If you follow us on social media you will have seen that Jon and Jude Witt traveled across Namibia sharing the idea of Life Groups late last year. So much happened, and the scale is so vast that we think it deserves our time summing it up as best we can; both the vast distance across Namibia to the individual stories of people Jon and Jude met.
Traveling from Katima in the east to Henties Bay on the western coast is roughly the same as traveling from John O’Groats to Land’s End in terms of distance. As you drive the width of Namibia you’ll pass along the edges of the Kalahari Desert, cross the central plateau and the escarpment before finally coming to the coastal Namib Desert. It is a vast and beautiful land.
In these varied landscapes are hundreds of settlements of differing sizes, each called home by numerous people.
The aim of Jon and Jude’s trip was three-fold:
- To see how the existing Life Groups are doing and encourage them.
- To open up new connections and relationships.
- To look out for those who might benefit from attending an intensive, residency course with us.
During their time in Namibia, Jon and Jude felt they achieved all three aims…the next questions is “How can we connect all these people so they can encourage one another and work together to bring people to Jesus and fight poverty?” Please pray for that.
Below are some of Jon and Jude’s notes from different places they visited and the people they met that will give you a quick flavour of what is happening. Check out the map to spot people’s pictures and where they live. As you read, please pray for each community and each person!
1. Divundu/Omega: Met a few different people here. By far the strongest are Oscar and his sister Ruth. They are part of a movement of refugees who have moved back from Botswana. They live in a difficult region where water is scarce. People are very divided and do not work together. They understood very easily the gospel that saves people, brings them together and allows people to face their challenges.
2. Katima: Around 27 Life Groups are meeting in this area. There are some amazing stories of growth over the last couple of years. One particular story of alcoholics coming to Jesus stood out!
3. Tsumeb/Triangle: Through an amazing ‘God-incidence’ we met a small house church of farmers and others in Tsumeb. They were very interested in our message and this is a wide open door. It is is well connected to surrounding farms and compounds in the Triangle. It is also well-located as a base to reach out. We observed that everyone lives around semi-rural towns as land is historically cleared and also very harsh.
4. Windhoek: Some very good links made in the Havana area of the city. It was also great to spend time with CFC church who want to use the Dignity model to reach Northern Namibia. There are also potential links south from Windhoek towards Reheboth and Shlip through 2 other strong individuals.
5. Skeleton Coast: In Henties Bay we met Johan, a national leader with AFM (Apostolic Faith Mission). He was very interested and wanted to introduce us to many people he knew in the north of the country.
6. Toshari: At one particular lodge, the long term manager is a Christian along with some of the staff. Spent some time talking to them and introducing them to the ideas. They were very interested.
7. Kavango West: We have good links, especially through Felix, into Yinsu and surrounding areas. Early Life Group activity is happening here. The church is generally very divided and very fractious.
8. Rundu: This is an incredibly hot region, with temperatures reaching 45 degrees while we were there. We gathered leaders in Ndama and spoke about the need to work together in this area. The leaders promised to try and start. In Kaisosi we visited a household who also were very interested. We spoke about what the gospel really is.