Stability and economic progress followed independence in the 1990s, and Christians united in prayer at that time. But the country could fall into ethnic conflict and economic collapse if good government and community harmony do not prevail. Pray that the nation’s leaders would address the gap between rich and poor, land ownership issues, and HIV/AIDS with wisdom and determination. People migrate to cities for work, but end up in shantytowns. Ovamboland (in the north) suffers the most poverty. Namibia suffers scars from its colonial past, from the legacy of apartheid, and from the terrorism before independence. Pray that in Christ both perpetrators and victims might find forgiveness and peace.
German and Finnish Lutheran and then Anglican missionaries gave birth to large denominations in the 19th Century. Liberal theology and syncretistic Afro-Spiritism eroded that spiritual heritage, and now many self-styled Christians are either nominal or incorporate unbiblical practices into their faith. Reformation is greatly needed, but first there needs to be an opening of hearts to the Spirit. Pray for a biblical faith to be restored throughout Namibia's many churches.
New life in the churches has come recently through new mission activity by SIM/AIM, YWAM as well as Reformed, Baptist and Pentecostal groups, particularly to under-reached areas and peoples. Charismatic fellowships - both independent and within many denominations, including the mainline groups - bring new life and fervour. Several strategic groups formed to see Namibia transformed for Christ, the Evangelical Fellowship most notable among these. Pray for all to hear the gospel once again and many to turn back to Christ, and pray for unity and cooperation among all groups seeking to uplift Christ in this nation.
Missions are experiencing a time of growth as the need to re-reach many peoples in Namibia becomes apparent. Pray that they would minister in the power of the gospel, but also with sensitivity. Major missions are: AIM, YWAM, AoG, SIM.
The less-evangelized peoples. Pray for:
- The San (Bushmen) cluster of peoples - much romanticized but in reality a suffering people. Their traditional way of life is threatened by cattle ranching, mining and conservation efforts, not to mention the havoc wrought by sedentary vices. The NGK and Pentecostal Assemblies work among them, yet the San have barely been touched by the gospel; their animistic faith and semi-nomadic lifestyle require a very special kind of outreach.
- The peoples of the Kavango and Caprivi Strip in the northeast - the Mbukushu, Wayeyi, Gckiruku and Fwe. Many are animists. AIM/SIM planted several churches among them. A number of Adventists are among them as well.
- The Himba (5,000) and Dhimba (15,000) are offshoots of the Herero people in the barren northeast and in southwest Angola. Nearly all are animist, though a few are Lutheran and Reformed Christians. Bible translation into Dhimba is nearly completed, along with Scripture songs in traditional Dhimba forms.
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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.