What crazy times we are living through right now! But we are thankful that our God knows the beginning as well as the end, He is in full control and we can trust Him.
Many people have been asking about our trip to Namibia. We wanted to give you an update and let you know more about our plans for the future: The coronavirus didn’t manage to spoil our trip in any meaningful way. We did have to change our flight plans to transit through South Africa instead of Europe and we escaped both Namibia and South Africa just before they closed their borders—we were happy to get back to our kids who were staying with their grandparents. (The grandparents were relieved, too!)
While in Windhoek, we were able to meet with some students and faculty at the Namibian Evangelical Theological Seminary. We spent two whole days asking questions and being interviewed, a third day was spent talking about the future. We were so encouraged to find a place that is passionate about equipping believers and sending them out into the harvest field. Namibia is a very cosmopolitan country with various languages and cultures all co-mingling but without a definite sense of identity or unity. The church in Namibia is no different and there is a great need for the Gospel to enter many people’s hearts in a transformational way. We are thankful that there is an excellent team of missionary and local lecturers who strive to make the school a Gospel light in Namibia and greater southwestern Africa. Imagine our surprise also when we found two missionary families connected to the school who had four kids each at the exact ages of our kids—it seemed to be a match made in heaven! At the end of our time, the school offered us an invitation to partner with them and we gratefully accepted.
What does this mean for the future?
The seminary is not offering us a paid position, we will be partnering with the seminary as missionaries with Africa Inland Mission. Since we are able to partner with the seminary at no cost to them, they are able to focus their resources on developing and training local lecturers and support staff. This means we will continue to trust God for our support every month just as we have for more than a decade now. Our timeframe for relocating there is August this year but, honestly, the coronavirus crisis has put everything in a holding pattern. We cannot move to Namibia until our work permits have been processed—a process that usually takes 3-6 months (sometimes more). Since government offices both here and there are either shut or working at reduced capacity, it means we have to be flexible with our future plans. What we know for sure is that God is in control and everything is in His hands.
The southern-hemisphere academic calendar starts in January and that’s when Eric would begin teaching. In the meantime, between moving and starting to teach, we would spend time getting settled in Windhoek, which means finding a place to stay, finding a car, getting furniture, learning the city, finding a church, etc. There is also a possibility of teaching some intensive classes with a partner Bible school in the north of country, but this also depends on the situation.
All in all, we are excited about the future and thankful that everything is in God’s hands. Please keep praying for an end to the global coronavirus crisis. Please also pray for us as we begin to make plans to move. Please pray that God would continue to provide for our needs and provide what we need to start fresh (again) in Africa.
Thank you so much for your prayers, support, and encouragement! Keep praying and keep trusting God because He holds the future!