Namikango Mission

Our News Articles

Something Rare and Special

Jun 11, 2014

By Ben Hayes

We are in the middle of something rare and special here at Namikango. We are beginning a vision plan for the future of the work here in Malawi. We've been praying about this over the last seven or eight months and have continually reflected back on what our early fathers had as their vision when the work here first began. We are blessed to be sitting in the seats where we are 52 years later, reaping the rewards of what was sown long ago, and learning from what they did. My great uncles – B. Shelburne and Roland Hayes – and their families were the ones who laid this foundation, as many of you know. Uncle B. will be coming to visit us here this month to spend two weeks of solid, well prepared, time with our senior staff. When B. visits, he is in high demand by everyone and has many meetings and visits to make. He and the Namikango Board of Directors have marked this trip out as a special one. The primary focus will be on team building, discussing the new relationship between those on the ground here and the newly formed Board in the US, and continued discussion on what the future vision of this place may be. To prepare for this time, starting eight weeks ago, B. sent over a series of readings that all the staff are commissioned to read. The material ranges from church history to discussions on money, relationships, and other topics. Along with this, we have been given a list of questions ahead of time to be thinking on, which we then intend to discuss together. For many of us here, the work of reading at home in the evening has been like reentering school days again. For some it is a new and somewhat taxing experience. This is good though, as it brings excitement as well as seriousness towards the fruit we intend to see in the days ahead. Additionally, on this side we have been fasting and praying 1 day each week as we look ahead towards this time. Though our Bible school is now in session, we have blocked out four hours each day for all the staff to be together with B for the two weeks he will be here.

This is one of those rare opportunities we have to be with one who has been a vital part of this work since it began, serving as a Missionary or as an advisor to the work. This is a special time for us because we are planning and working into another phase of Namikango Mission for the future, and to have Bro. B. with us right now will really be a blessing. We eagerly look forward to what God has in store for us in the days ahead. Getting to look back and see the seeds that were first planted, and to see what dreams and hopes they had in mind, will be exciting. And as we review the results of those dreams it will be a great encouragement for us to think long-term and to look forward to the future. Most of us have a tendency to want to see thingsdone quickly, but to review the overall results of those early seeds will help us learn to wait on God and to respect His time table, instead of our own. What an amazing blessing it is to be part of this: the past and the future. Please be praying for B.'s safe travel and for our time together, that it will deepen the unity of the team here, as well as unite us in vision for the future.

A Note from B. Shelburne

Bright, sunny days continue here, not what I had expected in June on the edge of winter. The tropical beauty of the Mission grounds almost knocks you over when you walk out each day. Someone marveled that Malawi can hold so much beauty and so much human need at the same time. I came here for staff training and these began last Tuesday. As of today we have done three of the ten sessions and they have gone wonderfully well. Ten key staffers were chosen to participate. Many of them are relatively young but have been here long enough to get established and take on responsibility. They are all, I believe, very committed to their roles and to the Lord. Working with them is enjoyable.

We started out with the question "Who are we." We recalled the birth of the mission and its original goals (the primary goal being the training of church leaders and workers). We looked at the developments in church history that contributed to who and where we are today. Namikango is particularly known for encouraging peace and unity. We recognized the past beliefs that have guided us and will continue to guide us. We noted the hand of God on the work at many points and recognized that Namikango is moving up to a new level of ministry. The old facilities are crumbling and the future will require lots of investment and retooling. But before we lay physical foundations we need to strengthen spiritual ones. We are looking at Thomas Campbell's Declaration and Address and how to recover the valuable ideals of the Restoration Movement.

B. Shelburne