African Adventures #2
What an adventure that past weeks have been! The fun of cooking ovizema (cornmeal porrage) over an open fire, and eating it hot with omavara (goat’s milk) in the shade of a spreading tree, while watching the butterflies float in the warm breeze and listening to the songs of tropical birds and the chatter of happy children. The hard life of missionaries, for sure…
Actually there’s no better way to find out how the Himba people speak and live than just living with them, so that’s what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks. As I mentioned in my previous e-mail, I spent two weeks studying language and culture at the mobile school at Okuhozu about 30 kilometers north of Opuwo. I even ended up substitute teaching in one of the classrooms
for three days!
One evening during the second week at Okuhozu I had a really neat
conversation with a couple of my friends at the school, Cascas and Untag. As
they and some younger children sat around my campsite one evening I felt
impressed I should tell them a Bible story: the story of Elijah on Mount
Carmal (1 Kings 17 & 18). After the story, we sat together watching the last
rays of the sunset fade into night. Suddenly Cascas broke the silence with a
startling question. “When is God coming?” he asked. He wanted to know when
Jesus would return. I laughed and explained to him that I don’t know exactly
when that will happen, but I know it will be very soon (Matthew 24). Then I
told them very simply and briefly the story of the coming of Jesus, His life,
death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven, and His promise that He will
return soon to take His people home. (John 14:1-3) Untag told me that he
really wants to be a Christian. He is good friends with Charlie Eklund,
another missionary here, and has studied some with him. So I told him how he
could pray and accept Jesus into his heart. We had prayer together and I told
my friends goodnight as I headed to my tent. But Cascas followed me, and as I
reached my tent he told me, “I want to be a Christian!” Praise God! We talked
for a few more minutes and had prayer again before he left. You know, it’s
for people like this that I came to Namibia. If that’s the whole reason I
came to Africa, to pray with Cascas and Untag and lead them a step closer to
Jesus, then it was worth it all!
After the two weeks at Okuhozu, I spent a couple more weeks in a small
homestead near Opuwo called Ondore. I spent a lot of time sitting out in the
gardens, listening to and talking with the Himba people, and helping them
plant maize and repair their fences. Most of the people know very little or
no English, so I was forced to communicate in my limited otjiHerero
vocabulary or use hand signals. Actually I was surprised how much we could
communicate in spite of the language barrier.
It was so funny talking to the ladies in Ondore that knew some English. I had
been introduced to everyone simply as “Daniel” but they wanted to know my
last name. I told them, McFeeters, but somehow no one could pronounce that!
So finally one of them said “Mosquito” so ever since I’ve been “Daniel
Mosquito”!!! Actually the people call me “Ndaniella” in otjiHerero (all words
have to end in a vowel) and the children at the church here gave me the name
“Ngatangwe” which means “Praise the Lord”.
Actually, come to think of it, I kind of like the name Ngatangwe. It’s such a
blessing being able to be here and do what I can to help these people. There
are trials, for sure, but we can’t focus on those. Since I’ve been here I’ve
seen miracle after miracle, and I can’t help but say “Praise the Lord!” And
again, thank you to all of you for your prayers, your letters, and your
support. Without your help, I couldn’t be here. Starting this past I’ve
started teaching computer classes and we’ve officially begun our first
recording project with the new studio: recording English language classes for
the Himba people. I’m excited with how things are going, and I’m looking
forward to more great experiences and miracles! My hope and prayer is that
we, the AFM missionary team and all of you as our supporters and prayer
warriors, can be a powerful witness for Christ here in this community
throughout this coming year!
Keep looking to Him!
In His Service,
P.S. There are a lot more pictures on the website now at
(link). Go there and take a look if you like!
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a
witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14