Friday, July 3, 2009


This past week we had the opportunity to visit our dear friend (also Nicole) in Rundu, located about 10 hours north of us on the Angolan border. She is a wonderful hostess, a terrific conversationalist, and a precious sister in the Lord.

This is a sign seen all along the road to Rundu, and it means warthog crossing. Yes, we actually saw some warthogs, but they weren’t exactly what I expected (they look nothing like Pumba).

The scenery on the way up changes dramatically, from sparse desert shrubs around Rehoboth to beautiful trees and prairie grass near Rundu, which is in more of a tropical climate. It made me miss home.

However, this is what made me really homesick:

As less than 1% of the land in Namibia is farmable, a corn field is a rare sight indeed.

People really do carry things on their heads, just like in the movies. And I mean all the time, and usually with no hands. They are completely nonchalant. I really want to learn, because it keeps your hands free, but I think I might look a little silly (I think it takes quite a lot of practice). As if I don’t stick out enough, I’ll just add carrying a large parcel on my head to the equation. On second thought, maybe it will help me to blend in…

This is the most common traditional dwelling in the area, called a rondavel:

One night, we were actually invited to dinner for one, which was…so incredible. Nicole has been blessed with so many incredible relationships, and we were privileged to be able to be dinner guests of one friend. We ate a traditional meal in the traditional style, using our hands as utensils:

A couple more friends came along, and it was a wonderful time of fellowship and encouragement. Two of them work with projects focused on purity, so we had tons to talk about, and it was so heartening to meet local people who believe that this is so important. In their region, it is incredibly rare to be committed to purity, even among Christians. In fact, women are encouraged to have children before marriage to prove their fertility, and men are told to have as many sexual partners as possible. The whole situation is heart-breaking.

We spent all day Sunday (our first full day there) in Bible study, listening to a sermon, worshipping, praying, and talking; it was basically all-day church, and it was phenomenal!

Rundu is famous for it’s open market, and Josh and Steve pretty much drooled over the weapons they had for sale there. These spears were a serious favorite (but so difficult to take in one’s carry-on ; )

Check out this crazy plant. I see them around, but this was one of the nicest I have seen by far. The crazy part? Look closely- it’s actually composed of pink leaves instead of petals!

So much in Rundu inspired me to look at the details. Even here, Josh and I find ourselves rushing around trying to complete tasks, and we miss out on the people. I don’t know why; we love getting to know the people here. Sometimes it seems like we think we must be making big sacrifices and suffering in order to serve God, and that if we enjoy something, it must be selfish. I have no idea where I came up with this ridiculous concept; I know that God created our hearts, personalities, and dreams…it seems the enemy will use anything to try to keep us from doing God’s will.

We realized we have been trying to do way to much here, and that we need to cut back. It is so difficult, because there are so many needs we could be ministering to, but we cannot single-handedly fix everything. We want to shift towards focusing more on individuals and smalls groups; we will still work with some larger groups (like at the youth center), but that will not be our main focus. If we change a lot of lives a little bit, that’s great but it probably won’t last. We want to be used by God to have a dramatic and lasting influence on a few lives, in the hope that they will be able to continue ministering to the community once we leave. This is an important transition for us, and it is somewhat intimidating. Please pray with us for God’s guidance and direction.

These last few pictures are were taken the night before we left. It was impossible not to sense God’s power, and majesty, and glory through witnessing this in person. I’ve come to believe that sunsets are Africa’s crowning glory. Even when surrounded by barren landscape, they are spectacular. This sunset, however, took place over the crocodile-filled Kavango River, which feeds into the magnificent Okavanga Delta in Botswana.


Kelly @ Love Well said...

That crazy plant grows like ... well, like crazy in Southern California. It's called bougainvillea, and while hot pink seems to be its most common form, it comes in an array of magnificent, tropical colors.

It also has some wicked thorns -- I sometimes wonder if it wasn't a bougainvillea they used to make Jesus' crown -- so don't try to pick any.

Not that you would. Just sharing my gardening knowledge. ;-)

Kristen said...

oh sweet friend...
THANK YOU for your blog. it is incredible how my heart just misses there SO much as i reflect back and read through your experiences. i am so thankful for it. i MISS you guys, miss what you are getting to experience, and wish i could have appreciated it as much while i was there as i do now that i am far removed. praying for God to SUSTAIN you and satisfy you.
much love,

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