Lectionary Selection: Matthew 4:12–23
Prayers for Namibia:
God of fish and sea, snake and desert, God who meets us where we are, come close to your people in Namibia with rain for the drought in the land and your Spirit to nourish the people. Open their hearts and minds to the Good News of your boundless Love and your ever-present Companionship. Embrace them with joy and peace. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Namibia:
I think the favorite activity of the Sunday School children is singing. We sing in the Children’s Moment, sing again in Sunday School after worship, sing walking to school and in the afternoon for exercise, and we especially enjoy doing the motions together. We have taught each other many songs. The motions not only demonstrate the song and help to learn it faster, but they also engage the whole body in worship, and it is good exercise! We try to get the adults to join in as well- to get the body moving, the blood pumping and every part of us praising God.
"Fishing for Jesus” is one of the songs they taught me (I even know it in Afrikaans but can’t spell it.) “Fishing for Jesus, fishing for Jesus, fishing for Jesus every day; with my Bible in my hand, barefoot on the sand, fishing for Jesus every day.” The motions involve casting with a fishing pole, holding a Bible (arms out, palms up) and marching. I wondered about the images they might have to go with this song since they live in the Kalahari Desert and there are no lakes here, not even one the size of the “Sea” of Galilee. But most of them have had at least one trip to the ocean, the whole western border of the country, and the youngest boy loves fishing.
One of the things I have learned about being a Global Ministries Missionary Pastor is that it is important to understand what will draw people- what to use for bait. With the children it is singing, with the young adults it is listening to the hypocrisy they have witnessed that causes confusion about the place of the church in their lives, with the elders it is speaking in traditional language about God and trying to use the few Afrikaans words I know. But with the non-churched people it is petting their dog, asking about their family, telling them I am praying for them in the loss of a parent, or just saying hello when I walk around town. I am fishing for Jesus. The elders will be disappointed if there is never a non-churched soul “saved,” the parents may get exasperated if Sunday school takes “too long,” and the young people may not join the church. But God knows the ministry here is rich in love and abundant in joy. And that is where God lives-in the middle of the Kalahari, on the western beach, and on the Sea of Galilee with the disciples, fishing.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by The Reverend Dr. Loletta Barrett)
More information on Namibia: http://globalministries.org/africa/countries/namibia/
Global Ministries Missionary in Namibia:
The Reverend Dr. Loletta Barrett, member of Bloomington Congregational Church, Bloomington, California, serves with the Namibia Synod of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, in Kalkfeld, Namibia. She serves as a local pastor.