The year's team proved to be a great group of people and we had a very productive time in Ovamboland. The team consisted of:
- Ross Bartholomew – St Matthews Church Table View
- Kathy Noland – St James Church Kenilworth
- Roy Turner – St Matthews Church Table View
- Unathi Yose - Christ Church Khayelitsha
- Lauren Douglass – St Matthews Church Table View
- Mawande Tolbart- Christ Church Khayelitsha
- Melody Curtis – Christ Church Somerset West
- Marion Edmonds-Smith – Christ Church Tygerberg
- Sharon Bey-Leveld – Christ Church Tygerberg
- Muriel Bartholomew – St Matthews Church Table View
Our transport was a sponsored Toyota Quantum and one of the team's sedan. This gave us the flexibity needed without costing a fortune in fuel. We are thankful to the Lord for His gracious provision.
We took three days to drive up to Ondangwa, spent 7 days there in ministry and three days driving back. Namibia is certainly the land of long distances. Although some of us have done this journey many times it is still a long, long way.
From the beginning of our time together the team gelled very well and formed a cohesive unit that was a pleasure to lead. The travilling time up is always great as we get to know one another and the return journey forms an informal debriefing time as well. We did have a formal debriefing at Grunau on the way back. As the old saying goes, "An army marches on its stomach", our team was very ably fed by Muriel and her assistant Roy - who persisted in calling her mom and me dad, which caused much consternation wherever we were.
Our overall task this year was to focus on evangelism. I wanted us as a team to sow as much Gospel seed as we could during the short time there. The team stepped up to the task admirable despite a very full and tiring schedule. Breakfast was normally at about 07:30, followed by devotions and then preparing for the day's ministry. We then had to drive to the church we were going to be ministering at, which could be as long as a 2 hr drive. Ministry started at 12:00 but in many cases the people would be there waiting when we arrived so you start connecting almost immediately. Time was first spent with the ladies and men, then the children and youth and then in the evening we showed the Jesus film. Arriving home well after sunset was the norm. We were very well received and it was good to be able to follow up on how many of the folk were doing spiritually. This year it was heartning to find many more than normal who professed to know Jesus. At St Johns Church (Indungungu) 4 of the men declared that they wanted to follow Jesus. When we wanted to show the film at this church the generator would not work but after some skillful negotiating with a local bar owner by Sharon, we got to show the film on the outside wall of the bar, using their electricity. Many of the potential patrons joined us and at the end of the film the owner joined us with cooldrinks for us all!!
Each year we go we are amazed at the poverty and lack of water but our friends there seem to manage. I plan on visiting more often if possible to try and train some of the folk there in business skills so that they will be able to start their own small businesses, thus helping them to break the cycle of poverty that pervades much of the area.
We give all glory to Jeus for the amazing time spent there and the opportunities that we had. We always pray that the imapact we have on the locals will be lasting and thet our Lord will use our efforts for His kingdom.
Ross Bartholomew - Team Leader
Our task in the CfN 2016 trip was clearly given by our leader: We are going to the five churches in Ovamboland to evangelise. A second goal was to develop new and strengthen old relationships with our friends who run the churches there.
My work was amongst the children, and in this context it stretched from babies through to toddlers and teens. I had the help of Lauren Douglass a well-seasoned youth worker from St Matthew’s. She and I share a ‘je ne sais quoi’ type of quirkiness that cut inroads into the children’s shyness. We had each prepared a Sunday school lesson to give at the five churches we visited. I also brought along an audio-visual series of teachings from Genesis. When teaching non English speakers I use an Audibible, pre-loaded with messages in the local language, in this case the Ovambo dialect of Kwashinyama. The recorded message follows the stories in a large picture book from GNM, Good News Media. Thus, if one had time, the chronological Bible story could be explained in a way that the children could understand.
We had taken a few helpers along to Namibia; these were two hand puppets that I used to introduce the lessons. These two characters were a smash hit, particularly as I could conceal my Audibible in the same hand.
Getting back to the lessons and church visits… where do you start when you prayerfully attempt to evangelise a group of kiddies (and passer-by adults) for one half hour, once per year? The task was colossal but we believe that the Holy Spirit prepares and cultivates the soil that we drop the seed into. I had taken my lesson from the story of Jesus calling up to Zacchaeus as he passes through Jericho, I wanted to explain that Jesus Christ is King and Lord and sovereign over the circumstances of men. And so, the theme and the takeaway message for the children was “Jesus came to find YOU, little one”
It was exciting to find that the churches were predominantly filled by children. It was disappointing to find that very little, if any; children’s work was being done in the particular church I visited on Sunday. We sat for two and a half hours in the service which comprised 90% children and there was no teaching for them. We were ready and willing to teach the little ones or to sit in on the Churches’ Sunday school, but neither happened. Happily the situation was different on the weekdays when we went to the church grounds and were allowed to play with the children and to teach them the Bible.
My overall impressions of this trip were that:
- It was superbly led by Ross and Muriel Bartholomew
- From the perspective of team unity it was the best short term mission that I have ever been on.
- Because of the points above, I believe we were able to achieve our goals of evangelism and teaching
- There is a great need for Ovambo speaking children’s workers in this community
- There is an even greater need for clear, simple Gospel preaching and teaching in the Ovambo Churches
- The preschool that runs in Christchurch Ondangwa is an excellent community facility
- The previous CfN mission trips are yielding fruit, evidenced in warm relationships between the SA visitors and the local community.
It was a privilege to serve as a member of the 2016 Team, - with special thanks to Ross and Muriel.
Between the 5 churches there were about 50 to 60 ladies attending. Most of the ladies were very enthusiastic to learn from God’s word. At one of the churches there was little to no response which was very saddening. Some of the ladies were challenged as to which kingdom they belong to, the Kingdom of God or the kingdom of darkness. (References mainly from Luke & Isaiah).
Others were encouraged to use Philippians 1: 1 - 11 as a basis for prayer and thanksgiving, putting in names when needed.
We ended on the last day with encouragement to “stand firm” (Ephesian 6: 10 – 18). These ladies on the last day came from 2 other churches i.e. St Peter’s and St John’s, to attend with the ladies from Christ Church Ondangwa.
The ladies pleaded with us to continue to pray for them and to continue coming back to teach them from God’s word.
From my point of view, if for no-one else, I would continue to visit these ladies as often as I can.
Yours in Christ
The team for this year’s trip was really small, it ended up with just my wife Muriel and myself.
The trip northwards was, as always, a long one, but it was a pleasant drive and without any serious problems – one flat tyre was the only hiccup.
We stayed at Nakambale as usual and it was great to reacquaint with Maggie who looks after the Museum and Rest Camp.
We spent a total of four days in Ondangwa and during that time we accomplished a great deal which needs to be divided into four areas:
- Re-connecting with past friends. This is always an exciting part of a visit and we were not disappointed. The folk at Proffies School are doing an amazing job - especially the owners, Gerrard and Nicolene Enslin - with the Christ Church Ladies Bible study, Teachers for Christ, educating the Bushman children and a number of other projects. Marieta, Nicolene’s sister, has moved to Ondangwa, and for the foreseeable future is getting involved with the ladies at Christ Church and enjoying it very much. We look forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for her long term. Connecting again with Denys, Chicken and George was great. Please pray for Chicken that he would be able to become more involved in the churches. It was a pleasure to see Christophene again as well as her daughter Selma, but there was sadness there this year as her Aunty/”mom” died and we were able to attend the memorial service.
- Evaluating the work being done at the Pre-Schools. We visited both St Peters and Christ Church Pre-Schools and were encouraged to find them doing well. The attendance of children at St Peters had not grown, but the one at Christ Church had more than doubled in size. The playground equipment we built last year shows evidence of being very well used and appreciated.
- Checking on the progress of the Churches Ladies Bible study. We met with the ladies group and it was really a special time. There were ladies from all 5 churches in attendance and we had a wonderful 3 hours together, discussing issues that relate to them and how best for them to live as Christians. There was deep appreciation for the work our teams had put in over the years and a sincere awareness that if we had not come to tell them the Good News they would still be in darkness.
- Starting the process of planning in the local churches for what the team will do next year. We encouraged the leaders to begin discussions with the leaders and members of each of the 5 churches. Denys, Chicken and George need to formulate a plan for what they would like us to do when we visit in 2016. We would like the churches to take ownership of what we do and where possible, to be involved themselves. We look forward to what will emerge and where we can best supply their spiritual needs going forward.
Our return journey was a little longer as we took 4 days getting back, but this proved to be a wonderful opportunity for us to discuss all that we had done, people we had met with, debriefing gradually as we journeyed. Despite there only being the two of us, we had a really good trip and God blessed and encouraged us. We are truly thankful for our time spent with all the folk in Ovamboland.
Team Leader’s Report
A smaller than normal team of 14 members made the long trip northwards to Ondangwa. The purpose of the mission was much more focussed than previous years. We wanted to specifically pick up from where Tish had left off with the training of the lady leadership and build some playground equipment for the play schools that Tish had envisaged.
The team did not travel together as some were already in Namibia before mission and some needed to visit Outjo to meet with the team behind the training that the play school ladies had done. By Monday 30 June we had all arrived at Nakambale Rest Camp, welcomed by fasithful Maggie as usual.
Team Leader’s Report
The team for this year consisted of a very balanced group in almost every respect. There were 8 men and 8 ladies, ranging from 16 to 73, and coming from 6 Western Cape CESA churches. Our two training days went off very well and the team was well prepared. All too quickly it was time to leave, which took place from an Engen service station in Bothasig at about 22h00 on 22 June in 3 vehicles. We met up with the fourth vehicle just past Malmesbury.
The trip to Ondangwa is a long 2200 km which we took two days to complete with a stopover at Hodygos in Okanhandja. One never really gets used to the distance and it always seems like we just cannot get there but eventually we all did and got ourselves unpacked and set up in the Nakambale Rest Camp, welcomed by Maggie as usual.
Women’s Ministry Reportback.
It was with a great sense of anticipation that the Women’s ministry team embarked on ministry this year. We had clear material, translated into Kwanyama and printed into booklet form so that each woman would have something to take home and refer to in the future when sharing the Gospel with friends and neighbours. The material “Understanding the Gospel” had been compiled by Alan Noble and translated by Denys Nande and was loosely in the form of EE2.
Our programme was jam packed with activities, both teaching and crafting were planned into our schedule and we found it worked very well.
This was the first team trip. The main purpose of the trip was that leaders in the cape would be part of a team to be of specific help to Bishop Kalangula. Quinton van Rooyen led the team. The trip was low key and spent much time getting to know the people and the churches.
Chicken Kanime, ??, Hertha Kanime, Rev Wilhelm Jeramias, Petrus Albino, Bish Kalangula, Colin Banfield, Denys Nande, Elifas Kanime
In October of this year George van der Westhuizen and Colin Banfield attended the Grace Conference in Windhoek.
First Missionary trip – 2003
At this time the GO Outreach (a short term mission to Franschhoek and surrounds) was functioning well but there was a need for something beyond our borders. Colin Banfield and Mike Emslie thought of extending this mission to reach out to churches in Ovamboland – based on Colin’s knowledge gleaned during the trip of 2000.
An exploration team was put together of Colin Banfield, Lisa Harvey (now Craye), Tony Pitt and Jason (Colin’s son). Much of the trip was preparing the way ahead for the first main missionary trip which would take place midyear 2004. At this time Trevor Wecke and his wife were planning on going to Ovamboland as a missionary, so a meeting was held between Colin and the exploration team and the SIM leadership to discuss the needs of Ovamboland in terms of a full time missionary. The idea was that Trevor would be a curate to Bishop Kalangula under SIM. The plan for the Weckes to go to Namibia. This didn’t materialise due to a number of reasons.
The exploration trip went very well, with the petrol and camping stops planned as well as a deal made with what has since become the team campsite near Ondangwa. Many contacts were made among churches and leaders in Ovamboland, with doors opened for ministry within the Anglican and Lutheran churches as well as the CESA churches.
The steering committee – Colin Banfield (Chairman), Lisa Harvey (Personal Assistant) & Johan Dreyer – planned and organized this trip with help from some of the team. Johan Dreyer was not able to accompany us due to a prior engagement.
WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THE TRIP?
The main purpose of the trip was to get alongside key people in our Churches in the North Central Region of Namibia and to offer them fellowship and training in a few specific ministries. We asked the leadership in Namibia to tell us which particular ministry skills they wanted us to concentrate on and also to try and identify potential folk who we could train.
Making Connections in Ovamboland
I went to Namibia to be a blessing and walked away being blessed out of my socks by the people there. We all came back feeling full and having our lives transformed with a different outlook on ministry back at home..
"Churches for Namibia" 2009 Report
This year marked the sixth annual visit from CE5A churches in South Africa to the Church of England in Namibia (CEN) congregations. Our aim as churches from South Africa is to draw alongside those in Namibia, hence the name, "Churches for Namibia". It was different to previous visits this year in that the acting church leader, Dennis Nandi, who is temporarily replacing the leadership role that the late Bishop Peter Kalangula held, initiated an itinerary for the team. Denis requested that as many of the team members as possible visit the various CESA churches scattered in the different areas of Owamboland, Northern Namibia.