The The vision and work of 'Good News in the Omaheke'

Posted by Henk Olwage on June 27, 2012 at 9:00 AM


What are now game farms and cattle ranches, had once indeed been vast, wild hunting grounds, where people hunted to survive. But  today, the Omaheke is inhabited by a variety of people, counting inter alia two complete tribes who call it their home. Visitors interested in culture find little common ground in this bewildering human landscape.

The common ground there is, we find in Jesus Christ. He helps us to open our eyes and appreciate, to value and see possibilities, instead of perpetuating the mutual hatred there is in the world. Once people follow Him, there is common ground as vast as the hunting grounds of the past, waiting to be explored.

This is how we started and where we find hope to continue.

Our vision is to build a self-renewing team of friends and volunteers that can make a difference in the Omaheke. What sort of a difference and why? The changing world came upon sleepy Omaheke in a rush. Our town is bursting its seams, with nearly half of the inhabitants being unemployed. Distant Gam and Eiseb, until a few years back lonely land of wide valleys between dunes, is now being populated - but still wild and beautiful. Nature has to accommodate people. People have to accommodate other people. People have to have hope.

Building a team of co-workers and equipping them to address these needs, ensures that there will be hope. And brings variety together in one common purpose.

Practically speaking, it means that we are reaching the farthest corners of the Omaheke with all good that the Good News brings. We sometimes do it on rather less than a shoestring, that's why we established Omaheke Gospel Trust, with no other purpose but to allow people from elsewhere to participate and our team to be able to function. While some of our team have already planted churches in Mbukushu, far North of the Omaheke, and we have touched people in other parts of the world, right inside Gobabis is the test:

What can we do that is Good News to the diverse community of poor people that is half of town? How can we be Good News in the sense of bringing diverse groups together? How can we impact upon the next generation? How can we make this Biblical word come true - "when God's people move through the valley of Baca (unhappiness, gloom), they make it a fertile place with springs of water"?

So we established the Omaheke Gospel Trust, as a way of being good stewards of every kind gift we receive from God's people. 

We also established the Good News Center within reach of many people. Here, we care for children, always improving our programs and quality. "We" include quite a few people who were destitute till a few years ago, but have now become talented community workers, even project managers. The Center runs an early childhood development program, pre-school, after school, home-based care group, computer center, carpentry center and intensive gardening, with other activities being planned. In this way, a registered welfare organization had been born, Light for the Children Foundation, Namibia 427.

Our staff, consisting of owner-worker members from six different cultures (and more, when we have volunteers from abroad) shows what we stand for: it is possible to unite, to take upon ourselves a responsibility we ourselves have formulated, and to be a force for change in die Omaheke and beyond. 

As I said, we think both in spiritual and practical terms. Our spirituality is a 'spirituality of the road'. We therefore welcome, and need, co-travelers who can help us with whatever contribution they can make.

If we can do all these things on a shoestring, think what we can do with stronger support!

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