Namikango Mission

Our News Articles

A Changing Season

Nov 5, 2012

Greetings! The heat of the dry season has arrived . . . along with increased daily power outages, usually in the evenings. Our supply system is overloaded and electricity has to be metered out, especially as it gets warmer. But, this time of year has its good points also, especially with the blooming of the beautiful Jacaranda trees around the Mission, These are huge trees covered with deep bluepurple blooms.
September 12th marked the end of another semester of intense study here at Namikango. The students have been diligently studying for the past six months here on campus and in 14 Village Study Centers; their studies have now concluded for yet another year. The school schedule is from April to September each year. This is the winter - rainy season, and now in the summer-dry months, students return home for harvesting and to prepare their gardens for the next rainy season. At the close of studies this year we were blessed to have some extra excitement before the students left the campus. That may sound a little strange, so allow me to explain.
“Foundations for Farming”
There is an organization here in Malawi called Foundations for Farming.” This is a grassroots organization whose goal is “to equip the poor to break the yoke of poverty” through a Biblical understanding of stewardship. Namikango has sent people to their facility for training in the past. A couple other staff members and I recently took a tour of their facilities to learn for ourselves. They are teaching basic principles of farming that most people in Malawi never learn, and as a result, they are changing people’s lives and changing the economy of Malawi - family by family. We were very excited by what we learned from them and were able to take some of their resources back with us to begin sharing with our students. We had nine of the students in our home the night before they left and showed them a video teaching these principles. We also have a very knowledgeable employee (Alex Nunu) in the field of agriculture, a staff member who was able to expand further on what had been taught. There was such excitement through the movie about farming as the students soaked up the new skills they were learning. When the film was finished, several were saying, “You have taught us from the Scriptures and we are very grateful, but now you have also taught us how to provide

for ourselves in a better way.” Of course, this has nothing to do with us as Becca and I combined know very little about farming, but we are grateful to God for providing us with these resources and this timely opportunity to share with our students right before they returned home. We plan to continue our own training in this field, not only to transform our region spiritually, but physically as well. It is a very exciting thing to be able to help the poor around us. This is in keeping with God’s passion for the poor; and truly, it is not a separate venture at all from teaching the Gospel, but rather an integrated one. God is concerned about the whole of our human lives.
We were blessed at the end of the month to have Robert Heyen and Terry Montgomery from Memorial Church of Christ in Houston – our primary supporting congregation, come and visit us for a few nights. It was a very refreshing time. It is good for a missionary family to have visitors from their home congregation early in their ministry to share in the vision. We indeed felt blessed. We look forward to another member from Memorial as well, Larry Wilson an Elder of the congregation, will be arriving this week.
Looking Ahead
As always, thank you for your prayers. God is continuing to guide His work here, and it seems He is opening doors as we begin looking towards the new season in the work here… – Ben Hayes

P.S. I think I should mention here we are expecting the addition of a baby girl to our family with the due date (Dec. 30th) drawing near. We plan to deliver in either Nairobi or the States due to the availability of better high-risk medical care. We are currently praying for guidance about this decision. Please be praying with us. Thank you!