Walvis Bay, Namibia :: Logos Hope's volunteers rebuild a flimsy church and encourage the grieving pastor and congregation.
Joining a church building project appealed to many active young people on board Logos Hope, and the ship was able to send a team each day for a week to help out at Rock of Faith Ministries, in the former German colony of Swakopmund.
The fellowship meets in a shelter built on the side of the pastor’s house. Atlantic coast weather had damaged the cardboard and tarpaulin roof, so the team of volunteer builders’ first task was to dismantle the existing structure – which they attacked with gusto!
As they dragged the rotting planks and broken boards, cracked plastic and torn tarp into a pile, the team experienced a reality check when they learnt this ‘scrap’ was valuable: The materials would be sold to people who live in nearby settlements, to strengthen their makeshift homes of cardboard and tin.
It became clear that for Pastor Augustinus Geingob, who started the church a decade ago, the rebuild was about more than fixing storm damage. His wife died nine months ago, and he and his congregation have just emerged from a phase of depression and diminished motivation.
“I was thinking about closing the church,” says the minister, “My wife, Olga, had always encouraged me every time I was weak. She was a mother to the whole church. It was a huge loss.”
Spending time fasting and seeking God’s will, Pastor Augustinus was reminded of his call to reach Namibian people who may be religious, but have yet to experience a real relationship with Christ. Slowly, the 120 members began attending more regularly and the cloud of grief lifted.
“I miss my wife, but it’s not like it was in the beginning,” the pastor smiles, “People are strong, and there’s a lot to do as we try to be light in the darkness. Having a more solid building is a new beginning for Rock of Faith Ministries.”