2011 - December

Dear friends,

This year is almost over and I feel as if I have hardly touched ground. Also believe it or not but the rainy season has already started. The flood water from Feb/March has not even all dried up yet.

I don’t think I have ever been so happy to see a school year come to an end as this year. Straight after Ifgenia’s funeral I ended up teaching at Prof. Primary School here in Ondangwa. It is a Christian school and their English teacher absconded.

I offered to help out for two or three days so that there would at least be supervision in the classroom. The three days turned into weeks and the supervision turned into teaching grades 4-7 fulltime. Subsequently I was asked to continue and help with the exams, which included setting exam papers and memorandums. Thankfully it’s all over.

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Figure 1 Assembly at Prof. Primary School.

The school has a group called Proffies for Christ, which meets on Tuesday afternoons. I met with the group during the time I was teaching and have been asked to continue with it fulltime next year.

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Figure 2 Proffies for Christ

Needless to say bible studies had to be juggled around. I continued with the prison bible study as normal and just went back to the school straight afterwards. The Ondangwa youth and Sunday school teacher’s training on Saturdays also continued. The Leader’s bible study moved to Friday afternoons but I eventually stopped St John’s bible study on Sundays, after church because at best attendance was sporadic and more often than not I would get there and nobody would stay for bible study.

At the moment church attendance is down at all our congregations. It is really sad to see so few people coming to church. Especially the men. The last time I went to St John’s Frans was the only young man there. Last Sunday at Christ Church there were no men apart from the two ministers and the one leading the service. Sunday school attendance is also down at all the congregations. On the 27th Nov 16 members of St Peter’s youth went to visit St Luke’s and was surprised to find only 7 people attending the service.

The NETS bible study at Oluno Rehabilitation Centre is still progressing well with 20 ladies attending weekly. The new students have not yet been enrolled because there is no sponsorship available for them at present. None the less they diligently attend every week. Sadly, one of the NETS’ graduates passed away suddenly two weeks ago. Each student now has her very own bible. They have been using the prison’s bibles, which they have to return when they are released. The prefects of Prof school had a fund raiser and have given a donation specifically towards bibles for them.

One of the NETS students is being released on Friday. She will be returning home to Kenya and I have contacted a former GWC student who is now pasturing a church in Nairobi. He is willing to help her find somewhere she can continue with her bible studies. Please pray for Stella.

I am so thankful; the Lord has provided an extra lady to help translate the material I have written. My translator at the prison, one of the graduates has offered to do the translating and also to check the translations that have already been done. Hopefully this means that I will be able to print and distribute some of it early next year.

On Saturday the 3rd Dec the CEN ladies had their last sewing day. Unfortunately due to St Peter’s having a funeral there were only 10 of us but everyone enjoyed themselves. Each lady had to decorate a hat especially to wear to the Christmas day service. They had to make flowers out of material and sew them onto the hats. As you can see on the photo the ladies really looked grand. We combined it with our year end celebration and had a bit of a Christmas party.

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Figure 3 Ladies showing off their hats at the Christmas party.

This year it was the ladies’ turn to receive Christmas gifts. This was made possible because of all the goodies, which were sent up with the CfN team. Last year the Sunday school children each received a small gift, the majority of which was left over from the Eluwa Deaf School.

An huge bonus to teaching at the school was that I was able to join a cell group that meets at the principal’s home. Her husband runs it and it is such a blessing to sit and receive good biblical teaching. Also through the school I was able to attend the Global Leadership Summit held in Ongwediva in November. We listened to about 14 different speakers such as Bill Hybels, Dr Henry Cloud and Dr Wess Stafford. I especially enjoyed John Dickson who spoke on humility, not to mention singing well known ENGLISH songs again.

The number of people from different churches coming for bibles and teaching material is steadily increasing. On Tuesday the youngster who was doing repairs on my flat bought along a young Christian man, Matthew from the Kavango in the north east of Namibia. Matthew was very grateful for the sermons on DVD, Just for Starters, The heart of man booklets and ‘Know your bible’ and tracts. Izata, an Ovambo Christian who does a lot of preaching comes in periodically to collect the bible studies I have worked out. Talk about God’s timing; just as I was writing this Izata popped in to bring back some of the sermons I had lent him. He had been only been here about 10 minutes when Matthew arrived. Matthew eventually left at 7.30, arms loaded with more tracts, heart books and sermons. God is good, both Izata and Matthew live in Punyu Village but had never met each other.

Matthew has just been appointed youth leader at his church and needs advice and/or training if anyone would be willing to tutor him via e-mail. You can send me your e-mail address and I will pass it on to him.

I have been asked to include Sunday school teachers from other churches in the training program next year. One of them is a Baptist church where the NETS coordinator is the pastor. Through God’s provision I was able to give him a children’s bible, donated by St Matthews as well as some Sunday school books and material.

fig04Bible distribution is going too well. I can’t keep up with the demand. It seems neither can the Namibian Bible Society because they have run out of Kwanyama and English NIV bibles. We are all looking forward to Rev Noble and his wife Gaby’s visit. I pray that this will be the first of many visits and the start of a fruitful and rewarding relationship between CEN and Alan as he heads up the Churches for Namibia outreach.

Next Friday I will be leaving for Cape Town. I will be travelling down with Alan and Gaby. I am so looking forward to seeing my family and friends again and enjoying some good fellowship and worship.

A huge thank you for all your prayers, encouragement and practical and financial support this year. I really appreciate everything you have done for me and all you have offered up in order to support me. Without you as my partners in Christ (not crime) I would not be able to minister here. I hope to upload a short video clip showing this year’s work on face book. Please take a look.

I wish you all a joyous Christmas as we celebrate our Lord and Savior’s birth.

Tish

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