Erik's outreaches

erik

In the beauty death lingers...

Damaraland is awesomely beautiful, but the excruciating drought jerked people and animals to a halt. After three to four years of drought there is a full scale famine. Rev Jacob Schoeman (Kunene for Christ), rev Hein Schaaff (DRC Suiderhof – Windhoek), pastor Henrico Swartbooi (Lutheran Church – Khorixas), Gerson Kuvare from Okakarara and rev Erik van Zyl (Kunene for Christ) tried to help. We met Helmut and Gerhard where the Khorixas-Uis road meets the Ugab river to load the tinned fish, donated by Benguela Fisheries. We also had a half ton Morvite porridge, donated by Kosmos Radio and a bag of maize meal donated by Namib Mills on the trucks. At the Ugab river bridge we asked the Lord’s guidance. Where is the biggest need?

erikTo the North of the Ugab bridge we visit the first Damara-speaking community. Many houses are locked, people left because of the drought. There are a few staunch survivors and they welcome us with open arms and thankful hearts. They carefully keep track of all the food we have brought and we pray with them, lift them up to the Lord. Old Gustavinia and grandpa Theofilus at Okahauri, then Thomas and Gertrude with Patricia, their 18 months old baby at Omatazu. At Rooipoortpos, more west we are welcomed by a friendly and happy Sagarias, a farmer and traditional musician.

erikOld grandma Mathilda Ganzeb receives us warmly at Onverwags and on Wednesday evening (25 January 2017) pastor Henrico hands out food parcels to the people who come to watch the Jesus film. Afterwards we end the evening with a prayer. The next morning Tonateni Amadihla, a worker from the Kavango region welcomes us with gratitude. Then we move on and nearer to Uis the Ugab river is flowing slowly, a sign of hope. We then stop at Herman Tuneko’s place, his house is near the bridge and his garden full of cacti is a testimony of his relationship with God. We pray together and he shares the story of his past and God’s forgiveness in his life. We hand him some food and leave his place with hearts that have been inspired.

erikAt the EHRA base camp Basil van Rooyen tells us that the biggest need is in the area south of the Ugab bridge at Omihana, a Herero-speaking community. Franciskus Tjiveze is the headman at Omihana and about 2000 families and small children reside there. They have had no rain for about 4 years. Messengers are sent out to invite people to come and watch the Jesus film and to collect food parcels. Old grandma Margaret Muhemba at Otujapi is a Christian woman looking after her daughter’s four children. She is overwhelmed by the the gift of Morvite porridge, she only had some maize meal and rice to give to the children. Even the animals are a sorry sight to see and rev Hein’s dog pellets are a blessing to many dogs as well as sheep.

erikHerman Kasaona, a traditional leader, is Jacob and Henrico’s right-hand man. He has a list of all the families in order to hand out the food fairly amongst the people, even those who do not attend the showing of the Jesus film. Roughly 65 people watch the film and there are a few who have not seen it yet. Except for women with small children, the food parcels are handed out after the film has been showed. Jesus said: “Bread is not man's only need, but every word which comes out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4). On Friday, 27 January, we drive back to Khorixas. It is such a privilege to meet Izelda, the matron of the orphanage in Donkerhoek, a squatters camp in Khorixas. We have the joy of giving morvite, macaroni and tins of fish to the children. This last appointment has been made by our Father.

erikPray for relief for the people and animals, God is faithful and his love is eternal.
Pray for spiritual rain ending the drought in people’s hearts.

Greetings in Christ - Erik van Zyl - Kunene for Christ

erik

Let the children come to Me....

The focus of the Dutch Reformed Church Napier and Riviersonderend outreach team for 2016 was to visit the small schools in Northwest Kaokoland and to win the hearts of the children for Jesus. Orotjitombo, Ongongo, KM Maunda, Etanga, Otjitanda, Onjuva, Ondije, Okandjombo en Otjiu! At each school the team presented a drama, Theuns portrayed the demon posessed man in the region of the Gerasenes. He scared the children, then Jesus touched him and he is freed. Afterwards he led his friends to Jesus and they were saved.

erikMagdaleen explained that Jesus frees us from our sins and demons in our lives, using the ”Living Ball” to further spell out the message of salvation. Great was the joy of the children at each school when they received “Living Ball”soccer balls and tennis balls. At some schools Theuns and Piet also played soccer with the kids. Altogether we reached 1650 children in 9 schools with the gospel and at 8 out of 9 schools we showed the Jesus film.

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erikThe team experienced that it is so easy to make children, especially under privileged ones, smile. Just sing with them, dance with them, play with them and love them! They are so responsive to the love of Jesus. Greta's guitar and the dancing and singing let their eyes light up, also where there are so much hopelessness and despair.

erikWe are so grateful and praise the Lord for 100 kg flour, 100 kg sugar, 180 kg pasta (donated by Namib Mills) which we could hand out at 4 of the smallest schools, namely Ondije, Otjitanda, Onjuva and Okandjombo. The children are sent home when there is no food at the school. Theuns, Johan-Gerhard and Pieta, the 3 young men in the group under leadership of Pierre repaired the play gym at the Ongongo and Ondije schools. The swings are used from early morning until late in the day and then the bolts and chains wear out! Otjitanda school also received a play gym to the delight of the children. Please pray that the Jesus they saw, will live in their hearts!

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erikOn Sunday morning, 3 July, we had a service at Ondije in the little church building. Rev Erik ministered the Word and rev Kobus served the Holy Communion. What a privilege, we are again touched by the earnestness and joy of the OvaHimba believers' relationship with Jesus Christ.

erikAfter the morning service we visited Uanyanakwa (Tjise's half sister and church leader) at Omarawarawa. We discussed the plans to build a church at Omarawarawa in 2017. The area had already been meted out, they only need the official approval of the government before starting. Pray that the Lord will open doors and that his will will be done.

erikWe thank God for his mercy!
This year it was the 19th outreach to Kaokoland!
God willing, we shall have a reunion at Korenhof after the 20th outreach.

Greetings in Christ - Erik van Zyl - Kunene for Christ

erikDie Land Cruiser is gelaai met 750 kg kos (Morvite pap/mieliemeel/pasta en blikkies kos) oppad na Kaokoland! Ons hoor van reën, maar dit reën nie kos nie! Die gesig wat my en Gerson begroet in die berge anderkant Etanga en by die vlakte tussen Okaanga en Ondije laat ons sprakeloos. Dit is 20 Januarie en die reën val hier eers in Maart! Die Vader se kersgeskenk, ’n hele week se reën rondom Kersfees!

erikBaie diere, beeste en bokke het gevrek, maar daar is nuwe lewe, water en groen gras. Okaanga se mense het weer hoop! Kauhonekwa is die hoofverspreider van die kos wat ons op Okaanga uitdeel, Tjise se kos word in haar afwesigheid by haar dogter, Mavehitimo, afgelaai vir wie ons ook ’n Bybel gee. Ons ry Ondije toe, kalwers wat die dood in die oë gestaar het wei op die groen vlakte.

erikOndije se damme is vol en die mense is terug. Uaherura werk in haar tuin, sy sal Ondjie se kos uitdeel. Woensdagaand wys ons die Jesus-film by Ondije vir ongeveer 30 mense. Donderdagoggend bedien ek die woord (2Kor 4-6) aan ’n groepie Ova-Himba vrouens wat by ons kampplek geslaap het. Ons gee ’n Bybel vir Matjitora Tjivinda, sy wil by die gemeente inskakel! Uaherura getuig kragtig, “Mense wat op 2 paaie loop sal onseker voel wanneer Jesus kom! Ons moet gereed wees!” Ons is dankbaar dat ons vir mnr. Tjambiru (skoolhoof) ook kos kon gee vir die kinders van die Ondjie skooltjie.

erikNadat ons kosvoorraad by Omarawarawa gaan aflaai het, kom ons dadelik terug! Ons planne het verander! Die nuus dat Mavehitimo gaan trou val ons vreemd op! By nadere ondersoek blyk dit dat die man uit die regte familie is, ’n goeie werk het en baie ordentlik is, maar dat sy saambly Himba vrou nie vir hom kinders kon gee nie! Ons moet dringend by Mavehitimo en Tjise uitkom! By Okaanga luister Mavehitimo aandagtig, sy ken die man se lewe glad nie, hy sê hy is ’n Christen! “Hoe kan ’n gelowige dieselfde belange hê as ’n ongelowige? Hoe kan ’n ooreenkoms tot stand kom tussen die tempel van God en afgode?”(2 Kor6:15-16)Al wat Mavehitimo sê, “Die Here het gepraat. Dis nou ’n wolf in skaapsklere!”

erikBerguit terug oor die bergpas. Net voor sonsondergang naby Etanga kry ons vir Hirihepura en Tjise. Wedersyds is die blydskap. Ons kamp, kuier en eet saam. Die saak is dringend. “Mavehitimo is vir my soos ’n eie dogter! Haar verhouding met Jesus, haar getuienis, haar toekoms en die Here se eer is op die spel.” Hirihepura verras, “Sy is ’n Christen, jy is haar geestelike pa, jy moet besluit.” Ons gesels lank: As sy met ’n ongelowige trou sal haar lewe en huwelik lyk soos ’n droë bossie in die woestyn. As hy die Here dien, sal haar lewe en huwelik lyk soos ’n vrugteboom langs water, julle sal die vrugte eet.” Tydens die knellende droogte was die man se huweliksaanbod vir Hirihepura ’n versoeking en uitkoms. Ons vertrou dat die Here ons, soos die reën, betyds gestuur het om Mavehitimo van ’n ramp te red.

erik

erikTjise deel met ons om die vuur: Die Morvite-pap wat julle in November gebring het, het gekeer dat die kinders van honger omgekom het. Tjise vra Herero Bybels vir 2 vrouens van Okamanga, Urirua en Uerihakamo en vir Mavehitimo se vriendin, Ngujeja. Ons tref reëlings vir die Paaskamp, bid saam en vertrek na Etanga waar ons vir Kukatjoka (Tjise se suster) ’n Herero Bybel gee.

erikOns volgende bestemming is Ripanga (Jan) Kasupi, die hoofman van Ganamub, se blyplek op Sesfontein. Ek mis vir Jan as gids in die veld, maar vanweë probleme met OvaHimbas wat hul vee onwettig by Ganamub laat wei, is dit vereers veiliger om Jan nie saam te neem nie. Ons het die aand heerlik saam met Jan en sy vrou Cornelia gekuier en gebraai. Nadat ons die oggend mekaar uit die Woord van die Here bemoedig het, vertrek ons na Khorixas met waatlemoen en druiwe uit Jan se tuin.
Die Here is goed en Hy doen goed! (Psalm 119:68)
Gebed
Dank die Here dat die droogte by Okaanga/Ondije gebreek is.
Bid steeds vir reën, oor groot dele is dit nog droog en opvolgreën is ook nodig.
Bid vir Hirihepura (Tjise se man) se bekering.
Bid dat die Here vir Mavehitimo ’n man sal gee wat lief is vir Jesus.
Bid vir geestelike reën, dat die Here die geestelike droogte in baie OvaHimba harte sal breek.

Groete in Christus - Erik van Zyl

erikOvaHimba believers are staggering under the effects of the intense drought that has brought Kaokoland to its knees! Impelled by the love of Christ, the men from the Môrelig Bible study group in Windhoek reach out to the parched land to bring a bit of hope! Armed with prayer, Herero Bibles, 1.2 ton Morvite cereal, Living balls, audio-bibles, clothes, love...we get stuck on the 11th of November in the Hoarusib river in Etanga. Janneman Brand's Amarok hangs its head between its legs like Bileam's donkey! While the Amarok struggles to get out of the sand, Tjise Tjambiru arrives there! Rev Jason explains the Gospel to the curious onlookers using the Living Ball and later that evening we show the Jesus film to about 25 people. The next morning we encourage the believers from Psalm 73 and Habakkuk 2:20. Bileam ensured that we stopped at Etanga!

erikIn a dream Mavehitimo sees how we show the film at Etanga – God is faithful! The 300 kg Morvite cereal destined for Tjise's area we drop off at her daughter's at Okombako and we also give Living Balls to the children to play with. Okaanga's borehole, normally a beehive of activity, greets us with a message of doom – horses, cattle, goats, donkeys... waiting on their death! Ueisatjo Tjavara, wife of the chief, receives Okaanga's 200kg of cereal.

erikAt Okozarowe there is life, the OvaHimbas garden with borehole water and there is hope! OvaHimba boys play soccer with the Living Ball after Rev Jason's message, while we also drop off 200kg of Morvite. About 30 people come to watch the Jesus film. The next morning the Lord confirms his word to the OvaHimba believers! “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9) Uaherura and Kauhonekwa, who have to distribute the Morvite cereal, share this with us: In a time of drought Jesus is over all, the Living Water quenching our thirst! We are thankful for a thirst after God, we donate cereal and the OvaHimba believers ask for Bibles! We hand over four Herero Bibles and four audio-bibles.

erikMr Tjambiru, principal of the Ondije primary school, and his wife, Mrs Tjambiru, receive us cordially and their optimism is infectious! The days of walking 4km to waterholes in the mountains are past. Strong water has been drilled about 500m from the school! We have lovely fellowship and we even enjoy a meal prepared in love at church! Apart from the 200kg cereal for the school and the community and Living Balls for the children, we also equip the school with Windhoek Gymnasium's uniform! The children's joy and excitement about the “new” clothes were GREAT, the simplicity of gratitude for little things. The Môrelig men experience anew that the joy of giving is greater than the joy of receiving!

erikThe last stop of Môrelig's outreach is Omarawarawa. Chief Ngeve Tjihako is a Christian and his influence is clearly noticeable! We host a feast with enough meat and mealie “pap”! After roughly 40 OvaHimba men, women and children watched the Jesus film late into the evening, they also slept at our camp.

erikEarly the next morning we have coffee with Chief Ngeve Tjihako. The believers wait to hear the Word of the Lord. Psalm 107 encourage the people of Omarawarawa that God can deliver those who call on him from any situation! He turns desert into pools of water, parched ground into flowing springs and he brings the hungry to where they can found a city to settle. (Psalm 107:35-36)

erikIt is a joy and a privilege to support fellow believers in their need. Our last 300kg Morvite we drop off at Omarawarawa. We encourage them with food and they encourage us with their optimism and unfailing trust in God in the midst of drought and suffering. Rev Jason explains the message of the Living Ball anew and then has to repeat it individually to Chief Ngeve Tjihako before the children start their carefree play.

erikPray for man and livestock in Kaokoland that the Lord will be gracious and deliver them from this time of drought and famine!
Pray for the believers in Kaokoland, that they'll remain faithful to the Lord during these difficult times and that they'll keep on trusting in Him!
Pray that the Father will give abundant rains in this rainy season because He is good!
Pray that the hunger and thirst after God's Word will exceed the hunger and thirst after food and water by far!

erik

Greetings in Christ - Erik van Zyl

NETS takes hands with Chris and Jessie at Queen Sophia

erikExcited and with infectious enthusiasm, the NETS (Namibian Evangelical Theological Seminary) student outreach team descended on Queen Sophia from 9 to 14 September 2015. Chris and Jessie's loving and cordial hospitality turned the outreach into a joyous event! Eating together, worshipping together and working together! On both sides people found special places in the others' hearts.

erikThe focus was on ministering to the children of the Queen Sophia of Spain Primary School, with the love of Jesus. Using drama, song, group work, a question-and-answer session, memory verses and games, the simplicity and power of the Gospel that brings freedom were imprinted on the children. The Damara-Nama translation of the Jesus film was shown to approximately 170 children and 20 adults at the school.

erikOn Saturday, from 7h30, a day of games was thoroughly enjoyed by the children of Queen Sophia. The NETS students lost the tug-of-war and the soccer match and so, at 13h30, dog-tired and spent, they called a halt!

erikSaturday night's talent show was a huge success; Gert Tjambiru as master of ceremonies brought out the best in the children. The children blossomed and the applause was overwhelming!

erikThe Sunday service was a multicultural celebration to the glory of God! Many choirs sang and Jerome Jansen preached in English, which was interpreted into Herero and Damara-Nama!

erikPray for Chris, Jessie, Sienta-Mari, Kaleb and little Lisa.

The Namibian government has signed an official agreement with Kunene for Christ, who was placed on Queen Sophia to, by God's power (Zechariah 4:6), breathe new life into the land reform project!

Kunene for Christ's focus for the people of Queen Sophia is seven-fold:

Improved living standards;
establishment of strong leadership in the community;
proper care for children;
accessible and sustainable medical services;
increased productivity and income from agriculture;
establishment of small, sustainable businesses;
management of Queen Sophia with integrity!

Erik van Zyl

erik

On Sunday morning, the 16th of August, I worship with the believers of the Dutch Reformed church in Opuwo. Rev Willie Coetsee, leader of the team, preaches from John 15 - bearing fruit to glorify the Father! Beyond Etanga, in Okamanga, we look for Mavehitimo. Out of the deserted landscape, like an angel sent down, Kahondeka Hepute, a young Ova-Himba girl, comes walking with her goats. You can see Mavehitimo's temporary dwelling from that hill, she explains. Rev Jason shares the gospel with her by means of the coloured beads. She tells us that she has heard of Jesus from Tjise and Mavehitimo and that she saw the Jesus film for the first time when Gerson and I visited in April.

erikAfter walking about 2 km, Mandie and Karel spot Mavehitimo's dwelling. We find little children tending the goats, while Mavehitimo has gone to water the cattle. Just before dusk we return to our riverbed-camp. Half an hour later Mavehitimo appears, joining us at the fire, the guest of honour we have been waiting for! After a delicious barbecue, we gather for Bible study around the campfire. We sing the Herero song " Kapena kwasana ku Jesu" (There's no one, there's no one like Jesus!). Rev Willie shares God's heart with us from Genesis 2 and 3.

Mavehitimo shares with us about a dream that woke her on Saturday night: She was worshipping with fellow believers on the Sunday, listening to His Word and singing together! But how would that be possible? she wonders, since all the adult believers had left for the funeral at Okazorowe. So Sunday morning early Mavehitimo wakes the children, prays with them and then starts her day.

erikHow privileged we are! Her dream is fulfilled on Sunday night around the campfire as she worships with us, sings with us and listens to God's Word with us! In amazement and with grateful hearts we conclude in prayer! After dinner, Tjise joins us, having returned from the funeral. We play the Jesus film for Tjise, Mavehitimo and another 5 children appearing out of the dark.

Monday morning, 17 August, we have the privilege of encouraging a small group of believers from God's Word: Live your life to the fullest for Jesus in the midst of the suffering, brought about by the drought, that you are experiencing. Tjise receives a new Herero Bible and Pionierspark church gifts 40 kg Morvite cereal for Tjise to distribute where the need is greatest.

erikOkazorowe is a hive of activity, Uazuko was a rich man and his funeral is not completely over yet. Many acquaintances, believers and unbelievers, come to say hello. The chief gives permission and we show the Jesus film to about 50 or 60 people. Many come to hear the word of the Lord on that Tuesday morning.

erikThe Ova-Himba women listen intently and many come to be prayed for. An elderly Ova-Himba woman and a "Mission" pastor ask for Bibles! A young Ova-Himba Christian man begs us for an MP3 audio-Bible player. Apart from the spiritual food, we were able to gift 10 kg Morvite cereal to Kauhonekwa, Uahendeka and Uaherura, all of them spiritual leaders. The life-giving aroma of the gospel is more pungent and more powerful than the smell of death, even at a funeral at Okazorowe!

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erikChief Ngeve Tjihako and his stalwart wife, Mbazembi, the driving force behind the success of Omarawara's "Joseph" gardens, receive us warmly. Excited, she shows us the gardens which they water from the water trough. As we depart, Karel gives them packets of vegetable seeds and shows her how to plant them.

erikThe Jesus film shown Tuesday evening and the preaching on Wednesday, bore fruit indeed. Individual conversations with some of the Christian leaders brought to light disunity amongst them. This led to reconciliation, restitution and joint prayer. The Lord sent us at exactly the right time!

erik

Pray that the Lord will send abundant rains in the new season.
Pray for man and livestock, that the Lord will deliver them from the famine.
Pray that the Lord will soften hard hearts and make them receptive to the Gospel.
Pray for the Christians, that they'll remain faithful to Jesus during this time of suffering brought about by the drought.

Erik van Zyl

Gideon's band for the Lord

erik

The outreach team sent annually by the Dutch Reformed churches of Napier and Riviersonderend turned into a "Gideon's band" due to unforeseen circumstances. Pierre Vlok, team leader, and Rev Kobus Pretorius, Riviersonderend, cancelled joining the outreach on short notice. The Lord therefore sent out a small "Gideon's band"! 29 June to 10 July 2015.

erikThe small Gideon's band embarked on the HUGE task in prayerful dependence and unity. Ongongo, KM Maunda, Etanga, Otjitanda, Otjinungwa, Onjuva, Ondije, Okandjombo......

erikAt the schools we brought the Gospel through drama, song, the "heart message" and the Look & Listen picture books. Different coloured beads (wordless book) were handed to the teachers. Soccer balls, balls for netball and pumps for the balls, as well as stationery - pens, erasers, rulers, glue, scissors...were handed over to the teachers for use in the school. Look & Listen picture books were also handed out.

erikWe are so grateful that we could give 7 English and 14 Herero bibles to teachers and children.

erikBall- and other games make the children's hearts open and receptive to the Gospel.

erikMr Tjambiru is teacher, missionary to his own people, principal, hostel superintendent and community leader, with a wife who supports and stands by him through everything. They are truly a BEACON of joy and hope for Jesus in this time of drought. Kakunaihe Tjiningire, a teenage Ova-Himba girl, wasn't a good enough goatherder and driven away by her stepmother. Mr and Mrs Tjambiru had compassion on her. A few pieces of clothing from the girls' bags and a Springbok jersey belonging to Rieta's brother and there you have it!

We are also grateful for 65 kg Morvite cereal for the school children at Ondije and 23 kg special maize meal as drought assistance for the community that we could deliver to Mr Tjambiru.

erikWe were able to show the Jesus film 9 times to roughly 650 children and adults!

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erikGive thanks to the Lord - the "Gideon's band" were able to bring the Gospel to almost 1000 Himba children!

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Pray that the Gospel will show its power and bring life into the hungry hearts of the children!

Pray for Christian teachers that they'll remain faithful to their calling!

Pray that the Lord will bless Kaokoland with rain!

 

 

Erik van Zyl

Be a hardy Kanniedood plant for Jesus!

“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions." (Joel 2:28)

Traveling through the heart of Kaokoland, past Etanga on the way to Okamanga, Gerson and I couldn't help but notice the decimating drought faced by large parts of Kaokoland for the fourth year in a row! Following the little rain they had, the African sun has burnt the promising fresh blades of grass to an ashen grey. And then, suddenly, from the bushes a herd of fat, shiny cattle emerge.

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This mystery is resolved for us by Kaukororua and Katikitiki at Okamanga. It's the leaves of the "Ombuti" tree, the "Kanniedood", that keep the cattle fat! The cattle will last for as long as these trees' leaves will!

erikIn Opuwo, Tjise had asked Rev Jason if we would visit her daughter, Mavehitimo, in the Okamanga area - many Himbas had moved there as a result of the drought. Therefore we ask for directions and drive on...

erikWe stop at an abandoned homestead flocking with calves to take a view back. Far away on a hill are two little boys. We drive back to them and it's as if they were expecting us. Gerson walks closer and they call out: "Tjise's homestead is just behind this hill!" We drive to the homestead and Gerson chats to the boys - Mavehitimo has left to give the cattle water. We set up camp in a nearby riverbed and spread the word that we'll be showing the Jesus film that evening.

erikAt 4 o'clock that afternoon Mavehitimo comes walking up the riverbed. The joy is mutual and I use this opportunity to ask her about her relationship with the Lord and how she hears God's voice when He speaks to her. Excitedly she tells Gerson: "I heard a vehicle arrive and I immediately started walking, because I knew it was you. I had a very clear vision at 12 pm that Rev Erik was on his way. I told the two little boys that you were on your way and then I went to give my cattle water."

I stand amazed at the Lord's faithfulness and omnipotence and think back on the day's events. At 11h30 we left from Etanga not knowing exactly where we were going. At 12h30 we stopped for lunch and by then Mavehitimo already knew we were coming. That evening, just before showing the film, Gerson asked the two little boys how their day went. Spontaneously, one of them said: " Mavehitimo told us at 12 that you were coming and that there'll be white people with you as well!"

erikThirty-six children and 30 adults came to watch the Jesus film and afterwards, by their request, I brought them a message about the gospel as the power of God. We are also grateful to God that we could give Mavehitimo some of the Look & Listen picture books that go with the stories from the audio-Bible. Early the next morning Mavehitimo came to say goodbye and I encouraged her and prayed for her to be, like a fire in the night, a bright light for Jesus. Mavehitimo is like a Kanniedood tree, giving life to others in times of drought. Please pray that her life and example will draw many to Jesus. Being a young Himba girl, she stands alone, other Himbas say she is abnormal for not living a sexually immoral life! Pray that she will stand firm, pray that she will be a Kanniedood for Jesus!

erikWe drive through Okaanga to reach Ondije. The land is bare and the dam at Ondije only has enough water for another month! Discouragement and hopelessness are apparent. I give Sipho Tjiraso's wife some Morvite cereal to feed a small group of children she has with her, as well as a set of Look&Listen picture books together with an audio-Bible player so she can minister to the children with Living Water! We drive further on to Omarawarawa.

erikThe people there apply the principles of Joseph, they planted a garden and are planting new gardens using borehole water in order to provide food for the drought and famine lying ahead. They dig holes and build thorn barriers to keep the goats out. The chief, Ngeve Tjihako, is a Christian and the feeding project is for the whole community. We stay there overnight and 15 people sleep at our campsite so that they can see the Jesus film. The next morning I encourage them from the Word of the Lord. I assure them that, just as the Lord God is with them during the good times, He will also be with them during times of drought and that He will not leave them nor forsake them! Keep trusting in Him and thirst for Him as the dry land thirsts for water and He will satisfy you! We pray together and say goodbye until we meet again.

erik

 

 

Pray for Mavehitimo that she'll be a Kanniedood for Jesus in her words, her conduct, in love, faith and morality!

 

 

 

 

Erik van Zyl

Just in time for a God-ordained appointment!

Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)

A possible drought is staring Kaokoland in the face. The arid landscape and elusive rains are prophets of doom, causing the Ova-Himbas to move around in search of grazing and water. Pray with us, for the Lord lives and March still lies ahead!

erik

Edwin Kakori and I are on our way to Tjise Tjambiru and Kauhonekwa Tjavara, whom I last dropped in the mountains while traveling to Otjihaa after the outreach in October 2014. I also didn't see them at the December leader's camp, so they were unaware of my plans, but we serve a living God! We go in faith that God will arrange that we find one another. Beyond Etanga, close to Okamanga, we stop at a deserted temporary settlement belonging to Tjise, a green Hilux stops behind us and Venununga Tjavara is the first messenger: "Kauhonekwa is at Onyaa." Fortunately I know the place and the way there and we change our route. Late that Thursday afternoon we arrive and Navjoo, the daughter of Venununga, takes us further on foot to his homestead. Shortly before dawn Kauhonekwa arrives with her goats, singing. Her joy is infectious. "Did the Lord tell you that we're coming?" I ask her. "Ask my daughter!" she says. So she proceeds to tell us: "Last week Monday I had a very clear dream and in it you and some others visited me. When I woke up, I told my daughter: 'Rev Erik is on his way, he'll be here soon!'" I am amazed at God's faithfulness and thankful that I also heard right from God! We serve a living God indeed!

erikOnyaa is a temporary livestock station located in a mountain pass and so we conduct a church service that evening. Edwin brings the Word to a group of 22 nomadic Ova-Himbas from the Ondije-Okaanga area. The Lord is working, as there are testimonies of people coming to the Lord. We leave the next morning, after giving a Herero Bible (an old promise) to Urioseka Tjavara. Between Okamanga and Etanga we stop at a temporary Himba homestead. Tjise had been at Etanga the previous day for a funeral, but she had already returned to her temporary homestead in the Okamanga area. We drive on another 2 km where the road ends and we carry on on foot.

erikEdwin and I walk with a young Ova-Himba who knows the area. Tjise is not home and we carry on to where the cattle drink. On the way there I meet many familiar faces, Ova-Himbas with cattle and goats digging for water in the dry riverbed. The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful. Six kilometre on we find Tjise and a group of Ova-Himbas under the trees where they are giving their cattle a drink from a deep well in the sandstone rocks. We greet and chat. There are also many people we know: Hirihepura (Tjise's husband), Katikitiki, who previously showed Rev Jason and I which way to travel, Kareve and others...

erikBefore we leave, Tjise asks me to bring the Word of the Lord to the little group of 15 people there. I point to the omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence of the Lord! Do not resist his grace if He speaks to you! Then I tell them of Kauhonekwa's dream. But Tjise interrupts me and tells of her dream: "Last week my daughter, Mavehitimo, dreamt that Rev Erik came to visit us. She told me: 'Don't leave your home, Rev Erik will be here soon.' " Tjise went to the funeral the previous day, Wednesday and I almost missed her! Then Hirihepura spoke: "This morning Mavehitimo told us that she dreamt that Rev Erik had already passed by here yesterday!" I listen to this in amazement, because I did pass by on my way to Onyaa! Once again it cut me to the heart: Do I walk with God in such a way that I can hear his voice when He speaks to me?

erikWe camp outside Opuwo on Seka's farm among the Mopanie trees. Tjise and Kauhonekwa from Okaanga, Jantjie from Fonteine, Chris and Emmie from Khorixas, Jan from Sesfontein, Jacob and Wilma from Outjo, Amanda from Windhoek and Rev Jason and his parishioners are all there. The reunion is good, the fellowship in the faith sweet and the singing heavenly!

erikWe discuss the new inter-organisational ministry where Kunene for Christ's partners commit anew to take hands to serve the Kingdom of God and to make our unity in Jesus visible. We spend most of the time on Jacob's introductory question: "Tell us when last you saw someone come to faith in your area?" It was inspiring to hear how God is working. Tjise and Kauhonekwa's testimony of how the Lord is working in their area reminds me of Paul's work in Ephesus: " In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power." (Acts 19:20) Sunday morning's message focuses on two things that are non-negotiable so that the Lord can work powerfully.
[1] Do we have a hunger and thirst, brought about by the Holy Spirit, for the Lord Jesus that exceeds any other thirst or hunger we may have?
[2] Are our hearts burning with a fire and a passion, brought about by the Holy Spirit, to share Jesus Christ with others?
Let's pray that the Lord will be able to work through us.

erikPray about the drought in Kaokoland. Pray that the Father, out of his goodness, will give rain. Pray that hunger and thirst for God's Word will exceed the hunger and thirst for food and water by far.

I greet you in Christ

Erik van Zyl

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

jan

What should have been a very uneventful outing, changed as suddenly as when fine weather suddenly changes to a threatening storm! Ripanga Kasupi, headman of Ganamub and also called Jan, and I were on our way to, as before, fetch the leaders in the Ondije-Omarawarawa area for the annual leaders’ camp held from 21-23 November 2014 in Opuwo.

Jan, the lion tamer who, at the beginning of last year, lost his finger in a skirmish with a lion and nearly lost his life, was in doubt whether he should accompany me. Three weeks before he phoned me in a state of anxiety: “Reverend, the Himbas shot at me!” Land and water have caused many wars in the past.

About four years ago during the time of drought, the Ova-Himbas from the Ondije area moved their cattle to the grassy Giribis plains of Ganamub. After numerous meetings held amongst the headmen where it had been decided that the people should take their cattle away, there are still many foreign cattle in the Ganamub area. An explosive situation! An argument between two herdsmen (one of them a woman) turned sour and the woman was hurt. As the story spreads, facts are twisted...apparently Jan gave the order! Furious, the husband of the woman herder and some friends went to Ganamub. Jan was in a meeting about water at Ganamub’s borehole. A fight starts, one of Ganamub’s men is struck down by a big rock! “Shoot the old man, it’s him we want dead!” Shots ring out, Jan dives behind a donkey cart while bullets whizz past! John Wayne, also known as Jan, pulls out his 9 mm pistol (remember, there are lions) and fires 3 shots into the sky. The fourth shot results in a hole in the door of the herdswoman’s husband's yellow Hilux, then they jump in and drive off.

man in carA few weeks later. I’m on my way to Jan for the 2104 leaders’camp. When I arrive at Jan's place his 2 year-old granddaughter says: "Grandpa, are you going to Himbaland? Don't go, they will kill you!" When Jan gets into the truck with me I promise his wife, Cornelia, that I will look after him.

himbalandOn Thursday 20 November, late in the afternoon, we take the Kaokotavi-Orupembe road. We drive into the night and get lost in the dark on a short cut to Okaanga. Only after ten that night we set up camp and early the next morning we discover that we’d slept at Omuetuhuerera (place of the camelthorn trees). We drive from Omuetuhuererana to Omukuju and Omberokejo, all new places to Jan and me. As far as we go the people keep asking about the shooting at Ganamub. The bush telegraph has a wide range! It was a good road and a short cut, but then we saw that we were driving to the Himba man's house (The one who shot at Jan) at Okaanga. The yellow Hilux truck stood there like a prophet of doom. We drive to the chief of Okaanga, Inotjizimbwi Tjavara’s, kraal. We want to discover the whereabouts of Tjise, Mahevitimo and Kauhonekwa.... While talking to the headman Tjavara and while Jan is telling him about the shooting, the yellow Hilux comes at great speed and parks next to the Cruiser in a cloud of dust only 50 m from us. Three Himba men with knobkieries jump out. I go up to greet them, the herdswoman’s husband, his halfbrother, another young man I don’t know, as well as the herdswoman.

The herdswoman’s husband and I have come a long way. The day in the year 2000 when Tjise came to Christ, he laughed out loud when she started confessing her sins. Years after that day he shouted at her while she was preaching: "I am not able to cast a spell on you so that you can die and the witch doctor can't either!"

Now he said: “Here, today, here we are going to kill the old man!” The man shows me where Jan’s son hit his wife. Jan, the chief and I are much older than the others, but we don’t have a choice, we are three against three! Jan hides behind the chief and me. Anger, aggression and hatred boils over like a fuse on a bomb and I keep praying, asking God to calm them down and to deliver us. Fingers are stuck in our faces and knobkieries are held threateningly. “Chief Tjavara, we ask your permission to destroy this man here today and to kill him!” The chief answers: “I am the chief and in my chiefdom no blood will flow today. There is the law, go to Opuwo and sort it out there!” Tjavara remains very calm and in his wisdom does not allow Jan to speak. At last he says to me: “Let’s go.” Before we leave, the herdswoman’s husband shows us the bullet hole made by Jan’s 9mm pistol.

We leave and we say to each other: “God is good, and what He does, is good; .... (Psalm 119:68). We couldn’t find Tjise, Kaunhonekwa or Mavehitimo, but picked up other Himba believers at Omarawarawa for the camp in Opuwo. We take an unknown detour back to Opuwo.

campWe camp amongst the Mopani trees outside Opuwo on Seka's farm. Our brothers and sisters in Kaokoland have a very special gift to be able to sing the old hymns in Herero. It is like ointment to our souls!

On Saturday the 22nd of November, Jan shares the story of the shooting at Ganamub with the group leaders. The leaders discuss the problem and pray together that the matter will be handled with Godly wisdom. The work of the Lord in Ganamub, Ondije, Okaanga and the whole of Kaokoland is at stake here.

Rev Jacob Schoeman shares what it means to pray continuously and to walk with God. Sunday morning, 23 November, it’s my turn and we look at how God used the negative things in Joseph’s life to make God's dream for him come true.

May God give and pray with us that, in this time, we will listen intently to and distinguish God's voice obediently so that we will be part of Christ's triumphal procession to change the recent negative events to a resounding victory for His kingdom. Paul confirms this truth in Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

jan and tjavara

himbasMay you have a blessed Christmas time, and may you honour the King of all kings with your whole being.

Erik van Zyl

A mission outreach conceived in the hearts of Ovahimba believers

tjise

 

 

Just before noon, Jan and I left Sesfontein so that we could keep our 6-month promise. In search of Tjise.

 

 

 

 

 

himbasAt Ondije we find the school principal, Mr Tjambiru: Tjise is praying with other Ova-Himba Christians in the mountains on the other side of Sanitatas in the desert. Mr Tjambiru gives us Jakutwa as guide, he knows the place. Jakutwa can now read a little already. He accepted Jesus as saviour in May 2014 at the Tsumeb men's outreach, after which Mr Tjambiru and I convinced his Ova-Himba parents that "behind the books" is better than "behind the goats"! And so we pass much game: mountain zebras, oryx, giraffes...

game

himbasWe drive far, past Sanitatas, over the Khumib River, into the wide open plains of the desert. We drive to the mountains in the desert where 'n small group of Ova-Himba Christians retreated in order to seek the Lord's face in prayer.

himbasThen we spot them. A little tented village comes into view. Under a tree, cut off from the outside world so they can commit themselves to the Lord.

himbasThe Lord's timing is always perfect, because "As for God, his way is perfect." (2 Samuel 22:31). It was the Lord who gathered this group for the outreach, the 6-month-old promise. I discuss the outreach with Tjise, Uaherura, Mavekotoka and Uakungamana. "We'll go on the outreach tomorrow, tonight we'll pray on the mountain, because we made a vow to God." They share it with the rest of the group, and as with one voice the whole group decides: "We'll go with." Of the 14 women, 9 men, 2 boys and many babies, only two can't go. Christians from various churches, of one mind, working and praying together; Tjise's church (Dutch Reformed), the Mission church and other smaller churches. They gave me an opportunity to bring a message and how great was their joy when I could provide 18 of them with Herero Bibles. After a Himba-supper consisting of goat's meat and "pap" (maize porridge), I showed them the Jesus-film. At half past eleven all the believers then went up the mountain to pray.

himbasWhile going up the mountain, I think of Jesus who spent the whole night in prayer before electing his twelve disciples the next day. There was quite an icy wind on that mountain! The darkness of night was filled with prayer, song and messages and it could be heard as far as the campsite above the whining of the wind. On the mountain I encouraged them from God's Word. "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:12-13) "Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known." (Jeremia 33:3) Uaherura's message from John 4 was deeply touching: Jesus is the giver of life, He gives the living water, but it is not a cheap promise. It's not easy to follow Jesus, because it comes with a cost. We need to take up our crosses and go and share the gospel with our families, friends and neighbours who don't know Jesus! Later Sipho Tjiraso and I came down the mountain, but the majority, despite the icy wind, spent the night there in prayer!

himbasAt dawn, the Ova-Himba believers came down the mountain and immediate preparations were made for the outreach. I leave for Okaanga to fetch Kauhonekwa and Ueisatjo. After dropping Jakutwa at the school (Ondije) and picking up Chief Tjavara's wives, I first had to pick up a slaughtered goat that Tjise gave to he outreach. The group decided to first visit Orupembe and then Omungunda. It is already past noon when Jan, Kauhonekwa en Ueisatjo and I join the rest of the group in Orupembe.

himbasAt Orupembe, 60 people came to watch the Jesus-film, after which the cold weather chased everyone to bed. Early that morning Tjise, Uaherura and a few others visited the sick and prayed for them. At Tjise's request I preach the Word of the Lord to more than 400 people. A message from 2 Cor 5 on the second coming of Christ, the judgment seat of God, as well as salvation and rewards in heaven led to a long, fruitful discussion and question-and-answer session. We depart just after 12 via Onjuva to Omungunda, because at Omungunda there's a funeral.

himbasAn Ova-Himba funeral at Omungunda is an opportunity to share the good news of the Gospel, but it's also an opportunity that the devil seizes to, through fear and superstition, keep people enslaved to sin. When we arrived, the Ova-Himba believers immediately went to express their sympathy to the family. They obtained permission for me to preach at the family's home that evening. In the afternoon we cooked, a delicious "gemsbokpot" (oryx meat in a pot on the fire), and most of us rested after the all-night prayer on the mountain.

himbasOn Friday morning I preached from Revelation 6 and 22. Jesus' first coming was as the crucified Lamb on Golgotha, his second coming will be as the Lion of Judah in all glory and splendour. Then every knee shall bow before him, even that of the witchdoctor at Omungunda. After a long discussion time, we say goodbye to the people of Omungunda. The convoy of 4 vehicles has to go and drop people at Ondije, Omarawarawa, Okaanga, and Okondjombo. Pray that the Lord's Word will show its power and bear fruit. The team decided that the next outreach will be to Puros. When can we go?

himbas

 

 

Jan and I still have a long way to travel. Tjise and her grandchild get dropped far away in the mountains in the direction of Otjihaa. The road has run out and even a Cruiser can't go everywhere. Then there's a list of believers in her church who need Bibles, we hand over 5 altogether and also 4 audio Bibles for her to distribute. We share lunch in the shade of a tree draped with a blanket and in the heat of the day we travel further to go and drop Kauhonekwa and Ueisatjo at Okaanga.

 

 

himbasJust past those mountains is my house! But our outreach is not finished yet! We still have an outstanding promise! Back to Ondije's school to go and fetch Mr Tjambiru and his wife, otherwise they'll be stranded there the whole weekend. Their love for the Lord and for the children is reason enough to spoil them. Camp was set up in an isolated riverbed just before Etanga and delicious food was cooked, "potjiekos" (casserole on the fire) with lots of meat together with Mrs Tjambiru's delicious pap!

himbasLate that evening we chatted about the Ova-Himbas and their lives and we continued chatting in the early morning as well. The Tjambirus really love the Lord very much and have the interests of their people at heart, but first the interests of the kingdom. Pray for them that their love for Jesus will increase and their light shine brightly. They are of those who may be last now, but will be first in the kingdom!

Jan and I still went to see Rev Jason in Opuwo. Saturday afternoon I managed to arrive in Kamanjab in time to see how the Striped Shirts (Western Province rugby team) hold the Currie Cup high! The Sunday service was a great start to the week and a couple of hours later I arrived safely back in Windhoek. Please pray for us as a family with all that keeps us busy!

Erik van Zyl

NETS and Kunene for Christ take hands on Queen Sophia

netsWednesday night, 10 September, the magnanimous generosity and delicious food of Chris and Jessie van Rooyen bowled over a group of 10 students and 2 lecturers from NETS (Namibian Evangelical Theological Seminary)!

netsChris shared his calling and testimony with the group. He also shared how the paths in his life led to the government reaching an agreement with Kunene for Christ and how the Lord put him, Jessie, Sienta-Mari, Kaleb and little Lisa on Queen Sophia to be salt and light!

netsQueen Sophia (21 000 ha), a land resettlement project by the government, needs another injection! Chris and Jessie and their family have 7 goals for the people on Queen Sophia: improved living conditions, establishment of strong leadership in the community, proper childcare, accessible and sustainable medical care, increased productivity and income through agriculture, establishment of small sustainable businesses and the managament of Queen Sophia with integrity. Pray for them. What a challenge and what an opportunity to, in a new and fresh way, advance God's kingdom! As mission coordinator for Kunene for Christ, as well as NETS lecturer, it was a privilege to play both roles during the outreach. What a privilege it was also to stay with Chris and Jessie! I was impressed with the way that the NETS-team served the people of Queen Sophia. Every morning was started with prayer and a commitment to the Lord.

netsThe team focused on Queen Sophia Primary School. The infectious enthusiasm shown by the principal, Mr Harry Ashiphala, flowed over into the manner in which the team worked with the children. With drama, song, memory verses and games the simplicity and power of the liberating gospel were imprinted on the children's minds. The devil may come to kill, steal and destroy, but Jesus comes to give life in abundance (John 10:10)

nets

netsThe team also visited the 50 homes and the outposts on Queen Sophia. On Thursday, Friday and Monday, they ministered with the Word and prayer in the lovely church built by the Franschoek DR church.

netsSaturday was games day, there was a talent competition and the day was concluded with a delicious braai (barbecue)! On Sunday the students led the service and the sermon was translated into Damara and Oshikwanyama.

netsOn Saturday, my role at Kunene for Christ took me to the farm Fonteine, which is in Damaraland, to take the memorial service of Tannie Lizzy Beukes. She was Grandma Hannie's daughter and spiritual companion and oom Jantjie Rhyn's oldest sister. Fonteine will never be the same again, because, although Tannie Lizzy never had children of her own, she was a mother to many! On the way back, on Sunday morning, I preached in Khorixas, after which I rejoined the team on Queen Sophia.

netsWe concluded with Ezekiel 47 on Tuesday morning. May the life-changing power of God's Spirit transform Queen Sophia into an oasis of blessing and grace for its people. Pray for Chris, Jessie, Sienta-Mari, Kaleb (remember the mountains!) and Lisa, that they'll be worthy bearers of God's abundant grace.

No-one enjoys goodbyes and the Van Rooyens and the children of Queen Sophia really found a place in the hearts of the students. Some of them wanted to remain behind. Who knows, maybe some of them will receive a calling into ministry at Queen Sophia!

Erik van Zyl

Napier and Riviersonderend Kaokoland Outreach 2014

early morning

“They replied, ‘Let us start rebuilding.’ So they began this good work.” (Neh. 2:18) These words could just as well have been those of the outreach teams sent by the Dutch Reformed Churches of Napier and Riviersonderend. As Nehemiah did back then, these teams from the Southern Cape travelled almost 2400 km to the remotest part of Western Kaokoland to plaster the inside walls of the Dutch Reformed Church’s building at Ondije.

As in Nehemiah’s case, several obstacles had to be overcome before the work could begin. Cement, lime, wheelbarrows, a 1000-litre water container...all these things had to be transported there. More than 2000 litres of water had to be transported 24 km from Onjuva.

over the mountains let us build erik and jan

Why all this effort? The onyoka (Herero for snakes), intruders entering over the wall, literally drove the children of the Lord from their little church building! Nehemiah also rebuilt Jerusalem’s wall to keep the Lord’s enemies out. The onyoka literally emerged through the stone walls during services to chase off the congregation. With great humor, Rev. Jason Ngambue tells the story of how he himself preached in the little stone church and how a zebra snake inside the wall had everyone running out at great speed!Why all this effort? The onyoka (Herero for snakes), intruders entering over the wall, literally drove the children of the Lord from their little church building! Nehemiah also rebuilt Jerusalem’s wall to keep the Lord’s enemies out. The onyoka literally emerged through the stone walls during services to chase off the congregation. With great humor, Rev. Jason Ngambue tells the story of how he himself preached in the little stone church and how a zebra snake inside the wall had everyone running out at great speed!

The team arrived at Ondije on Thursday, 3 July, and, under the leadership of Pierre Vlok, got to work immediately. They brought in sand, filled the holes in the wall with gravel and mixed cement while the plasterers did their job...it truly was a team effort! Everyone did their part.

building let us build building building
festive service morning service

On Sunday morning, the “new” building was inaugurated with various choirs singing praises, yes, a communion celebration to the glory of God. Himba believers were brought to the service from as far as Okaanga. The Scripture reading was from Philippians 1 and 2. Just like the snakes seeking out holes in the stone wall of the church, so the serpent of old, Satan, wants to find holes to sow division among believers. Unity is possible only when believers fight together for the sake of the Gospel and when they bow the knee to one another in humility. Rev. Kobus Pretorius served the Communion and the Ondije Primary School Choir, a young Himba girls’ choir as well as the outreach team choir, concluded the service on a celebratory note.

festive service morning service morning service

The outreach team’s work at Ondije did not end with the church building. Marius Swart and his son, Laurentius, with the help of MD and Klara, built a swing set, which they erected at the school. The reward? The joy on the children’s faces as they ride the swings.

tjambiru laurentius,marius nissan

Marius’ and Laurentius’ mobile workshop, including a welding machine among other things, seriously worked overtime. On top of my trailer’s leaf springs breaking, Steyn du Preez’s Nissan Patrol also provided us with some challenges. (Steyn is from Shalom Ministries (Angus Buchan)). The car’s main leaf spring broke cleanly in half. After devising a solution or two, we managed to get our (challenging) friends back on the road again.

childrenWe give thanks to the Lord that the team could still make the time to visit all the small, remote schools in the northwest of Kaokoland. Orotjitombo, Ongongo, KM Maunda, Etanga, Ondjie, Otjitanda, Otjinungwa, Onjuva, Ombombo and Otjiu. Open doors and receptive hearts and gratitude on the children’s faces made it easy to share the gospel of Jesus. The team was blessed with having 12 young people, of which 4 were school-going age and six were students. Under Klara and Magdaleen’s leadership, they very quickly came up with an apt drama skit to bring justice to Rev Kobus’ message of living water for schools. The skit involved a woman (Magdaleen) who is being pulled in all directions by sin and pleasure, as well as by a witchdoctor (Rev. Jason), but who is eventually released by Jesus (Pierre), who gives her the living water. Elouise, our youth worker’s apt interpretation and message, together with song, games and the Living-Ball presentation, brought the gospel across very effectively.

woman at well witch docter melodies

Rev Kobus also made a huge effort to donate soccer balls, (for the World Cup!), Look&Listen picture books (Bybelmedia) as well as other literature to the teachers and to explain where necessary. The Jesus film was also shown on several occasions and where requested, Herero Bibles were given to believers.

dancing world cup kobus

Mr Tjambiru, the principal at Ondije, gave a new meaning to the phrase “thank you”. “How do I thank you? My joy is too great, I don’t have words to describe my joy to you!” His gratitude is our reward.

I say goodbye on a nostalgic note. The outreach this year was uniquely special in many aspects. My thoughts wandered to long ago. Karara (Klars’s Himba name) and Magdaleen, my daughters, joined the Napier outreach for the first time in 2000, 15 years ago, when Tjise became a believer. Fiela (Elouise Fourie) were with us from 2003 to 2005. Thanks to Oelies that she could accompany us again! What a reunion it was! Magdaleen turned 20 out in the open veld with a chocolate cake to boot!

Thank you for your prayers for Kunene for Christ, the outreach, and our family.

In Christ

Erik van Zyl

The outreach of the men of the Tsumeb Dutch Reformed church to Kaokoland (23-26 May 2014)

early coffeeIn the early morning we had coffee in the Hoarisub river bed. The men's hearts were full of joy because of what they had experienced. Johannes de Koning told me, Erik, that he had never seen anything like this in his whole life - Ovahimba believers who were being transformed by the power of God and urged by an insatiable hunger for God.

The annual camp for the men of the Tsumeb congregation of the Dutch Reformed Church ended up being an outreach to the Ovahimba believers in Kaokoland. Roelf van Tonder organized everything and late on Friday afternoon we departed from Opuwo and it was already dark when we pitched camp in a river bed. Jan Kasupi entertained them with the story about the lion biting off his finger and the time he had hit and killed a puffadder with his hand. He also shared his faith journey.

johannes de koning road building

Johannes could not let the opportunity pass to share the Gospel with a few Ovahimba Christians. Jan Kasupi is the translator.

The mountain pass to Okaanga was very difficult and we had to make way for the trucks. The men enjoyed the road building immensely.

johannes and marioWe drove through the red plains of Kaokoland to Ondije and dropped 18 bags of cement at the little church building. The Napier/Riviersonderend team is on their way to plaster the interior wall to keep the snakes outside.

To be out in the veld as well as the 4x4 experience was a highlight of the whole tour, but the exposure to the Himba believers was a turning point! The men from Tsumeb were deeply touched by their infectious joy in the Lord and the hunger to hear God's Word. About 30-40 people watched the Jesus film. Afterwards they wanted to hear the Word and stayed for a short midnight service.

sunday morningVery early on Sunday morning we shared a message with the people of Omurawarawa and afterwards while listening to the testimonies which followed, we realized ... the gospel, ....... is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: .... (Romans 1:16)

ngevekatikaThe God of the covenant is gathering a harvest among the people of the Omurawarawa area. Jan Kasupi asked Ngeve Tjihako why there are no beer bottles lying around and he answered that he and his people decided to serve the Lord. In this area Tjise Tjambiru was the first person to decide to serve the Lord and .... In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power. (Acts 19:20)

church at ondijeJohannes de Koning brought the message in the early morning service in the little stone building at Ondije. During the service more and more people arrived and Johannes had to start again and again, explaining all he had already said. Afterwards we heard a lot of testimonies where people told the others to repent and serve the Lord. Mavetokureka Tjivinda was the first one to testify.church at ondije

orchestra mavetukoreka erik and jan

jakutwajakutwa's parentsAfterwards Uarukisa Tjavara whispered in Jan's ear that her son of fourteen wanted to give his life to Jesus. Then I called him and read from Matthew 10:32: ‘Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.' While sitting outside Jakutwa made a commitment to Jesus Christ and ended with a prayer: Lord, let me bear fruit for you. I handed him a Bible, but he could not read. He had to leave school to herd the goats. We promised to be responsible for his school fees and after many negotiations his parents agreed that he could go back to school. Back in Tsumeb one person in our group took responsibility for all the expenses. Pray for Jakutwa.

Johannes de Koning had the last word: Our visit to Kaokoland was a life changing experience. The hard 4x4 driving experience was uplifting, but to see the power of God changing people's lives was amazing.

Read more on Johannes de Koning's blog: Woord-Skatte gemyn op Tsumeb.

Erik van Zyl

A "Five Roses" ministry in Kaokoland (9-12 March 2014)

zebrasgreen grassEarly in the morning of 9 March we had a service in Kamanjab. On my way to Jan Kasupi I stopped at Bennie Kruger's, farmer in Kamanjab district. Bennie lent me a cap with the words: "Five roses: trusted and loved" (I left my hat at home). The Lord protects me against the sun, but He has given so much more, the beautiful rains which fell in Kaokoland.

hoarisubcarcassJan and I spent the night at Etanga marveling at the strength of Hoarisub River's flood waters. You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water.... You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. You crown the year with your bounty, ....The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. (Psalm 65:9-12)

gardeningveld foodFor the Himba women and children there is no relief, the food is not yet abundantly. On the Okaanga plain we saw Ueisatjo and Kauhonekwa busy gardening. They have to get rid of the weeds before the next rain. There is nothing with the porridge to give to their kids, no milk, because their cattle died. They showed us some edible veld foods (omunandi and ombowa), which they were collecting.

ondije damAfter about two years Odije's dams are full. The cattle and goats have water drink again. The water should last a year or more, because there are not as many cattle as before.

 

 

ondijetjambirusMr. and mrs. Tjambiru are the teachers at the Ondije school. You can see love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (Gal. 5:22) in their way of living. They drink the same water as the goats and cattle, they walk everywhere, sometimes 24 kilometres to Onjuva or 15 kilometres to Okaanga. During the school holidays they are at home and Mr. Tjambiru is teacher, evangelist (Sunday sermon in the church), principal, housemaster and community leader! Pray for them!

uandasanamother and daughterEarly in the morning at Mavekotoka's house the Christians came together to hear God's word. It was a very long service and many questions were asked. The questions were about the drought, witchdoctors, spirits, their relationship with God. In the afternoon we sat to talk to Mavekotoka and her daughter Uandasana. Mavekotoka told us that after her baptism Uandasana wanted to give her life to the Lord and when she heard dat Erik was there, she couldn't wait to talk to us. In a prayer she made a commitment to the Lord Jesus. She testified about the Lord's protection against snakes and predators in the veld. She also told us that she knew God had made her and called her to serve Him.

foodThat afternoon on our way to Okaanga we saw Tjise and a group of women working in their gardens. We stopped and told them about the handing out of food to the Tjambirus and there and then they had a meeting on how to distribute the food at Okaanga.tjise

Tjise, the leader at Okaanga and Ondije, told us that while she was tending her goats at Okamanga, she led 5 people to the Lord. What an awesome God! He is faithful, "Trusted and Loved" like the words on Bennie's Five Roses cap. Our God does the impossible: ...He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs; (Psalm 107:35) God turns barren hearts into new people with vibrant hearts full of living water.

jantjie fonteine

My prayer is that God will use the food we had handed out to the people to draw them to Him! Be faithful to God and love Him wherever you are.

Erik van Zyl

Diehards for our Lord

ondijeondijeWe visited Kaokoland from 5-10 February 2014. Koakoland is very, very dry. Our Land Cruiser is progressing slowly down the mountain "road". We have an awesome view of the Ondije plains.

 

 

carcassesReverent Jason and I count the cattle carcasses while driving along, they couldn't make it up the mountain to graze. The Ondije plain looks like a desert. Okaanga is always a very busy water hole where the cattle and goats wait to drink, but now it is very quiet, the pump is not working and the Ovahimbas have taken their cattle elsewhere to where the rain might have fallen some or other time. Tjise Tjambiru moved to Okamanga in the mountains with her goats. These goats are really diehards in this drought.carcasses

healed armWe decided to visit Uanyanekwa Tjivinda (spiritual leader) at Otjana Tjozombahe (gardens of the giraffes). On our way we stopped at Tjihako Zaukira, Tjise's father. The Lord's timing is perfect, because when we stopped there, he was about to leave. We decided to stay for the night and hand out the food we had brought. He then went to fetch his wife and the other women at the cattle post. Katika was overjoyed to see us and showed us her litlle girl's arm (She burnt her arm very badly in September 2013). She showed us the arm and it had healed completely. God is good! I then fetched some other women at a further cattle post to come and watch the Jesus film.

cattle postwomen

cattle postgiftAt dusk Vetumbuari and Uanyanekwa were back from the cattle post. We received a goat as a gift, typical Kaokoland hospitality. It was slaughtered immediately and would be served as dinner for everyone to share the feast! What a joy to experience fellowship under the African night sky! We shared a meal of goat's meat and "pap" while watching the Jesus film.

early morning.....not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. (Amos 8:11) An early morning service on a Friday morning. The word of the Lord was served by me, Erik and from 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.) (2 Corinthians 4:17) The Lord Himself builds his kingdom. Jason had 16 personal discussions with people who only wanted to rededicate themselves to the Lord Jesus. It was gratifying that two men also wanted to serve the Lord: Councelor Kapahereu Tjiningiri (Katika's husband) was one and also Vetumbuari ( Uanyanekwa's husband)gift

brahmanThis Brahman bull came and stood in our midst like a ghost. He is in an excellent condition. Then I realised that his owner is giving him feed supplement.

 

 

 

foodaudio BiblesWe are very grateful to God that we were able to hand out a considerable amount of food (Morvite-pap). Uanyanekwa and Vetumbuari, as well as counselor Kapaherue will be responsible to devide the food fairly among the believers. Vekeura and Kandongo were overjoyed when they received their audio bibles.

 

 

 

tjiseWe took the "road" to Tjise who has always been an inspiration, she is always joyful and thankful, even when all her cattle died. We handed her some Morvite-pap. She started to praise the Lord for the food, called the youngsters who had showed us the way and thanked the Lord for his provision. That evening after the showing of the Jesus film, she handed out the pap. Approximately 15 young people saw the Jesus film for the first time. May the Lord touch their hearts with the message of Jesus Christ. Tjise is also a diehard.

 

 

jantjiefonteineWe then visited Jantjie Rhyn in Damaraland on the farm Fonteine. Jantjie is the elder and spiritual leader of the Dutch Reformed Church in Kamanjab. Damaraland's beauty isn't marred by the drought, it is still an awesome sight.

chris and emmieOn Sunday evening I slept over at Chris and Emmie and enjoyed their hospitality. Pray for the believers in Kaokoland and Damaraland that they will stay faithful to our Lord Jesus in difficult times, for rain in Kaokoland and Damaraland. Psalm 107:35 - He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs .... While I am writing here, it is raining in parts of Namibia.