Namikango Mission

Our News Articles

Solar Power...We can now see the light

May 3, 2013

Power outages have been a constant problem in Malawi for years. This small country has struggled with their power plants not producing enough electricity to handle the need. Electricity comes from a hydro plant on the Shire River. But, they have an overload of usage on their system. Along with planned blackouts, they have also increased the cost of electricity.

Imagine in the middle of the evening you would suddenly be without lights, no email, no TV, no reading or studying, and with no refrigeration the food spoils. And this outage would continue for several hours. This has been a way of life at the Mission for years, not knowing just when the electricity would fail, but knowing it would happen and at any time. (We keep a lot of candles handy.) We did inherit a generator at the Mission and often use it when the power goes out. But, with the cost of fuel being so high, we could not afford to use it for very long at a time. We really needed another solution, so, we put out the question, “What is the possibility of using solar power?” Well, several have answered this call, allowing us to purchase a major solar power system for the Mission. About half the cost was from a member at South Plains CofC in Lubbock and the rest from our work fund. It is now installed and working very well.

We have been running on Solar/Battery power almost every day, from 7AM until 4PM, for the last few weeks. This means we are effectively able to run the staff offices, Bible classroom, Mission house, and one other building solely on battery for a full work day. This has been great for several reasons.
→First we like the fact that we are saving money. (It shows progress of moving, if only slowly, toward a goal of becoming more self-sustainable as a mission.)
→Secondly, it prevents our students and teachers from having to study in a dark classroom, when the power goes out.
It allows us to have internet service all day long, whereas before we could go an entire day with no access.

The installment of the new system has also enabled us to use the generator in other places across campus such as powering the Maternity Clinic and our well water pumps when needed. We went without water for several days last year due to long power outages and we now have a solution for this.
→Lastly it minimizes stress in many areas of day to day life. This may appear small, but it means a lot to us personally. One lessening of stress is that we don’t have to continuously find alternate solutions for keeping our food from spoiling when the power is out for long periods of time.

We are looking forward to having this new tool here over the next several years. There are still a few areas we are working on to improve the efficiency and longevity of the system, trying to maximize its use and reduce future costs.

Our sincerest gratitude for this blessing. We are so thankful. Ben Hayes
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Updates

The fields in Malawi have changed from thick, green maize (corn) to dried stalks and overgrown weeds. The dry, cold season is approaching. Typically, while Texas enjoys its hot summer, we are experiencing temperatures in the 50s & 60s. Without heat in the house, it makes for brisk nights.

Several students have just arrived to begin Bible School classes here at the Mission. There are 14 very eager learners – 7 of which are brand new, and we expect a few more to join them. In total, we have a larger group than last year. With numbers like this, we are able to focus on more intimate study of the Scriptures, and build concrete relationships. Each student is assigned a mentor from our staff, which opens the door for more discipleship to take place.

We have a new Bible School Center that has just begun this year. The school is located in Rumphi, which would be about a 12 hour drive from the Mission – near Mark Thiesen’s childhood home. This is a wonderful opportunity to spread the teaching in the Northern reaches of Malawi. The school already has 30 students, and one of our students now studying here at the Mission will finish this year and go back to Rumphi (his home town) to aid in the work of the Bible School there.

The Maternity Clinic continues to have a high number of births. One day they delivered two sets of twins along with two single births. Wilson Tembo, who previously has overseen operations at the warehouse, has transitioned into the role of Clinic Administrator, while Symon, the previous Administrator, has moved into a position on the Bible School side of operations as an assistant to Rodrick.

Our home has been hosting visitors about every two weeks or so. We enjoyed a nice Easter weekend in the big city of Blantyre with some of our expatriate friends. Ben taught at a seminar all day on the Monday following Easter Sunday. It was a chance to teach some brothers in the city about Leadership.

Our children, Braylon & Brooklyn, are growing so fast. We enjoy our days playing outside and mostly staying around the Mission. We are constantly feeling the efforts of your prayers as we continue to learn the roles in which we can be effective for the Kingdom.
Blessings,
Ben, Becca, Braylon, & Brooklyn