U.S. Associate: Pastor Henry Johnson
Country Coordinator: Pastor Joseph Musuma Marwa
Number of Team Members: 6
ITEM’s Involvement Since: 2003
# Pastors have attended ITEM Training: Growing
# of untrained pastors remaining:
Tanzania is a land of natural wonders, including its beautiful Indian Ocean coastline, Lake Victoria (Africa’s largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (Africa’s deepest lake), and Mount Kilimanjaro, (Africa’s highest mountain). Christians and Muslims are equally represented, each accounting for around 35% of the population. It is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse country in East Africa; over 130 different languages are spoken in Tanzania!
Tragically, AIDS has now afflicted over 1.7 million people (8.8% of the population) and orphaned over one million children. This has had a horribly adverse effect on Tanzania’s social fabric and economic structure. And though 70% of the population is rural and more than half of the country’s workforce is involved in agriculture, about one third of Tanzania’s 45 million citizens are malnourished; 68% live in poverty.
Although there have been renewal movements in many traditional congregations, in much of the Tanzanian Church choirs and collections have taken priority over biblical teaching. There are extensive areas where churches have stagnated and many villages through the country remain unreached.
In 2005, a pastor from Tanzania attended an ITEM seminar in Nairobi, Kenya, and returned home telling friends and denominational leaders about how helpful the training had been. An invitation was extended, and ITEM’s ministry in Tanzania was launched in April of 2006, first to Free Methodist pastors and then expanding quickly to include pastors from all denominations and independent churches. Since that time, a strong national team led by Henry Johnson (ITEM Associate), Joseph Musuma Marwa (ITEM Coordinator), and James Johannes (Assistant) has developed and is working hard to train pastors and revive the ministry and impact of Tanzanian churches.
Pray for Tanzania:
- Praise God for the ITEM team’s commitment to Scripture. Pray that their churches will continue to grow as models of healthy churches as described in Ephesians 4.
- Pray for the Lord to provide the funding needed to train many more pastors
- Pray for Henry Johnson (ITEM Associate), Joseph Musuma Marwa (ITEM Coordinator), and James Johannes (Assistant) as they support and send out others to train pastors.
- Islamic separatists have attacked Christians, and continue to push for full autonomy in the Zanzibar region of the country. Pray for protection and peace.
- Pray for continued growth and increased maturity among Tanzanian believers, and unity between Pentecostals and other evangelicals – essential if the church is to impact Muslims and animists in the nation.
- Swahili is used in 96% of church services even though it is not the heart language of the majority. Pray for the development of songs, teaching and resources in the first languages of all Tanzania’s peoples.