Namikango Mission

Our News Articles

Our "Gentle Warrior"

Jun 4, 2013

I'm sorry to have to write that we've just received word that Amos Jakete has passed away. We do not know many details, only that he recently let us know that he had been diagnosed with cancer, though his health still seemed to be ok.  He was on his feet and teaching at one of our bible schools only a few days ago.  This is a tragic loss felt strongly by the Mission staff.  I knew him briefly and saw him to be a very kind, humble, godly man.  We will be taking a large team from the Mission here for the funeral and we will be providing the coffin and other necessities.  Please be praying for his family and the rest of the people here who knew him.  Everyone is quite shaken.  ~ Ben Hayes

Goodbye, Good Friend It is easy to make friends with the Mission staff in Malawi. Even with a limited number of visits, I got to know Amos Jakete. He was a good friend. He had a natural frown, always a frown, even when he smiled he was frowning. He looked fierce, even mean, butin reality he was a teddy bear. I called him “Gentle Warrior.” I tried to joke with him and take photos when I could catch him smiling. Amos was a dedicated teacher and energetic worker. There came a time when we needed a man to go to Mozambique – to live there and organize the Village Study Centers. This meant a lot of hardship, living away from home and family. It took some real dedication. But Amos Jakete was the one to step up and say, “Here am I, send me.” He spent several years there and did exceptional work. He has continued to teach in the Village Studies, even after he has retired from full time work at the Mission.

But, let me share a favorite story of mine with you about a time before he lived in Mozambique. It was Nov. 2002, I visited Malawi and I also wanted to make a trip into Mozambique to get a feel for the work there. I needed a driver and an interpreter. Jakete volunteered and, we set out in the Mission pickup; it was about a six-hour trip. I thought he was going rather fast, but instead of blurting out, “Slow down some!” I decided to use some tact, tact that I learned from my wife, Anita. (We celebrated 62 years this June 1.) When I get to driving too fast, she doesn’t say, “slow down,” nothing that direct. Instead, in her gentle way, she says, “A.J. is at the wheel,” referring, of course, to AJ Foyt the Race Car Champion. I can make the application. I tried to use this idea with Jakete when he was zipping along much too fast to suit me. I told him the story about AJ Foyt and how my wife says, “A.J. is at the wheel.” And how I get the

message and slow down. Well, we continued right along at a same high rate of speed, and after a long silence he shouted with great joy, “HEY, my name is Amos Jakete, I am A.J. at the wheel!” He wore a smile the rest of the trip. It seemed to work better for Anita than it did for me, but we did make it safely there and back. He will be missed! ~ Sidney Vaughn