Namikango Mission

Our News Articles

Do We Dare?

Oct 7, 2014

by Gene Shelburne

Namikango Mission has always been tops on my list of worthy Christian causes. Since my oldest brother helped to found it well over half a century ago, and since I’ve known and loved all the Mission families since that beginning, Namikango has always held a special charm for me.

Because of this, I’ve encouraged all the congregations I have served to be generous in supporting this good work. At least, that’s what I thought I was doing. Back in the 1960s, at a time when our congregation sometimes struggled to pay our light bill, still the Mission’s bulletin listed us as one of the $100-a-month donors. We were serious backers of the Malawi work. Only one or two congregations out-gave us.

Fast-forward into the late 1990s. Nothing had diluted our enthusiasm for Namikango. We were still faithfully writing our monthly check and mailing it to South Houston. The same $100 every month. Without stopping to calculate that in that thirty-year span inflation had swelled our light bill eight to ten times. Likewise we were paying our local preacher seven times more than we did in the 60s. Every item in our church budget had ballooned except Namikango.

Mark Thiesen came along about that time. In his preparation to move to Malawi, he came to Anna Street in Amarillo and asked us if we would consider becoming his sponsoring church. We gasped and alibied that our church budget would never allow it. We told Mark that we thought our church was doing about all we could afford at that moment.

Finally we elders asked our membership about this and how much extra they could provide if we told Mark yes. We expected two or three hundred dollars tops. Imagine our dismay and shame when the members of our small congregation told us they would foot $1,000 a month. Overnight we caught up with inflation. And we elders heard the Lord chiding us, “Oh, you of little faith!”

During the past decade, every time we have increased our commitment to Namikango, our congregation has out-given the targeted amount. Today we send $2,400 per month to support this good work, and we find ourselves with more budget slack—not less—every time we increase our level of support. God’s people just keep out-giving us.

I tell you this story not to boast but to dare you also to think bigger about what you and your people can do to help Namikango’s ministries reach an entirely new level. The Mission’s board soon will be announcing exciting new vistas for this work all of us have learned to love. We hope you will be challenged to dream new dreams with us and to reach for new heights in the role you and your congregation can play in the next generation of work at Namikango.