Zebras at a Waterhole in Okaukejo, Etosha Pan, Namibia . PHOTO : J . Rieck

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pray For the Benguella Baptist Church in Lüderitz

                          

Lüderitz, a small harbour town in South Western  Namibia   is found one  of the least hospitable coasts in the world .  In 1487 the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Diaz on his voyage around Africa   had erected  a stone cross here, naming the Bay Angra Pequena. In the  1800’s  a  whaling , seal  hunting , fishing and guano  harvesting  industry was started here. The town was founded in  1883  when Adolf Lüderitz  acquired  this land  from Nama chief  Joseph Fredericks II to start a trading post.  


In 1909  after the discovery of diamonds   in the vicinity of Lüderitz,  it became a prosperous  town, and in 1912 it had already 1,100 inhabitants. After the diamond rush  had subsided the town  once again became a quiet little fishing village. The population census  in 2011 indicates that  13 700  people  are now living here. 
 
In 1990 Pastor Charles Whitson, a Southern  Baptist  Missionary  (see obituary  elsewhere in my  blog)  founded  the Lüderitz Baptist Church,  before retiring home  to the USA in 1992. The work was unfortunately insufficiently grounded in sound  doctrine and  it was soon was taken  over by  Pentecostals after Pastor Whitson’s departure. When Pastor Laban Mwashekele, a Reformed Baptist Pastor  visited the  town in the late 1990’s  a new group of  people,  hungry for the Word of God asked him to start a  new evangelical  and reformed work. Pastor Mwashekele  whose relationship with Southern Baptist missionaries  at that time had unfortunately  soured,  did not want to build on another man’s foundations, and so the Benguella  Baptist Fellowship was born.  At times  Pastor Bob Davey,  a  Reformed Baptist Pastor from  Looe, Cornwall  in the UK  had come in  the early 2000’s  to assist in evangelistic labours.

The Church and  the pastors corrugated iron home

The church fellowship has had a steady turnover of members  since then. This is    due to the nature of  the fishing enterprise  which now constitutes the main area of employment in this town. Fishing is seasonal  and  therefore people come and go. This has made it somewhat difficult to stabilize this  congregation.


The church fellowship  is presently under the oversight of Monte Christo Baptist Church  in Windhoek. The  Eastside Baptist Church currently   supports Pastor  Tony Mbundu   who has been sent there by Monte Christo Baptist Church   to  provide pastoral leadership in this community. A building programme has commenced a few years ago, and  very slow progress is being made towards   making  the building habitable. Antioch Bible Church in Johannesburg,   South Africa (Pastor Tim Cantrell) have contributed to the  the floor  of the church.  
Lüderitz  has a very harsh climate. The wind blows very strongly on most days, and  a sturdy building is needed  to  house the congregation. The community  is generally very poor, able to contribute little to  the ministry and Tony who was recently married to Kauna. They are presently living in a  corrugated iron shelter, adjacent to the church  building.


Last year a team of  members from Eastside Baptist Church had travelled to Lüderitz with  the purpose of  encouraging Tony  in the work  and to bring  needed supplies  for the ministry.   My wife Marcelle,  my children Martin and Kezia and I have just visited Tony and Kauna Mbundu in April 2013  with the purpose of seeing what our church  can do  further to help them  in their ministry  and  to build a home  that will shelter them from the elements.

Marcelle, Tony, Kauna, Joachim inside the  church building

Will you please pray with us for this  town and this work  which is so very isolated  from  all major centres (800 kilometres from Windhoek). Pray that the Lord would  add to the church. Pray that the Lord would be pleased to give  faithful co labourers to Tony. Pray that we may  find the finances to build a  home  in which Tony and Kauna  Mbundu can live in dignity.    

(2 Corinthians 1:10-11)

 
A typical house  adjacent to the church. We  would like to see one of these built for  Tony and Kauna
Joachim Rieck

May 2013

5 comments:

tinita said...

God Bless you all and all your works, hope this post can help them.

Thanks!

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Ken said...

God will help you stand. Even here i the USA we must struggle so to spread the Love of Christ and the true story of the Cross

Soniah said...

Wow!
What bravery! May the Lord be richly blessed by your ministry...may His Name be honoured as you continue in hard and harsh circumstances.

dzankel said...

gibt es noch Leute die der deutsch sprache erhält?

are there still german speaking people there?

Joachim Rieck said...

D.Zankel - Ja es gibt noch viele Leute in Namibia welche die Deutsche Sprache erhalten .