This is Terrence. He’s one of the employees at Ghaub Guest Farm where Jon camped in the middle of the Triangle area of Central Namibia. He’s spent a little while helping them to understand how people move and work in their region.
The area around Ghaub is mountainous, dry, dusty and populated by farms. There are also small worker settlements connected to those farms and the workers spend about 70% of their lives in these settlements – taking their holiday in to the towns scattered around the corners of the Triangle.
Ghaub itself used to be a Christian mission. The mission itself only lasted around 40 years before the land began to be sold off. This is an interesting case study as to what sometimes happens if you put buildings and physical structures before people- there are so many variables that could make them unsustainable.
In rural Africa people often move about a surprising amount. Especially when it comes to people seeking new employment, or wanting to reach a more prosperous area of land. When you are dependant on a physical church building to meet with God and your community, there may always be an element of disconnect as people will come and go very quickly. But although these communities may be transient, they are still communities that need reaching.
It cannot be just a case of planting the church and talking to people about spiritual truth. These workers in Ghaub have challenges, joys, struggles just as much as anyone else. The Dignity approach is inherently practical. Bringing people together enables these people to face those struggles together. Terrence was saying how people of different church traditions and backgrounds don’t really get on. They will even refuse to pray together. This is exactly the kind of thing Dignity aims to combat! We want to bring people from all denominations together to explore in a deeper way what it means to be loved by God.
People like Terrence could be the entry point for a fresh way of doing Christian community in rural Namibia. Please pray that this seed may be nurtured and that we will eventually see the fruits of this encounter!