September 2005

Leadership Training for Ovamboland Churches

At 05H30 on Monday morning 27 June a group of 28 people left on the second CESA winter support trip to Ovamboland to help identify and train people for leadership in ministry work. The team consisted of members of St James

Kenilworth, Christ Church Paarl, St Paul's Stellenbosch, Christ Church Somerset West, The Message at UCT, Brackenfell Community Church, Holy Trinity Swakopmund, George Whitefield College, and folk associated with our 'deaf ministry'.

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A convoy of 6 vehicles made the long trip to North Central Namibia ... the dry country! Revs Graham Ebdon, Flo Visser and Colin Banfield engaging in a Leaders Conference at Christ Church Ondangwa

It took three days to reach Ovamboland and the return journey took five days as it included time for resting and evaluation. On arrival we prepared for our work from the Thursday to the Saturday. On the Sunday we met the congregations and worked with them until Friday the 8th.

Work centred around teaching trainee youth workers, encouraging and modelling children's work, beginning a women's ministry, teaching the Bible at the school for the deaf and blind. It also included a five-day Church Leader's Conference. Although hosted by theCESA Church in Ongangwa, leaders from the Lutheran Church also attended. Rev Flo Visser, Rev Graham Ebden, and I were the conference speakers this year. Besides other topics, Joel, I Peter and 'How to Kill Your Church' formed the major part of the conference.

Resource Library

We established the small beginnings of a resource library at Ondangwa stocked with helpful material for each of the ministries we were training people in. Although the training were introductory - basic principles and useful skills - we hope the library and the gifts of books will assist the trainees to continue learning after we've left.

Bp Des Inglesby and I will visit again in October to assess the effect of the training and try and identify possible leaders for further official training. We are grateful to Emmanuel Church Bellville for the donation of good study material, St James for the use of your offices for the booking of camp sites, the Barnabus Trust for their support via Bp Frank Retief, the principal of GWC for funds made available, Christ Church Somerset West for the purchase of special Bibles for the deaf, and individuals who have loaned their vehicles and given toward this important work. There is a growing interest in Churches for Namibia. We are doing what we can with our limited time and resources and value your prayer support. We are looking forward to having a more full-time couple in Ovamboland next year to give far more continuity to our work. If you know of a person or a company that would like to support this project financially, please let us have their details and we can arrange a presentation or private discussion with them.

Friendships were forged in evangelism, one-to-one Bible reading and training.

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Left to right: Sean de Kock, Byron Fester, Sylvia, Joanna, Tracy Visser.


By Colin Banfield - minister at Christ Church, Paarl, and chairman of "Churches for Namibia"