Hi Everyone, hope you are all doing well. We’re still busy with our first quarter GCM report. As I said last month, it’s a big job with so much going on. There have been over 300 baptisms and a number of congregations planted. God is working and we give Him the Glory and all you supporters the appreciation.
Whilst Vicki gets the first quarter report ready to go out, I thought I would give you a report on my mission trip to Namibia because I have so much to say about it, but first let’s have a look at the new mini chariot being built for the Western Cape. As you can see, it’s a much better design and is going to be a winner as it preaches the Gospel in many, many towns where there are no Churches of Christ.
We have just ordered a new truck, this time for Namibia, that should be finished mid year. Let me tell you about Namibia because I am very excited after many years of pioneering work in that country.
WINDHOEK – NAMIBIA
It was in the year 2000, after much prayer, that we decided to plant the first Church of Christ in Windhoek – the capital city of Namibia. I flew in and rented a store on the main street called Independence Avenue. I will never forget staying in a hotel that overlooked the city and how I prayed that God would help us and wondered what God had in mind for the city and country. I could not visit with any brethren because there were no brethren in the capital city. A number of missionaries have tried to plant churches in Windhoek over the years, but nothing lasted as they returned home due to sickness or lost support. I was aware that it was going to be tough, but had faith and had some congregations willing to campaign with me on a yearly basis, mainly Fredericksburg and also Northside in Benton.
My first stop was to rent a store on the main street and put a big Church of Christ sign up, then rotate some of our young evangelists. It took one month and we had a congregation going. It was too good to be true and then the problems started with the anti Church of Christ following us and teaching issue oriented gospel and it just tore the Church apart. We continued and eventually managed to purchase a house and convert it into a Church building in one of the suburbs called Katatura. Problems still seemed to plague the leadership, but we still did not give up. We then decided to send a young man, by the name of Anton Ngabwe, to University for 5 years and whilst studying we worked with him as he worked with the Church.
TODAY we have a stable Wanaheda Church of Christ. Whilst working with the Windhoek Church we started spreading our wings and planted a congregation in Rundu, 8 hours to the North East of Windhoek, and today there are 4 congregations. We then planted a congregation in Walvis Bay, 4 hours to the West of Windhoek, and last year we planted a congregation in Ondangwa that is 7 hours to the North of Windhoek. God has blessed our efforts in Namibia and we give Him the glory for the years of perseverance. 5 years back we started a mini Leadership Lectureship where we get all the leaders together and motivate them to be better leaders and unite with each other. It has really helped the brethren to get to know each other and in turn helped all congregations in Namibia take responsibility of their own country. This year I took some key leaders from South Africa to assist with the leadership seminar and my goal is to link all Namibian congregations up to the South African leaders. This way Africans get to know who their brethren are and protect and help each other stay faithful.
This is my 15th year working in Namibia and I so want to see it continue after my death. It was a fantastic trip, but even better, we are about to build a mini chariot for Namibia. Have a look at some of the recent activities that have taken place in a country that has been neglected when it comes to mission work. Please pray for Namibia and thank you to all for helping us help them.
Above (top left) shows Malindi, myself, Tebogo and Dimpo outside the Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek on our arrival there. You can also see the congregational leadership meeting we had with them. On the left bottom is Anton Ngabwe with his wife Florence and baby Jack. Anton is the young man we sent to University and empowered to assist with missions in Namibia. To the right of them you see myself with Funkie and Laurence from Walvis Bay who will be trained up to work the new Gospel Chariot in the country. The 4 photos on the right are of our fellowship meeting, eating, greeting and just hanging out. The ladies in the church cooked up a storm for us once again. AMEN
Above shows Tebogo having a study with some of the brethren and answering a million questions from the bible. One of the visitors was not a Christian and decided to put Christ on in Baptism. All they then did was walk outside to the Gospel Chariot and baptise the brother. It was fantastic! I campaign every year in Namibia and this is the first time I have seen the brethren ask so many questions. It was really good having black elders campaigning with me. I think the Africans felt more comfortable asking Africans questions and, of course, there are the cultural issues that only they can answer and we whites don’t really understand.
TSUMEB – NAMIBIA
We then headed North 4 hours, to Tsumeb, to visit with the only missionary in Namibia, brother John Dalton who directs the Tsumeb Bible Academy. This meeting has been in the making for the last year, where we were going to meet with him and his US sponsoring congregation regarding John slowing down and relocating, and our work Gospel Chariot Missions and his sponsoring congregation working together on choosing a new director and team to run the school. Our proposed plans are to take young Anton Ngabwe who has just finished University and empower him to direct the school.
Above shows John Dalton, on the left, and brother Henry Huffard, in the middle, with African mission coordinator Tim West on the right. These are good men who love the Lord and have served God for many years. Our goal is to empower Namibian brethren to take control of the school and take control in Namibia when it comes to missions. We are now in the process of working out the finer details of a working document that will work for all parties involved. Please pray for this effort.
Above shows the building and sign and to the right you can see Henry, Tim, Anton, Tebogo, Malindi and Dimpo.
It was wonderful having some of the black South African elders in the meeting with me – these men are my inner circle who have helped me over the years work well with Africans. Remember, I am African, but I am a white African, and you can say what you want to, we are different and need black Africans to help us think African. The culture is different and they so appreciate it when you consult them and don’t do your own thing. You can also see Anton and his wife and on the right the two chariot men who will be trained up.
WOW…Things are looking so good for Namibia. Thank you Lord.
ONDANGWA – NAMIBIA
We then headed another 2 and half hours North, to Ondangwa, where we planted a congregation last year. Its been tough, ha ha, not again! But God is great and we will not give up! We have a young man by the name of Bernard who is helping preach and work with the church. Let me tell you and show you some of the exciting news about not only Ondangwa, but also about Oshikati just 30km away. Yes and also about Oshikango on the Angolan border…EXCITING DEVELOPMENTS UP NORTH where most of the population live, but first things first and that is putting up the tent. As you can see we all had a go at hitting tent pegs into the ground. Not a good idea. I almost took my ankle out. Ha ha. There is a lot that goes into erecting a Gospel Chariot tent. We are blessed with a wonderful team who do this every week as they travel from country to country.
Above on the left is Mousa being baptised. Mousa is the manager of the Bed and Breakfast we stay at when in Ondangwa. Our US campaigners invited her to our gospel meetings last year and this year she decided to give her life to Jesus. What a classic example of one sows and another waters and God gives the increase. On the right is Lyman baptising another soul. You can also see Lyman making some Mealie Meal that is the African staple food that they eat with most meals with some gravy and meat or chicken. Very nice and filling.
Above shows a lovely family that we are hoping and praying to convert and God is helping us love them. They have promised to have a bible study with me when I’m there again. They are Lamec and Christophine with their children and mother Hellena. The grand mother, Hellena, has been baptised and Hellena’s sister is sister Hellenie from the Windhoek Congregation. Now it is this family that’s allowing us to put a small shack type church building on their piece of land on the main road in Ondangwa. They love the Lord and are thinking about giving their life to the Lord, as I said they have committed themselves to a bible study the next time we’re there. They are also related to the preacher Bernard and as you know its tough at times teaching your family members. Please pray for this influential family.
Above shows me at my best, having fun with the kids of the township, but let me tell you about this converted family. Last year during our campaign whilst planting this congregation we went into the neighbourhood and knocked doors and asked for a bible study and invited people to the tent meeting at night. Well, Joel Lewis, from Arkansas who campaigns with us most years, visited with this family. His name is Seun and his wife’s name is Marta. They are self supported and let me tell you how. Look at the photos above of the little daycare centre. They have 20 little preschool children coming every day for teaching. They are so precious I could not believe my eyes when I first met them. They also have their own vegetable garden that they eat from and also sell part of. Seun is starting to preach and has grown so much in one year. What a winner. God changes peoples lives. Below shows his garden that works off a drip system. God Bless this family that does not wait for help, but helps themselves.
OSHIKATI – NAMIBIA
Oshikati is just 30km from Ondangwa and has no Church of Christ, but is one of the most vibrant towns in the country. However, there is an elderly Christian man who was taught in the South in a town called Luderitz whist working down there. He has since retired and returned home to the North. Then last year I followed him back home to his village 16km from Oshikati. This trip, when I returned, he had 3 other Christian men and an outbuilding that he had erected for a church building, still needing bricks. We visited with him and encouraged some of the young met to attend the Tsumeb Bible School when it gets going again.
Above shows us visiting with him and his wife with the new converts. One of the men where baptised by us during our Ondangwa campaign last year. He even has a small Church of Christ sign that he carries out to the incomplete church building every Sunday. There are so many villages and so many homesteads that one could plant hundreds of churches on the different homesteads that are spread apart through the different villages.
Above shows some photos of our Gospel Chariot 2 preaching at the village where the old man lives. After our campaign in Ondangwa with the Chariot I instructed them to go work a week with Petrus the 82 year Christian man. Brethren, every year we are moving ahead one step at a time as God helps us penetrate, plant and mature churches in Namibia.
OSHIKANGO – NAMIBIA
Whilst in Ondangwa, on the Saturday, we travelled 60km to the Namibia/Angola border to pray and have a look at the border town called Oshikango. We were blown away and prayed and have planned a campaign there next year and Lord Willing be able to plant a congregation there as well, right on the border. This is really exciting because if we can get a congregation going there, we will have Portuguese speaking converts in the church because most of the town speak both languages. Personally, I never thought we would get to Angola as soon as this, but God works in mysterious ways.
Above shows the border town of Oshikango and the Angolan border post with Malindi, Dimpo and myself whilst visiting. We prayed that God help us that we might return and reach out to this unevangelised town. Please pray for this vital border town and the impact it could have on Angolan missions from the South. We even had a soft drink at a lodge while scouting out accommodation for next year.
Brethren, Namibia is on the up and we want to thank all of you for helping us reach Africa and especially countries where the gospel has not been preached. I am so encouraged when I see things happening like this.
Please pray for the new Namibian Chariot and please bear with us as we get a LONG report off of all the other Chariots and works. This is just Namibia, we are helping 15 countries now and have 10 Chariots, with 13 by year end. Please pray for Vicki as she tries her best to capture all that’s happening. It’s grown beyond me and may the Lord help us as we empower Africans to reach Africa.