It was February, 1995. The car was packed, the last good-byes said. We were leaving Cape Town, South Africa, to follow God’s call to plant a church among the Himba people with the Namibian Field. We had prayed and patiently waited for this day. We were bubbling over with enthusiasm and idealism, and eager to embrace the task before us. This was a dream come true for us; an opportunity to be true mission pioneers.
As the miles slipped by, we discussed our dreams of what we hoped to accomplish. . We wrestled with our time commitment. Would we minister in Namibia for just a few years, or were we ready to commit to planting a church among the Himba people, regardless of how long it took? We finally decided to stay with the Himba people as long as it took for them to know Jesus. We asked God to signal when our work was done by preventing the renewal of the work permit on our visa. That was 17 years ago.
Our first four years of ministry flew by. The challenges we faced soon popped our bubble of idealism and made us more grounded and practical. The Himba people became our friends, and Opuwo became our home. At the end of four years, our funds were exhausted, but it didn’t seem time to leave yet. After all, we still had a work permit. Once again, we saw God leading us—this time to partner with AFM to continue our work among the Himba.
In 2011, after 15 years of ministry to the Himba, our work permit renewal was denied. We saw this as God’s unmistakable sign that it was time for us to move on. AFM and the Namibian Field are now working together to finish developing evangelistic outreach material for the Himba people. Kapitango, who has worked with us since 1995, is now leading the Himba Project and continuing this outreach.
The time has come for us to say good-bye to our AFM family. We are so grateful for the part each one of you has played in helping God’s plan for the Himba become a reality. We would like to thank each person who has prayed for us and supported us. It has been an honor to serve God with you at our side. We have had a roller-coaster experience, with days of rejoicing and days of frustration, but this is to be expected in frontline mission service. Through it all, we have been blessed and transformed as God worked in our hearts. During difficult times it was such an encouragement to know we were not alone, and that you were lifting us up in prayer.
We ask that you now give Kapitango and his wife Kenoo the blessing of prayer and support you gave to us. They need your prayers and donations as they engage the enemy in this spiritual battle for the salvation of the Himba people. Satan does not want the message of hope in God to be shared with the Himba. Kapitango has suffered from Satan’s attacks on every side—in his health, finances, relationships, distractions, discouragement and many other areas. Yet he and Kenoo are willing to step up and battle for the Himba people. Please hold up their hands through prayer, encouragement and support as they seek to break down Satan’s strongholds there. God has a dream. We have a dream. We invite you to share this dream. In this dream, we see the Himba people surrounding God’s throne, praising Him for being their Savior and Lord. May this dream soon become a reality!