General Donations via EFT
Churches for Namibia
First National Bank
Account type: Cheque
Account number: 62310038014
Branch code: 201409
Bible Donations via EFT
Bible Society of Namibia
First National Bank Namibia
Please use Ref: BAR002
Bank Identifier Code: FIRNNANX
Greetings in the precious Name of our beloved Saviour Jesus Christ.
We have arrived in Ondangwa!!
This is just a quick email to let you all know that we have, by God’s grace, arrive safely and today will be our first day of ministry. Our drive up went very well without any difficulties along the way. The Namibian side of the border crossing took about an hour, mostly waiting for the road taxes side, and no one in the queue could figure out what the hold-up was since we were only about 10 people waiting. We eventually decided that it must be lunchtime so we waited.
Weather-wise, so far, our days have been warm and nights mildly cold. All as normal there. Yesterday when we arrived the temp here was just on 30 so we got a taste of the hot days to come.
We praise our Lord for the great journey up and wait on Him for the days to come as we start our ministry. Yesterday we dropped in on the builder who is responsible for erecting a metal structure for a church building at Ongha, (this is a project that was started last year when we were moved by the vision and energy of Kambauh the pastor there – more details on this project later) and saw that he was busy preparing some of the posts which had become twisted in the transport phase. Please pray that he will be able to start erecting by Friday. We are very excited about this project.
Two days of ministry are now behind us and so much learning and growth taking place. Yesterday we visited St Peters in Onamambili. This is one of the older churches and we are very familiar with the people and situation. Our team had a great time although for many it was a huge learning curve as they started to realise that nothing is as one might expect, and adaptation needs to happen on the fly. There were about 20 ladies and 5 men. The youth and children were much less than in previous years and were about 30. One of the major needs expressed here was that the Pastor, whose homestead you can just see in the top left of the image below, has no water and needs to carry it from about 300m away.
Above are the group of pre-school children which came out of class as we arrived. Initially we didn’t know that they were part of the pre-school. We are very pleased that this school has re-started as for about 2 years it was closed.
Here we have Kambauh, the minister at Ongha (New Jerusalem Church) translating for the lady’s group. He is hugging Selma who is Christophine’s daughter.
Roy got chatting to this young man and before Roy realised it, he was presenting the gospel to him and he accepted Christ as his Saviour. All glory and honour to our beloved Saviour. Please pray that the commitment this man (name is van Wyk) made with grow into maturity.
Tashwill in full swing with the group of children.
Today we went to a new church to all of us. In fact, it was three churches in one place. We were at Fountain of Life church and had Imago Dei and Alpha & Omega churches join us.
The outside of the church…
And the inside. They currently have about 30 adults attending.
Being a new church for us we didn’t know what to expect but were very pleasantly surprised as there was a fairly high degree of Scripture knowledge and general Biblical awareness. The ladies and men all were very attentive and desirous to learn more about the Word. Once we got Bibles out to sell (we buy then at a discounted R148 and sell them at R50), they could not buy them fast enough and we sold almost 50 within about 15 minutes. One lady had arrived there with R2000 so that she could but Bibles. We just cannot supply enough Bibles for these people. We came with 135 (R20 000 worth) and they are all but gone! And more want more. I hopefully with be able to buy some more and have them transported here for before we leave. The hunger for God’s Word is amazing.
Ali looking after one of the little ones.
As our team ministered today, they started feeling more comfortable with their respective roles and even were able to start seeing fruits of their labours as children and adults responded to the teaching. Of course, the games are always a hit with the children.
This is the driveway to where we are staying while on mission, the homestead of George and Ida Jeramia. Please thank the Lord for their generosity.
Team devotions before the day gets going.
One of the many bars that line the streets.
Time to sleep now and prepare for another day of service.
Our team has been on the go ever since we have arrived, and I can see tiredness is setting in so please pray that we will be able to minister at our best and rest well on Monday.
Yesterday we ministered at a new church in a village called Omuthiya. This church started towards the end of last year and was formed by a group of ladies that became disgruntled with the Anglican church, so they left and formed a new church and applied to REACH Nam to be part of them. They fall under the Church in Ondangwa although they are 80kms south. From when we arrived, we sensed that we were among people who loved the Lord and just wanted to learn more about him. They were very few in number because on the same day the Pension Grants got paid so many were standing in the lines to be paid. Most spend the entire day standing waiting for their money. If they are not there on the day they have to wait for next month. One man joined a little later but no children arrived as the church location was very out of the way from the school.
This is the temporary church. On Sundays they pitch a small tent which gives slightly beeter protection.
Teaching is underway and Kambauh interpreting as usual. One of our team referred to him as a steam train in speech as he talks much and very fast. We absolutely love him. He has an amazing passion for the Gospel and the kingdom.
Some of our team with the folk who attended. Note the traditional dress for women.
We have been invited to attend their Synod on the Sat and Sun.
Today we went to another new church (started by Kambauh) called Omamwandi. In terms of numbers this was very different from yesterday. Here we had 26 women and 6 men and numerous children. They also erect a tent for their services and for today it was full to overflowing.
This is the group ready for the teaching to start. The gent second from right is Pastor Petrus, from Genesis Church, for the benefit of those who were on the team from last year.
Just a view giving more perspective of the setting. Note the lush vegetation surrounding this church.
Rowland meeting a kid goat for the first time. “Can I take it home please?” said her mother. I was horrible and said no.
Some of the youth having a time of prayer together. There were about 50 youth and over 130 children. They were very attentive and really responded well to the messages. The team members were much encouraged by their hunger for the truths of the Word.
One of the things that we notice over and over with these people is how little they have but how willing they are to share their little with us in gratitude for us coming to them. Every single team member is struck by this at some point during our time here. We praise our Saviour for every opportunity we have to serve Him.
Please also pray for Muriel as she seems to have picked up a bit of flu. She is on medication but still not feeling too great so spent most of today in bed.
To the glory and honour of our precious Saviour Jesus Christ!
On Sunday we took a 3-hour drive to a new church, called Bethany in a village called Oushini. The last 5 kms were through very thick sand that even 4x4 vehicles found a little tough going. This church is pastored by Michael Namahenga and is about 2 years old.
The logs in the foreground were the first church, and in the background…
And the new church has better seating and a covering. That is the pastor Michael.
Muriel visited a doctor yesterday and was told that her body was reacting to the dust in the air. This region of Namibia is experiencing the worst drought in 113 yrs. There is very little vegetation and almost no water in the Oshanas (small inland lakes) which people use to drink from, feed the cattle, goats and donkeys, as well as catch fish to eat and sell. So the problem is dire.
Here we have Manasse speaking to the adults with our host, George, translating for him. Janice also spoke to them and as always there was much interest and a few questions.
This is the children and youth team in the “office” waiting for the youth to arrive so that they can start.
The office proved too small, so the old church was used. The lady standing in the middle is the church secretary and she was interpreting for them.
Once we were finished there was the customary round of thank-yous which can take some time to complete. These are just some of the people. This church is small and due to its inaccessibility very few vehicles come here. We had about 5 men, 13 ladies, 15 youth and 40 odd children.
Yesterday we had a rest day. Some of the team visited the local market and material shop while others enjoyed some off time at the base. A braai was enjoyed by all in the evening.
Today we went to Ongha, the church of Kambauh (Thaddeus Thomas).
Everything was planned to start at 13:00 since we had heard that there were two other events in the morning, and this might delay some people. Things eventually got going well after 14h00. Manasse started, followed by Roy giving his testimony, then Janice and ended with Michael. All talks went well and the people responded very well.
Here you see Manasse in the middle with the Bible and some of the men working with him. Sbonelo is on the left lending assistance. These men were very interested and engaged.
Michael speaking on prayer with Kambauh (behind the pole) interpreting. Note the alphabet on the poles, this venue is also used for the pre-school class during the week.
There was a really great number of children as the day wore on. On the right you can see Danielle in her beautiful traditional skirt and next to her their interpreter, Rose, who did an outstanding job and really got into the spirit of things. Her shirt also was testimony of her love for Christ.
This church bought 64 Bible today! Clearing out our entire stock. We have managed to raise funds for a further 107, which will hopefully arrive by Friday so that we can sell them over the weekend.
We have two more days of ministry and then there is the REACH Nam 2nd Annual Synod on Friday to Sunday. We have been invited for Sat and Sun.
To the glory and honour of our precious Saviour Jesus Christ!
Sunset in Namibia as our ministry time comes to an end. Some duties thus weekend at the reach Nam synod. This photo unfortunately doesn’t capture the incredibly deep orange of this sunset, it really was stunning.
Yesterday saw us visiting Ohangwena and the church called St Paul’s. This is another of the older churches, but it has a new pastor and we look forward to much growth and development here.
The children’s ministry proved to be far beyond any expectations as there were about 50 of them. Here we see Nico teaching them. What never ceases to amaze us is how initially there are a few kids and as the time moves on more and more arrive. There is just such a hunger for the truths of scripture.
Ali was not feeling well so missed teaching this day, please pray for her as the doctor is not sure what the problem is. There were about 15 ladies and 3 men. Manasse, Janice and Mike taught them and enjoyed the interaction.
Today we spent the afternoon at Christ Church Ondangwa. In the past few years this church has seen a steady growth under their new pastor and our team sensed a strong awareness of the Scriptures as well as a good understanding of the faith.
The ladies met to listen to Ali and Janice. Many of these ladies we have walked a long road over the past years, and it is always such a joy to meet with them again. Of special note for us is Meme Asnath who is Chicken’s mother. Always such a radiant picture of joy in Christ and a testimony of a lady who has passed on her love of the Lord to her very large family. On Tuesday Muriel and I visited a property that Chicken was developing for Asnath to retire to and we met he grand-daughter there who testified to the huge impact that this lady had made on her as she grew up/ One lady impacting many for the Kingdom
Sbonelo and Tashwell taught the kids. They were very impressed with these kids who had a good grasp of the Scriptures. They could also speak English well so translation was not needed.
Here we have Nico speaking to the men, giving them a quick overview of the Bibles and how it all points to Christ. Michael had already spoken to them on prayer. Nico is on the far right on his own. Facing him is Denys Nandi (our old stalwart who has looked after the team over the years), then Manasse, followed by HP Spinner, Simon, Isaac and lastly Roy. The pastor had just stepped out for a moment, to be back looking for more Bibles.
Today we supplied (sold at N$50 each) 44 to Onamambili and another 40 odd at Ondangwa. I had to reserve some for one of the other churches as well. I now have a little money left and will see if I can buy another 20 tomorrow to sell at the Synod over the weekend.
Tomorrow the team will rest. Very well deserved. Each year I am amazed at how much we do and how draining this ministry is. Muriel and I plan to join the evening session of Synod to be part of some of the opening sessions.
I will try and send out one more email before we start our homeward trek on Monday.
To the glory and honour of our precious Saviour Jesus Christ!
Yesterday was a watershed day in the life of REACH Nam. Lukas Katenda was elected as Bishop elect. The vote was overwhelmingly in favour of him becoming the second Bishop, after Peter Kalangula. 79 people voted (of which 19 where clergy!) and all voted in favour. Our team had the privilege of attending and participating in aspects of this occasion. The consecration will probably take place later in the year.
I had the privilege of being asked by our Bishop, seen in the background, Njabulo Mazibuko, to pray for him. This was an emotional moment as this has been a long road. Please pray for this man as he takes the official role of overseer of all the pastors of this denomination. It is a huge task since the churches are spread out over this vast country and most of the pastors have extremely little in the way of technology as well as general resources that so many of us in South Africa take for granted. There are currently more than 20 pastors and as many churches.
We were invited to join them for lunch, which was very tasty, which only happened around 15h00. Some of our team enjoyed the fare of local cuisine as well as more familiar food.
Here you can see Michael teaching on the passage, which was set for Synod, 2 Cor 13:5. Our old friend, Denys Nandi, was interpreting for him.
Today we visited with Kambauh again and this was a fitting end to our time way up north here in Namibia. Although the service was some 3 hrs it was very full.
This is a temporary church until the metal one is finished. You can see that this structure is full and the overflow into the tent next door is also full. I counted over 100 adults.
Tashwill preached and Kambauh translated. Although he preached a 30+ min sermon at the end Kambauh noted that it was rather short. Eish, these people really seem to enjoy long talks.
Ali also gave her testimony which went down very well as it has each time.
Then there were 10 baptisms. No messing around here. From babies to adults, they all had their head bent over the basin and water poured over them. The water didn’t run out as it was merely recycled. Some of the babies really didn’t enjoy this at all.
This was followed by a wedding announcement which is carried out somewhat differently to what we are familiar with. The soon to be married couple are on the right, Kambauh front centre and some celebrating ladies just to his left. There was also some very vigorous dancing which I just missed photographing.
Then there was communion. People would come to the front in groups of six and receive the elements. You were told that you only need to come if you wanting to receive as it was not obligatory. Also, if you were thirsty don’t come and drink here, this is just a symbol.
Now we are all busy packing and cleaning up before we leave in the morning. Please pray that our last three days together will be great, that we will continue to bond with each other, that we will have journey mercies and that we will be able to integrate back into our own culture and communities well when back. That we will also be able to convey much of what we have learnt while here.
I would really like to challenge you as our time of mission comes to an end. The great need that was expressed countless times was for the Scriptures in their own language. We got to meet the team of translators who are currently working on new versions of both the main languages spoken in Owamboland, Oshindonga and OshiKwanyama. We saw them working on large screens with the Hebrew or Greek text, plus a number of English translations and then the current version and what they are newly creating. This is a huge task and not expected to be completed before 2027!
My challenge is twofold:
- Could I please ask you to mobilise your church to set aside a few hundred Rand in their budget for next year, for the Churches for Namibia mission trip? This will enable us to come here and be able to minister to these people with less of the current financial burden. Most of our team had to take leave or use holiday time for the trip. Bank account details are below.
- Could I ask each or you to consider sponsoring 1 Bible per month? This will cost R150. Please challenge your friends and family to do likewise. I can only imagine the impact if we are able to subsidise 50 or more Bibles per month. We managed to move 385 Bibles while here due to many people getting involved, to whom we say a huge thank you. The need though is still huge, and people were pushing money into our hands trying to get Bibles… even when we had run out completely! Banking details also below.
Banking Details for the annual mission trip:
Banking Details for Bibles:
To the glory and honour of our precious Saviour Jesus Christ!