Desert Tracks

EXPLORING AIM’S MINISTRY VISION FOR NAMIBIA

Photography by Jordan Andre

Written by Kevin & Cami Zwart

Namibia is a country of vast expanses. Being twice the size of California with only 2.5 million people, you can drive for hours upon hours without seeing a single soul. It’s a nation of breathtaking scenery and people of beauty: a nation with a long history of violence and injustice which has sunk deep into the hearts of most who live here. If you get to know a Namibian, they will be kind, warm, and friendly; yet as you draw closer to them, you will find many are hurting and divided. The Namibian Church is present, but because in the past it was either overtly political or overly dogmatic, it has lost its first love for Christ alone and has been rendered fairly ineffective. In this state of deep wounds and hurts, however, there is also hope seen in those who do know Christ, those who have experienced grace, give forgiveness, and daily choose to move forward, reaching those around them.

 

The Namibian church should be a sending church, actively involved in crossing cultural and political boundaries as they are compelled by the love of Christ. AIM Namibia endeavors to serve that purpose, and His Glory!

Kevin Zwart

Namibia Unit Leader

Stephen, Kevin Zwart, and two other pastors participate in the training in Rundu, Namibia.

Kevin Zwart with Stephen, a bi-vocational carpenter and evangelist who walks or hitchhikes up to 100 km to visit and encourage local churches and to share Christ.

Africa Inland Mission’s desire in Namibia is to come alongside those believers, churches, and like-minded groups and provide discipleship, encouragement, and training to those who need a firm foundation and brotherly love. AIM for decades has been involved in Theological Education in the capital city of Windhoek and various settings and will continue to be; however, the Church is established in these places, and there are indigenous people who want to serve and bring others to Christ. Therefore, AIM Namibia sees its role as shifting from being on the ‘frontline’ to being the ‘coach’ and mentor. We desire to walk with the Church and help make the body of Christ here more effective for growing and spreading the Kingdom of God.

Chief Bobo is chief to about 3,000 San people living near Tsumkwe, a community on the edge of the Kalahari desert. Now a believer, Chief Bobo was baptized last year.

This is the entrance to the compound where Chief Bobo lives, complete with a solar powered well that allows his family to grow fruits and vegetables in an otherwise arid environment.

A San bushman woman and baby finding relief under a coiled passionfruit plant.  

“The San are an isolated and often intriguing people group because of their heritage and gentle community-based culture. They have been both frequent recipients of short-term outreach and abuse because of fame they received on the international stage [through the film The Gods Must be Crazy].”

Kevin Zwart

Namibia Unit Leader

Africa Inland Mission has targeted two “least-reached” rural areas of Namibia, and it is to those places that we wish to send teams. In 2019, we are praying for a team to come together to work with the San people in Tsumkwe on the edge of the Kalahari desert. AIM hopes to place a long-term team to tutor them, give them agricultural and community health training, and to disciple, equip, and challenge San believers to take up the call for missions. Later, we hope to partner and send a small team to work among the semi-nomadic Himba people in the northwest corner of the country.

Pictured center is Pastor Gerrie Cwi, a pastor with the Dutch Reformed Church, working to reach the San.

A San Bushman girl sits for a short while before continuing to play after her morning breakfast.

Pictured below is Chief Bobo’s home compound located in rural Northeast Namibia.