This is a guest post written by Vickie Njogu, our Field Director in Tanzania as part of our "Cultivate Change" campaign.
When Christ prayed for his disciples, one thing that He pointed at had to do with them being one. It is being fulfilled in our eyes as the body of Christ is coming together in very amazing ways on this end [in Tanzania].
Our relationships go beyond the body of believers. We are touching base with non-Christians as well. As we interact and also meet needs we have had the opportunity to interact with both Christians and other religions like Muslims and others who are technically neither.
We have experienced some very challenging seasons the last couple of years. We can say that for around two or more years some communities have not had a harvest of crops. This has been due to some extreme weather conditions ranging from insufficient rainfall to flooding that ruined the crops.
The Maasai who are pastoralists [farmers] have had it rough too. The muddy puddles they always drink from (both animals and humans) have dried up. Livestock have died and the people are left to go to very long distances to buy water. These are communities that even buying the water is a miracle. In fact, among the Maasai, they end up training their young men to survive with little or no water for days.
As various communities have been trying to make ends meet, the pastors we work with have been instrumental in being sensitive to the needs of their people. They are our entry points to the various communities. We hope to have a positive impact on the community by being very relevant to real needs and cause a positive but sustainable growth.
We have used seminars and food, lights and filters outreaches to cultivate relationships for the future. When we began we had about 8 pastors who were meeting to plan our seminars and events. The seminars have been very impactful in that they are helping the churches to grow and equipping members for the work of ministry. We have seen an explosion in various villages where they are conducting weekly/monthly seminars where two or three churches come together.
The seminars are quite sustainable as they are conducted within the church programs and within a given locality.
This has tripled our numbers and as of last event we had about 30 pastors or churches represented. That number has grown in the last four months and we have over 40 churches/ pastors who are on board with what we are about. These newfound relationships are a good ground for what lays ahead, reaching more villages with the Word of life, sharing His love but in the process equipping the saints for the work of ministry.
Carrying out a leaders retreat a few months ago was an indicator of a real need that needs to be addressed in future. Leaders need retreats and avenues that facilitate their rest.
Having fun activities in form of games for leaders is a missing part in most ministries. This is an area we would love to venture in
We have seen that one powerful way to bring communities together is having sports activities. The church has been branded as an entity that is completely out of touch with the real world issues. As the church organizes sports events, the community sees it in completely different light. This is a great opportunity for the church to be involved in practical ways with the community. Hopefully it will be said, “Church is fun!” We cant wait to see each pastor inspired to host a sporting event in their neighborhood.
* God is moving mightily and CULTIVATING CHANGE in Tanzania! If you love what you just read, here are a few practical responses: send Vickie & Francis an encouraging message to let them know; forward this to someone in your circle (a friend, pastor, business person) who may be interested in cultivating change with us; make a financial donation to Mosaic today to help continue the momentum*
Our goal is to raise $20,000 by the end of December. So far we have raised $10,390