Abby, Percy and I left Nangweshi with a sense of excitement about returning to Namibia for Phase 2 training in Katima Mulilo, and we had high hopes because Phase 1 had gone so well last year.
The contrast between Nangweshi and Katima Mulilo is stark in some ways. Nangweshi is a small, rural village, and has no electricity or running water. We bathed using the bottom half of a plastic water bottle to pour the fire-warmed water over our heads. We ate nshima or rice with tomato relish, greens, and eggs, chicken or fish for lunch and dinner. All meals were cooked over an open fire. Breakfast was a roll, scone or oatmeal. But, we did have PB&J! The lodge was $7/night, clean, with great service, including daily linens and turndown service. Really!
Katima Mulilo is a small town, and has both electricity and running water for bathing. The lodge was $45/night with great service and air-conditioning, thank the Lord! The on-site Cafe had a pretty nice variety of foods at very reasonable prices. And, we still had PB&J!
In both cases, however, there is a similar and desperate need for formal biblical education. In both cases, witchcraft, ancestral worship and witch doctors have enormous influence. Sadly, some of the local churches allow their members to keep one foot planted firmly in these traditional religious practices. And, in both cases, the so-called "prophetic movement" led by self-styled, itinerant heretics is causing great division in the local churches. TV charlatans, many imported from the West, don't help either.
So, eager to learn, our Namibian friends, led by Pastor Yumba of Believers Fellowship, warmly welcomed us, engaged deeply in our training and are very anxious for us to return in August for Phase 3. Percy focused on Biblical Worship, Abby on Our Christian Identity, and I on Discovering My S.H.A.P.E. for Ministry. We were delighted to have four churches, three countries (Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Namibia = Zim, Zam and Nam), and both men and women represented in our class.
During our time in Katima, Percy and I also had the chance to visit a small Bible school launched by an old friend of Percy's, Pastor Jake. We taught for a couple of hours, Percy on Abraham's Worship, and I on Seven Myths about the Bible. It went well, and Pastor Jake was pleased, which means our team will likely teach there again when we return in August, beginning with our Phase 1 training.
In addition, Pastor Jake is asking us to consider heading 200 miles outside Katima Mulilo into the bush to teach several Bushmen pastors with whom he's been working. (If you've seen the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy you know what a bushman is.) If suitable lodging can be found, we'd like very much to begin Phase 1 training with them in August, as well. Frankly, we'd be thrilled. Our hearts are in the rural areas.
Would you continue to pray for us that we finish well, remain healthy, make every connection the Lord has in mind, and return home easily and safely? We're due home May 2nd. And, we will continue to remember you in prayer, as well!