USA Southern Territory Helps Renovate Corps in Namibia

Adapted from a report by Captains Edouard & Lynn Zola, Windhoek corps officers, Southern Africa Territory

When The Salvation Army restarted its work in Namibia in 2008, meetings took place under a tent in a convert’s backyard, the backyard’s owner eventually becoming a soldier and later a corps sergeant major.

After meeting like this for four years, worship was moved under the carport at the Windhoek West quarters where the group met for an additional five years. It was not ideal, but it was what we had, and we made the best we could of the situation.

In 2018 a structure was built on a corner of the property where there was an uncompleted pool. The ‘wasted space’ became useful, as we now met there, though still at the mercy of the elements. But at least there was a roof providing some protection, and great worship and service to the Lord and His people took place there.

Even though there was a roof, the structure was still open on all sides, and sound travelled out to our neighbors during worship meetings. Most of those neighbors are businesses except for two directly to the east and southwest.

Over Easter weekend this year a neighbor began to complain about the noise volume during worship meetings. Instead of approaching us directly to come to a mutual understanding, they chose to call the City Police. They continued to do so many times after as well. It became necessary to address this and to work to mitigate the noise issue while seeking legal ways to address this predicament. For various reasons set by the city of Windhoek, we cannot build an additional permanent structure on the premises, so we needed to improve our current structure in ways that would control the volume of noise emission, especially since this neighbor refuses to meet with us to discuss the issue.

It is here that the USA Southern Territory stepped in with a donation that would allow us to close in our structure.

“All they had was a roof and cloth walls,” Commissioner Kelly Igleheart, territorial commander, explains. “When the neighbors complained about The Army’s ‘noise’ (the band and drum), the corps was forced to stop playing music in worship. Captain Edouard Zola expressed to us, ‘In Africa, you must have a drum.’ The Southern Territory paid for the construction of the walls, new chairs, and other small renovation costs, which provided a more permanent corps dwelling.”

Renovations began on August 21, 2023, and were concluded on September 9, 2023. We are thankful to God for His provision, and grateful to the USA Southern Territory for being the channel through which this blessing came to us.

The City Police have not been at our doors lately, and we continue to engage the municipality regarding our church services here. Our soldiers have regained the joy of worshipping with songs and dances, and there is an atmosphere of renewed zeal and joy.

We are very grateful the USA Southern Territory for the ‘rescue package.’ All for the glory of God and for the salvation of souls.