Katima Mulilo, a dusty border town on the very edge of Namibia. The only reason the town was founded was British expansion against simultaneous German expansion. Set on the banks of the Zambezi and close to the Botswanan border town of Kasane and Sesheke in Zambia, it makes for a little bit of comfort in a remote region of Namibia. Angola is also but a stones throw away. The borders of this region saw fierce fighting during the Angolan war.
Earlier today I drove deep into the bush with our fellow team members to visit a few villages. This means travelling along dusty, rutted roads in very hot temperatures. It’s not the kind of place you want to break down.
Whilst looking for an Induna (village chief) in a village, we came across five elderly ladies. I can’t remember all of their names, but two of them were Grace and Jessica. Women of standing and full of wisdom, worthy of respect. They wondered why we were there. It’s not every day a couple of mzungus and some Zambians find themselves in that part of the bush. We must have looked an odd site indeed.
We were there with Moses, a Namibian contact to explain to the village about Life! Groups and the work of Dignity. We’ve been working slowly to open up some of the village areas over the last year. As we sat with these women, we explained that God loved them and that He was interested in their village. We explained that they are uniquely placed to be used by God in their area.
These women couldn’t believe their ears. They were making sounds of unbelief and shaking their heads vigorously. At first I thought something was wrong. That was until Moses explained to me that these women were nearly crying. They couldn’t believe that God would send people from far off to help them see Him. They were happy and promised to share what we had told them with the rest of their village. We prayed with them and left, promising that we would keep in touch with them. They thought they had been forgotten, God showed them otherwise.
Elsewhere today, another lady became a Christian in a remote village and we spent time with a pastor who struggled to serve his community, encouraging him to serve people and not hoard them to himself. We spoke to another group as they asked questions about how they could start Life! Groups in their villages.
This is how our work begins. We go to the forgotten people, the distant ones. Those that are weak and vulnerable, and those that our busy world overlooks. We engage with them, with their community and we help them to know Christ. As they grow, we help them to love and care for their most vulnerable. We help them to know Christ, the source of life, in this world. We treat them with God’s dignity and assure them that they have not been forgotten. They are someone, they have a voice and they have a name. That is Dignity.
The poor don’t need our money (yes you read that correctly!). They don’t need our ways and our programmes but they do need people to come alongside them and show them the way, showing them Christ and the skills that they need. That’s what I do, it’s what our Impact Teams do and what everyone associated with Dignity does. We need your help to make it happen. We need your prayers, your money and your time. Without these we can’t go to the Jessica’s of this world and we can’t look them in the eye, tell them about Christ and the give them the dignity they deserve. People like Bernard, Esther and Moses, some of our team members, would be stuck at home, unable to reach them. If you are reading this please consider helping us and share this with your friends.
Here in Namibia there’s a whole army of Jessica’s waiting to be sent out into their own communities.
Help us, help her, to make it happen.
Within a week of these events taking place Jessica has been in touch. Dignity begins in her community……….