A Need for Bible-based Churches
From the beginning of our ministry in Namibia, we heard many people complaining of the lack of Biblical, Christ-centered churches available for them to fellowship in. Apparently, many of the older churches have lost their zeal and effectiveness and many of the newer churches would struggle to be classified as a church by Biblical standards. Many are preaching as foundational truth what the Bible condemns as dangerous, sinful, or heretical. People are being promised many material items in the Name of Christ, but the Biblical warnings of obsessing over riches are not mentioned.
We Preach Christ Crucified
The focus of many churches is not Christ, at least not the Christ of the Bible. I had the opportunity one Sunday morning to preach on the attributes of Christ at a small church. After preaching at this church, I was unsure if the people in the congregation were understanding, agreeing, or even listening to what I was saying. It initially seemed as though my message was going over their heads. We heard later that many people were blessed and they were eager to listen to me the next time I preached the Word. “For as the rain and the snow come down from Heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but It shall accomplish that which I purpose and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent It.” Isaiah 55:10-11
Fellowship with the Saints
We had the wonderful privilege of meeting other believers and experiencing sweet fellowship with them. In one location, some Christians from different backgrounds organized a combined worship service. There were about 70 people from 6 different churches and home groups. I spoke to them about love from 1 Corinthians 13. The people were very kind and friendly. They were hospitable and even blessed my wife and I with baby clothes and toys.
Preaching, Teaching and Evangelizing
Namibia is a beautiful land full of contrasts. One can go from desert to fertile farm land to beautiful oceans or large rocky canyons. Similarly, our ministry in Namibia was one of contrasts. We went from ministering in home groups to assisting with rural church plants, to door-to-door Evangelism. We ran a two-day Evangelism Conference with a very new church. The first day we explained the way of salvation, the role of the Ten Commandments in Evangelism, simple Evangelism methods. Then, we lead a door-to-door Evangelism outreach. As always, people return from these outreaches full of enthusiasm and energy. Presenting the Gospel to others is certainly a necessary part of spiritual satisfaction and growth. The new evangelists said this is the kind of thing that they ought to be doing all the time!
Since it was mostly women at the conference, I thought it would be a good idea for the two women in our team to address those at the conference. The women really seemed to open up. One of them told us that her husband is unsaved and that he does not support her Faith. This makes life very difficult for her. While we shared some principles from the Scriptures with her, simply having the platform to share seemed to be therapeutic for her, and we prayed for her husband’s salvation.
We went out again for another Evangelism encounter. Again, we went door-to-door. One man came with us. It was his first time to use the Way of the Master and he found it to be most helpful. Almost every conversation he had with people ended with them telling him that they wanted to give their lives to the Lord.
During our ministry around Namibia, I had the blessing of meeting those pastors, leaders and believers who are faithful to God’s Word, passionate about Christ and set on making a difference in their churches and communities. God always keeps His people who have not bowed their knee to Baal. For true believers in Christ, man-made, emotionally charged, hyped-up experiences will not satisfy, but merely frustrate. If God is to move mightily by His Spirit, we should not settle for counterfeits, but rather practice discernment, pursue righteousness and spend time in prayer, the Word and honor Him in all we do.
Pray for Namibia
Namibia is a large country with few solid churches. While about 91% of the population claims to be Christian, many do not attend church and few understand salvation and/or the need for Christian holiness. Syncretism and the rapid growth of Islam are also serious threats to the Namibian Church. While these are serious issues, we do praise God for the faithful men and women who are bold enough to speak out against social evils and compromises within the churches of their country. Please pray for Biblical wisdom and daily strength for those who are faithful in service to the Lord.
“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek Him who seek the face of the God of Jacob.” Psalm 24:3-6
Rev. John Clifford
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021 689 4480