Elias and his wife live in Havana, a high density area of Windhoek in Namibia. Elias is a pastor of a small church in the Havana slum area. He earns an income by working as a cleaner in Kleine Kuppe, 20km and a world away.
Late in 2019, Jon and Jude met with Elias and few of his friends. They spent an afternoon talking about Life Groups and the transformative power people can have in their community through faith and working together. Elias spoke about a group of people addicted to alcohol and sniffing glue who live by the river. He explained that he and his wife had got to know these people and they’d been talking together about God however they found that nobody wanted to come to church. They were struggling to know what to do and how best to help these people. The conversation turned to how a Life Group can take ‘church’ to people, rather than expecting them to come to us, to fit in with us and do things ‘our way’. Jon and Jude left Elias and the others with some training materials and promised to keep in touch.
Skip forward 6 months and we recently caught up with Elias. Despite the pandemic, Elias and his wife have found a way to start a Life Group that meets down by the river, creating a place for a people who are fighting addictions to come together and explore life and faith. They meet when they can – the complexities of living with addictions mean that many people struggle to meet regularly – and something amazing is happening. Elias says that he sees that they are getting to know God. They are beginning to grow.
Many would overlook people like those whom Elias and his wife are discipling through a Life Group. They would deem them not worthy of the time and effort, buy the story that is unfolding shows that by sowing a little in the lives of the ‘least’ you can give meaning, direction and life.
Elias is enjoying running a Life Group so much that he has started to teach a friend in Gobabis, 200km, how to plant a Life Group! We have invited Elias and his wife to take part in our distance learning course, Journey, that is launching later this year. We are excited to hear the next chapter of their story.
You could pray:
- for freedom from addictions and healing in the lives of those attending the Life Group
- for Elias and his wife as they care for these people
- for Life Groups to spread to wherever they are needed in Namibia, through people like Elias and the connections they have