This is the first in a series exploring expressions of a companion relationship between an ELCA synod and one in Namibia. See also "Where chickens sleep in trees" (December 2010) and "Accompaniment means love" (January 2011).
The entrance looks promising enough. A starch-white concrete monolith announces "Oshigambo High School," along with a proud, blue crest. But inside, long cracks and gaping holes in classroom walls have been repeatedly patched. Wires dangle from rickety fluorescent lights. The books and supplies carefully stacked in corners are years old. Triple locks go on doors at night to keep thieves at bay in this forgotten corner of the desert.
Jerry Schutz, a member of Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Olympia, Wash., was overcome. He was part of a seven-member Southwestern Washington Synod delegation that visited the boarding school in Oshigambo, in northern Namibia in May. "I guess I've become used to seeing the environments my grandchildren have and the abundance of study and resource materials they are blessed with," he said.
|Students Maria T. Nangolo and Eliaser Shitaatala pose outside Oshigambo [Namibia] High School. She wants to be a doctor, he an engineer. The school, run by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia, has produced many leaders and is celebrating its 50th year.|
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