KEL Maphutseng Property Trust currently have a 25 year lease on the Lesotho Evangelical Church (KEL) property at Bethesda Mission, Maphutseng, Mohale’s Hoek. The lease started in 2009 to enable Growing Nations, in conjunction with the KEL, to establish a new base for their Conservation Agriculture Training Program (Farming God’s Way) which was previously located in Tebellong, Qacha’s Nek.
Infrastructure & Heritage Preservation Work
Since being granted the lease various renovation and maintenance work has been carried out at Maphutseng to enable Growing Nations to train and equip farmers & pastors. This work has included the following improvements & developments to the existing historic structures at Maphutseng:
Since 2009 roof repairs & waterproofing works have been carried out to the Mission House and the property is now watertight. Internally the walls have been painted and the cow dung plaster in the kitchen stripped away to reveal the original stone, which has been repointed. The ceilings in the rooms have been removed and replaced with wood ceilings and the flooring has been sanded and varnished throughout the building. In addition solar lights have been fitted to the rooms.
External images showing the Mission House in 2009 (above) & after roof repair work in 2012 (below)
In 2009 the Mission House building was only in partial use as accommodation for the LEC pastor at Maphutseng. Following the conversion of the Old School Building (see below) the Mission House is currently being used as accommodation for visiting groups with the kitchen providing catering facilities to groups and visitors to Growing Nations.
Internals 2012 – Kitchen (showing stone walls) & Accommodation rooms (showing painted walls, renovated flooring & ceilings
Printing Press House
The North facing wall of the Print House has been repaired & the inside renovated to a limited extent, allowing the building to be used as accommodation for the resident students who are currently attend Growing Nations for training for two/three weeks per month.
Training Building & Rondavel
This building was rebuilt from a ruined building that was in its original position. This building originally provided accommodation for the Basson family when they moved to the site but now provides the main training room, two offices, a store room and two bathrooms.
Training Building during rebuilding (2008) & completed (2009)
Training room in use
Rondavel – before (2008) & after renovation (2009)
Original School Building/New Pastor’s House/Store Room
When Growing Nations relocated to Bethesda Mission the Old School Building consisted of a single small classroom with the rest of the structure derelict with walls & roof missing.
Between 2009 & 2010 the building was extensively rebuilt to its previous dimensions using what remained of the existing structure. The North side of the building was converted from a single school room into a new house for the LEC pastor at Maphutseng, providing a living area, 2 bedrooms and a bathroom. The other part of the building was re-roofed with zinc and ceilings/new windows fitted. After re-roofing this part of the building was used as a store room but has recently (2013) been converted into additional accommodation with kitchen & bathroom for use by Growing Nations and the church.
Old school Building before (2009) & after conversion into new pastors house (2011)
New pastor’s house (internal)
Store Room before (2009) & after re-roofing(2010/2012)
In addition to the work on the buildings extensive work has also been undertaken on the water supply to Bethesda Mission, improving water storage and improving the supply from the original spring in the mountains. This usually provides a consistent supply of water to the Mission throughout the year and can be topped up from a second spring in the campsite during times of drought.