the STORY of Jesus and His love!  This is "King George", his real name is 'Ntate Tjotji Molise, he is 87 years old and today he accepted Jesus as his Savior.  He understands the forgiveness that is his in Jesus.  He told us, that everything that was said, everything that was read to him from God's Word...he believes it with ALL of his heart!  Praising God in Lesotho, Africa!  Hamlin Baptist and Pastor Pat Findley...King George is from YOUR village!

Until ALL have heard, Jim

Posted by: jflora | January 22, 2014

It has been Interesting…

How have the past couple of weeks been interesting?  Well, we have had 4 hailstorms in the past 2 weeks.  Just as the crops begin to recover, we get hit with another one. The hail in one of those storms was large enough to go through the metal roof on ‘Me Thato’s house (‘Me Thato is our house helper). Yesterday, I made a visit to the hospital in Thaba Tseka, and I had to drive about the last hour home in 4 WD to keep from getting stuck on the road…there were places where the water and mud was almost bumper deep.  There were washout and mudslides all along the way. Today was pastor training day, but I couldn’t get to one of the villages today due to a mudslide…I tried 3 times to get through, and almost got stuck twice.  Teresa is sick and in bed.  She has slept most of the day.  Aside from those things, it has been pretty uneventful.

We continue to teach discipleship classes to new believers.  This past week focused on baptism…Who can be baptized?  When can they baptized? Why should they be baptized? and How should they be baptized?  Unfortunately, on this side of the planet, getting people to commit to baptism is tough.  It truly does draw a line in the sand (or mud) here.  It separates them from family and friends.  It means they have to leave the “church” they may have attended for years.  It truly is an outward symbol of an inner commitment…and that outward symbol is seen and known by everybody in the village.

I have written before about persecution of believers here, and was reminded about that again this week.  One of the newest believers in one of our regular villages has faced persecution.  I watched her cry as she shared with us how one of the young ladies in the villages has told lies about her.  What could I say?  All I could do was offer her the encouragement Jesus gave His followers…”Because the hated Jesus, they will hate us.”  Those are not very encouraging words, but they are truthful words.  This was after a Bible study in which this same young lady and another one tried to disrupt and distract by disputing the teaching of the Bible.  We are not going to allow that to happen, and we dealt with it. It reminded me again of how the followers of Catholicism hold “the teachings of the church” in higher authority than the scriptures.  One of them actually said, “We don’t go to the scriptures, we go to the church!”  I was able to take the time to point out just what that means. 

Photo: He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain...THANKFUL for the promises of God's Word that offer hope in the face of persecution.  PRAY that God will be her peace.

Please keep this sister in your prayers.  Pray for Teresa to get better.  Pray that the Gospel goes forward into these mountains and finds receptive hearts.  Pray that the crops recover rom the hail.  Rains were late this year, so the crops are already behind.

Until ALL have heard, Jim

Posted by: jflora | January 17, 2014

Tonight, Something Just a Little Different…

I know you’re out there…accessing this blog. I am not always sure who you are, but I know where you are. Well, I kind of know where you are…in general terms, anyway. One of the things WordPress does for me is to keep track of where people are when they access this blog. THAT never ceases to amaze me. Since I stared blogging (if that is a verb, and it probably isn’t), there have been over 165,000 visits to this site, and the visitors have left 1077 comments…my mom gets first place in that category. Although I have not been doing as well lately posting as I should have, I am trying harder this year…a new years resolution, kind of…well not really a resolution, but I am trying to do better, as of today. The number of visits seem to be directly proportional to the number of times I post. The more I blog, the more visits the blog gets. What you will find below is the log I referred to above: where people are when they access jflora.wordpress.com. Here we go…

Current Country Totals
From 3 Jan 2010 to 17 Jan 2014

United States (US) 37,339
Missouri (MO) 11,957
Texas (TX) 5,828
Arkansas (AR) 2,308
California (CA) 1,623
Virginia (VA) 1,219
Georgia (GA) 984
Indiana (IN) 844
Oklahoma (OK) 705
Iowa (IA) 617
Illinois (IL) 538
Florida (FL) 491
Kansas (KS) 464
New York (NY) 294
Louisiana (LA) 280
Colorado (CO) 271
Mississippi (MS) 246
Washington (WA) 221
North Carolina (NC) 205
Alabama (AL) 197
Kentucky (KY) 187
Arizona (AZ) 162
Minnesota (MN) 144
Michigan (MI) 144
Maryland (MD) 126
Montana (MT) 112
Tennessee (TN) 108
Pennsylvania (PA) 103
Ohio (OH) 100
New Jersey (NJ) 95
Utah (UT) 95
North Dakota (ND) 79
South Carolina (SC) 75
Wisconsin (WI) 61
Oregon (OR) 52
Nebraska (NE) 47
Nevada (NV) 40
District of Columbia (DC) 39
Idaho (ID) 34
Massachusetts (MA) 32
New Mexico (NM) 29
Connecticut (CT) 29
New Hampshire (NH) 18
Alaska (AK) 16
Delaware (DE) 13
Maine (ME) 13
Hawaii (HI) 12
South Dakota (SD) 12
West Virginia (WV) 7
Rhode Island (RI) 6
Wyoming (WY) 5
Vermont (VT) 2
N/A 6,050
Lesotho (LS) 1,942
South Africa (ZA) 887
United Kingdom (GB) 518
India (IN) 390
Canada (CA) 315
Botswana (BW) 268
Tanzania, United Republic of (TZ) 214
Philippines (PH) 170
Poland (PL) 166
Australia (AU) 155
Netherlands (NL) 113
Switzerland (CH) 111
Pakistan (PK) 109
Germany (DE) 79
Kenya (KE) 77
Singapore (SG) 75
Russian Federation (RU) 65
Nigeria (NG) 62
France (FR) 58
Japan (JP) 51
Greece (GR) 50
Vietnam (VN) 47
Belgium (BE) 43
United Arab Emirates (AE) 43
Cote D’Ivoire (CI) 42
Mexico (MX) 37
Spain (ES) 34
Malaysia (MY) 32
Brazil (BR) 31
Taiwan (TW) 29
Sweden (SE) 29
China (CN) 28
Indonesia (ID) 25
Italy (IT) 24
Thailand (TH) 24
Romania (RO) 23
Colombia (CO) 22
Trinidad and Tobago (TT) 21
Zambia (ZM) 19
Ghana (GH) 19
Madagascar (MG) 19
Turkey (TR) 19
Ireland (IE) 18
Uganda (UG) 17
Korea, Republic of (KR) 17
Senegal (SN) 17
Peru (PE) 15
New Zealand (NZ) 15
Czech Republic (CZ) 14
Mali (ML) 13
Saudi Arabia (SA) 13
Kuwait (KW) 11
Mauritius (MU) 11
Swaziland (SZ) 10
Jamaica (JM) 10
Portugal (PT) 10
Nepal (NP) 9
Denmark (DK) 9
Oman (OM) 9
Slovakia (SK) 9
Hong Kong (HK) 9
Zimbabwe (ZW) 8
Austria (AT) 8
Argentina (AR) 8
Lebanon (LB) 8
Bulgaria (BG) 8
Hungary (HU) 7
Togo (TG) 7
Qatar (QA) 7
Norway (NO) 7
Egypt (EG) 7
Costa Rica (CR) 6
Chile (CL) 6
Sri Lanka (LK) 6
Ukraine (UA) 6
Sudan (SD) 5
Bangladesh (BD) 5
Panama (PA) 5
Malta (MT) 5
Puerto Rico (PR) 5
Morocco (MA) 4
Macedonia (MK) 4
Grenada (GD) 4
Ethiopia (ET) 4
Moldova, Republic of (MD) 4
Guyana (GY) 4
Lithuania (LT) 4
Belarus (BY) 3
Finland (FI) 3
Haiti (HT) 3
Cambodia (KH) 3
Bahamas (BS) 3
Eritrea (ER) 3
Benin (BJ) 3
Barbados (BB) 3
Bahrain (BH) 3
Papua New Guinea (PG) 3
Mozambique (MZ) 3
Malawi (MW) 3
El Salvador (SV) 3
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA) 2
Nicaragua (NI) 2
Burkina Faso (BF) 2
Luxembourg (LU) 2
Ecuador (EC) 2
Namibia (NA) 2
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the (CD) 2
Honduras (HN) 2
Cameroon (CM) 2
Venezuela (VE) 2
Serbia (RS) 2
Cyprus (CY) 2
Guatemala (GT) 2
Iraq (IQ) 2
Dominican Republic (DO) 2
Israel (IL) 2
Palestinian Territory (PS) 1
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (LY) 1
Rwanda (RW) 1
Guernsey (GG) 1
Syrian Arab Republic (SY) 1
Angola (AO) 1
Reunion (RE) 1
Estonia (EE) 1
Jordan (JO) 1
Fiji (FJ) 1
Bhutan (BT) 1
Asia/Pacific Region (AP) 1
Isle of Man (IM) 1
Bolivia (BO) 1
Brunei Darussalam (BN) 1
Kazakstan (KZ) 1
Azerbaijan (AZ) 1
Algeria (DZ) 1
Kyrgyzstan (KG) 1
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (VC) 1
Georgia (GE) 1
Gambia (GM) 1
Myanmar (MM) 1
Mongolia (MN) 1
Albania (AL) 1
Maldives (MV) 1
Liberia (LR) 1
Liechtenstein (LI) 1
Djibouti (DJ) 1
Antigua and Barbuda (AG) 1
Jersey (JE) 1
I bet you didn’t even know some of those were countries! Neither did I!

Until ALL have heard, Jim

Posted by: jflora | January 16, 2014

Update and Prayer Requests…

Much has transpired since my last post…25+ new believers, several volunteer teams, Christmas, 2014… just to name a few. God continues to work in the mountains.  The pastoral/church planter student (‘Ntate R) that had a stroke a few months back was playing soccer last week.  The pastoral/church planter student (‘Ntate M) that has been separated from his wife for several years (they separated before he became a believer) is working hard at reconciliation. His wife is not a believer, but she has started listening to him as he shares the story of Jesus and reads the Bible.  Young men and ladies make up the vast majority of those who have committed their lives to Christ in the past month.

2014 has not come without discouragement, however.  Already we have had 2 major hail storms with VERY heavy rain.  Some of the crops were washed away.  Others were beaten down by the hail.  Still others were recovering from the hail, when we were hit by another hail storm yesterday.  Some of the houses just up the road that have metal roofs had hail stones go through the metal.  the mountain just behind the village of Khokhoba (at the T junction at Katse, for those of you who have been here) looked like it was covered in snow…but it was covered in hail stones.

We also received word yesterday that one of our expected journey-girls, Jenna, is now engaged and not going to be coming to Lesotho. We are excited for her, yet disappointed.  At this point, we are not sure what this means for the other j-girl.  Pray for Rachel as she considers her future. Pray for Jenna and Fredrick as they prepare for their lives together. Please continue to pray that the Spirit continues to draw the Basotho to himself.  This month, we will be teaching on Baptism in the villages.  Pray that many of these new believers will be willing to follow in this first step of obedience.

Many of the churches back home are reporting that they have exceeded their Lottie Moon Offering goals for this year.  Praise the Lord! 

Until All have heard, Jim

Posted by: jflora | January 4, 2014

Trying again…

Well, I am once again tackling this blog thing for the new year.  Hopefully, I will be better this year than last year. Since my last post, which was last year, we have had LOTS of visitors.  Some of them other missionaries on various types of business, but MANY of them volunteers who are helping us reach the Basotho with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We have had folks from Missouri, Virginia, Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma in the past couple of months.  We have also had 2 of our supervisors make a visit in the past couple of months…and they still are allowing us to serve here in the mountains!

The Lord has been at work here in the mountains.  In the past month or so, we have had over 40 commit their lives to Christ. We are working on discipleship, emphasizing the essentials of following Jesus.  Their 3rd session will be tomorrow, with a team from Arkansas leading that session.  The first session was from Romans 12: 1-2, stressing the importance of the Word of God in their lives. Last week, JB led session #2, teaching them how to share their testimony. Tomorrow’s session will deal with every day interaction in relationships…with God, believers, and unbelievers.

We also have a team from Texas (from the First Baptist Churches of Perryton and Clarendon) in the Matsoku Valley this week.  They are staying in the village of Ha Laferefere, and traveling to more remote villages doing survey work and sharing the gospel.  They are winding down on their trip…they spent 3 days in the villages, came out for a night, and we delivered them back this morning for 3 more days.  All the teams head out of the mountains on Tuesday.

 

Thanks so much for all you prayers and for your gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.  Without your gifts, we could not be here.  I am about to need a new set of tires, and your Lottie Moon gifts will purchase those tires that will keep us rolling and sharing the Gospel.  I patched my 5th flat today (all in the last 2 months)…your offerings paid for those tire fixin’ tools, too!  Please continue to lift the Basotho before the throne!

Until ALL have heard, Jim

 

Posted by: jflora | November 15, 2013

No Post November???

Maybe you have heard of “No Shave November”? Well, apparently this is “No Post November” for the Flora Family blog. Let me try to catch you up just a little…

The lack of posts has nothing to do with what has been going on. Lots of things have been happening since my last post. We continue to work in the mountains, sharing the gospel, making disciples, and training pastors. Since the arrival of JB and Liz, we have added mentoring an apprentice couple to that list. Our latest news is that we have 2 journey girls committed to Lesotho! They will be here next year after orientation in Richmond, VA…probably about April or so.

We have been making a monthly trek to the capital to meet with some of the pastors and their wives from the lowlands. We have done this a couple of times, and plan to continue until we have someone fill the missionary job in the lowlands. Please continue to pray that God calls the right people to fill this position.

As I write this tonight, my truck is in Johannesburg. After having a u-joint replaced last week, it has developed a vibration. JB and Liz took it to Jo’burg to have it looked over (we swapped trucks). So far, they have not found the problem, so, JB and Liz are stuck in Johannesburg until they do.

Ministry continues to go well. LOTS of questions in the villages. Last month, we shared the gospel will almost 900 people, and have had about 75 commit their lives to Christ since we returned to the field in January. Faithful men continue to attend pastor/church planter training. ‘Ntate Rakhuoane (the one who had the stroke) is doing well and scheduled to return to the mountains next week.

Getting ready for visitors next week…Cluster leader Daren Davis and family, as well as JB and Liz. Next month, Associate Cluster leader John Putman and at least part of his family. that one is not a social call…it is our annual ministry assessment. December has a couple of teams right after Christmas…a large one from Watson Chapel Baptist in Pine Bluff, AR, and 6 men from FBC Perryton and FBC Clarendon, TX. Watson Chapel will do ministry mostly in villages where we already work. The guys from Perryton and Clarendon will camp in a village in the Matsoku Valley, engaging the lost as they work their way back up the valley. They will travel on horses to visit more remote villages.

Thanks again for your prayers. we do not say it often enough, but thanks also for your giving…especially at this time of year. We are reminded through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering just how important your gifts are. Without them, we could not be here doing what we do. Remember…100% of what you give to the Lottie Moon Offering goes directly to putting and keeping missionaries on the field sharing the gospel, making disciples, and training leaders. Thanks again!

Until ALL have heard, Jim

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