Namibia 2016

August 11-23

Located in the southwestern corner of the African continent, Namibia is a country torn apart by years of colonization and infection by HIV/AIDS. The infection rate by HIV is one of the highest in Africa.  Our team from NHF will join efforts with long-term missionaries Steve & Seoyeon Hong, who have been working to educate disadvantaged youths (ages 12-19) from the poverty-stricken areas of Windhoek the importance of believing, treasuring, and trusting Christ. 

Over the course of the 10 days, we plan to assist the Korean missionaries by

  • visiting homes of the youth group members
  • assisting in the English Youth Ministry by offering English translation and teaching support
  • reuniting and encouraging the Hope Village Orphan Ministry camp
  • leading a Purity Seminar for both the male and female youth
  • organizing and leading a 3-day Youth Bible Camp

Our trip will finish with the Youth Bible camp where the team will function as camp leaders/mentors. We will be worshipping, praying and studying Scripture together. Through it all, we’ll get to know the kids individually, learn about their lives, hopes, fears, and encourage them to have hope for the future in Christ.  

namibia '16 newsletter - Team reflections

As New Hope Fellowship continues to discern the places in which God's Spirit is at work in the world, bringing healing to brokenness and the salvation of Christ to hearts created to know Him, we are thankful for the opportunity to come alongside the missionary community of Windhoek, Namibia.  there, four missionary families are currently serving with the Korean-based organization, We Love Africa, including our New Hope brother and sister, Steve and Seoyeon Hong.  They have formed the minister of Agape Youth, where they minister the gospel each week to nearly a hundred vulnerable teens from surrounding communities.

So often, the work of ministry in God's kingdom, forward-looking and eternally-focused as it is, is not easy to quantify or tangibly grasp.  Yet the week that our N16 team spent in Windhoek this past August was a profound and life-giving glimpse into the promise of that coming Kingdom.  Through it, these eight brothers and sisters tasted joy of God's invitation to participate in His work, as the gospel of Jesus Christ goes forth to change lives and redeem communities.

Here are some of their stories.

team updates

august 18

All business

Hello dearest brothers and sisters,

It has been all business the last 2 days prepping all the materials (sermons, small groups, Purity and Unity/Racism seminars, structure and schedule) of the 2nd annual Bible camp. We have seen many of the same kids from last year and some have become Christians and many have grown significantly spiritually. One boy in particular named Reuben (on the back right of the below picture) was so so hungry to learn about the Word of God and constantly is asking us to explain and interpret the meaning of different scriptural text. Another boy named Phellepouss (in the back left of the below picture), was one of the poorest of the youth and doing the most poorly in school being many many grades behind. He often would come on Sunday service and the others would tell Steve that he really needs some food right away. Most kids eat one meal a day or every 2 days. Phellepouss sometime would not have eaten for several days. The first days kids were asked to recited memorized John 15:1-17, Phellepouss stood up and while many of the kids were laughing and doubting him, Phellepouss Perfectly recited the whole passage! All the kids roared in a cheer as Steve and Korean missionaries began to cry. Now Phellepouss’ demeanor is rapidly changing and he has been faithful in attending Sunday Service and God seems to be changing him.

A girl named, Taimi, was getting beaten every time she attended Agape Youth group service but STILL attend Sunday service faithfully and we somehow were able to convince her legal guardian to let her attend.

This will be a short post as we are packing to depart to a nearby campsite for the bible camp. We are not sure if there will be wifi there so will give an extended post when we return.

august 16

hope village orphanage and house visits

Hi New Hope!

Most of the team spent the morning at Hope Village, in a poor area of Windhoek. Many were return visitors and the kids immediately recognized us. Once again, the kids seemed more hungry for hugs and affection more than food or water. Just as last tim they all seemed much smaller than normal for their age and the kids that we recognized from last year did not seem to have grown. But yet, they seemed very very happy. Strange. Timmy said that he felt a little guilty because they are lacking so much yet they still seem happy and smile. A love gift of $500 was given to the orphanage. Thank-you New Hope Fellowship. Then part of the team again went to the homes of Agape Youth group kids to encourage them to sign up for the coming bible camp and to meet their legal guardian and their families. A tiring but fruitful day.  

august 16

all together now

A brief post…

The rest of the team arrived Monday after approximately 24 hrs of traveling. Peter, Linda, Timmy, Chloe, Jen Chon, Min-Jung now have joined the rest of the team. Shortly after arriving the whole team had a delicious BBQ at Pastor Park’s home. A very funny meeting entirely in K-eunglish (broken Korean + broken English). In the end, it seems that we all are more on the same page in planning for the Agape Youth Bible camp. Tomorrow, several team members will be heading to Hope Village orphanage to visit the 90 plus orphans that we developed some relationships with last year and then will go into the neighborhoods of many of the Agape Youth for house-visits.

august 15

a sunday of three worship services

Hi New Hope!

The team had a great day filled with 3 very different worship services. First in the morning, Robert, Chris, Alex headed to the town of Samaria and spent an intimate service time with a group of Namibian toddlers approx. aged 2-6. Most with runny noses, dirt and dust filled faces, No shoes, but still filled with happiness and fully engaged in the singing and the short message by Korean Missionary, Pastor Park speaking on Ephesians 5:18. A familiar verse that New Hope just covered, on not getting drunk on wine, but to be filled with the Spirit. Most of these kids seemed starved for affection and wanted an endless hug and physical affection. A couple of 2 year olds with mohawk haircuts really took to Chris and were enthralled by our leather bound Bibles. Many of the children were continually interested in touching our hair, especially Robert because it looked and felt so different to theirs. Again we saw small toddlers with so little in terms of material wealth and food, and yet still had such earnest, joy filled smiles.

Then Robert, Chris, and Alex walked down the hill led by several kids to meet up with the other team members at Agape Youth group building at their new site called Max. This is new dedicated meeting place for the Agape Youth. The “building” if you will was created literally with two oversea crate containers from Korea. Roof and windows were added to make this new space new and bright space to hold a larger group of kids.

Along with the Hongs, Sharon & the kids were at the Max to help set up for the Sunday worship service. Max (pronounced “Mox”) is where Steve preaches weekly to the Agape Youth kids. Agape Youth kids’ ages range from 14 & up to 20 years-old. Today about 60+ kids came. Regular attendance range from 50-80 youths. Many of them have walked to the new meeting place from quite some distance away. Today was the last Sunday to collect registration forms for next week’s Bible Camp. This new site is further away from the old site. Yet, many still walk to attend a weekly service. It was amazing to see the worship team comprised of Agape Youth setting up & breaking down the equipment, and worshipping passionately. Steve preached on Romans 3:23-24, he illustrated with mansion in the sky. How do we get in? Do we break in or dig holes to get through? No! Only with a special golden key can we open these doors. What is that key? Some rightly said Jesus Christ. Steve pointed back to the scripture and said it is by justification, a precious gift given to us through Jesus who bore the full wrath of God against all past, present and future sins. It was a powerful reminder and a great way to prepare the youth for the Abiding in Jesus theme.

  Kids were divided into small groups by age and recited John 15:1-17 from memory. The cost of coming to camp next week is about $10 USD but free if you have memorized and recite the entire John 15:1-17. This is no easy feat. But, many have recited them perfectly! What we notice time and time again is that these young kids without parental pressure, push themselves to memorize and to come prepared to be part of something they believed to be greater than anything else around them.

august 13

home visits in havana

Hi New Hope!

The team spent the day in Havana, a town where many of the Windhoek kids live. We met the newly formed worship team for the Agape Youth group, a group of young Windhoek kids that Steve has been discipling. The morning started of with several of the Agape Youth worship team members reciting John 15:1-17 perfectly by memory! Amazing! With the worship team of Windhoek kids leading us, we went to the homes of some of kids that were on the “fringe” of the Agape youth group. We were able to go to many homes and meet their families. The poverty was quite striking yet many still had ear to ear smiles. Many live in homes that during the day function as a drinking bar called “shebeens” where men come to drink alcohol. Many of the girls work in these bars to make money. Homemade alcohol, called Tombo, is pervasive in most homes and very young children become exposed to this and even begin drinking this at a very young age. The homes have no electricity or running water. There are stations where they pay money and may obtain drinking water. Occasionally we saw people carrying large plastic tubs to carry drinking and bathing water home. The homes were one room, dirt floor, and thick aluminum foil looking walls and roofing. Most homes had a female, matriarchal-figure present with a noticeable absence of a male, Father-figure at home.

Please pray for Chris Yoon. He shared a bit of feeling overwhelmed and helpless with the vastness of the extreme poverty and not being able to help and do more for more kids. In our nightly prayer/sharing time, Steve reminded us that this is all that they know and that kids have adjusted to this. The “western” mentality of needing more money, food, wealth, material possessions is not what they truly need. Their real need is the Gospel and to know Jesus.

Please, please pray for Steve Hong as he is run down and may have the beginning of a virus/cold. Also for Daniel as he too has been lethargic and with headache and fatigue/malaise. The teams health over the next 1.5 weeks is so much needed as much work is yet to come.

Tomorrow we will be able to attend 3 worship services (2 services with Windhoek youth and one Korean service with the Missionaries).

meet the team

We're really excited about the team headed to Namibia this year as there are some returning families as well as new members!

  • alex Lee

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  • sharon lee

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  • kate lee

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  • daniel lee

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  • tobias lee

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  • peter yoon

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  • linda yoon

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  • chloe yoon

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  • timothy yoon

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  • jennifer chon

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  • min jung kim

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Our fundraising activities have kicked into high gear!  Apart from our travel, we're aiming to fund the whole 3 day Youth Bible Camp for the 100 disadvantaged / at-risk youth in the Windhoek area.