Namibian Ambassador to Finland Bonny Haufiku has expressed sadness at the death of Lutheran Reverend Alpo Mauno Sakari Hukka, who was a missionary to Namibia before independence.
Hukka, who was the first leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia, died on July 4 in Finland.
“Reverend Hukka was a humanist and practising Christian. He worked hard for the improvement of the lives of many Namibians. Even as we mourn his loss, we are grateful to God for the many ways in which his eminence enriched the Lutheran church in Namibia. His preparation of Namibians to take over the church leadership in Namibia through his leadership and witness is now self-evident in our country,” said Ambassador Haufiku.
Bishop Veikko Munyika also sent a message of condolences asking for the remembrance of Reverend Hukka as people celebrate the mission’s arrival at Omandongo this month. Missionaries arrived in Omandongo on July 9, 1870, a day that is celebrated annually in the Namibian Lutheran Church. Reverend Hukka erected a wooden cross at the arrival site at Omandongo on July 9, 1950. Born on September 22, 1916, Hukka served as missionary in Namibia during 1946 to 1952 and from 1954 to 1963. He was the first elected church leader in 1958 to 1960, after which he was replaced by Bishop Leonard Auala as leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and remained secretary to Auala and a member of the Owambo/Kavango Church Board from 1949 to 1963.
Hukka was very much respected in church circles and had a good relationship with Swapo.
Hukka’s vision was to prepare and train Namibians to be ready to take responsibility.
The founding father, President Nujoma, in Luanda invited Hukka to Namibia when he heard that he was on a business trip in Angola, and Hukka had several meetings with Andimba Toivo ya Toivo in Namibia and Finland, the last one being in 2003.
Hukka met President Pohamba during his state visit to Finland at the mission church in November 2013.
Ambassador Haufiku said in a statement to the media that Hukka made immense contributions to the growth and development of the Lutheran Church in Namibia.
“May the comfort and consolation of our Lord Jesus Christ who said ‘blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted’ become real to us in our time of need. We thank God profoundly for the life and witness of Reverend Hukka. May his soul rest in eternal peace and glory and may his memory be eternal,” said Ambassador Haufiku.