Travel Diary 2: Back on Track in Tanzania

Dear Friends and Family,

By God’s grace, after a poor night of sleep Wednesday was pretty much on schedule. It included a way-too-early start followed by two short flights and a meeting with the ITEM team. We were able to refocus the ministry here and make good plans.

The bed in Nairobi was not good news for my aging body. No matter what I did to try to make it more comfortable I was unsuccessful and slept very little. I was up at 4:30 to leave for the airport at 5:30 for an 8:20 flight to Tanzania. Two flights on large prop planes took me from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania then to Mwanza, Tanzania.

ITEM-TANZANIA’S SHORT HISTORY

Our ministry here has been around a long time. The first coordinator went to The States for schooling. The current coordinator went to The States for schooling, turning the ministry over to the third coordinator who went to The States for more schooling when the second came back. Now they are both here.

Several years ago, they withdrew from their own denomination so they could freely preach the whole counsel of God as opposed to teaching from the denomination’s catechism week after week.

There was early confusion on the part of some team members as to what ITEM was going to provide for them in their ministries. Then two of the team members withdrew money from the newly formed denomination’s bank account, which put the brakes on the entire ministry.

It took a couple of years to work through that. The perpetrators were never completely repentant and eventually left the team.

REGROUPED REFOCUSED REVISIONED

Today I met with the team to get caught up on each other’s personal lives and ministries, to discuss the current state of ITEM’s ministry here, and then plan the future. It was a profitable time and I believe our objectives were met.

There are currently two mentoring groups going on here. One is in the Mugumu area (see map in the photo album). The other is here in Mwanza (see map). Joseph, Marwa, ITEM Coordinator, far left in picture in the album, believes we can easily expand to the capital city, Dar Es Salaam, and the other large city, Arusha (see map in album). The plan is to bring together leaders from these areas that Joseph knows as soon as possible and share ITEM’s vision with them. Joseph is confident that they will grab hold of it and that we can them train them and they will become our key men in the other strategic areas. I reminded the team that whenever we launch in a new region we are making a long term investment that includes bringing the same pastors to two seminars and then enrolling them into a mentoring group that now includes lesson plans for 23 meetings, with more to come.

EQUIPMENT DELIVERED

Because of the financial gifts of so many of you, we have been able to purchase electronic equipment for our teams in each country. Today I distributed a Chromebook, a video projector, and a conference speakerphone (see picture). The plan is to use this equipment to connect with us in the US for remote team meetings and even training classes. I also gave each one of them a flash drive filled with great public domain Bible study resources that will help them in their ministries.

E-4 BOOKLET IN SWAHILI

One final discussion that we had was the printing of our E-4 Church Strategy booklet into Swahili so we can make them available at our seminars here.

So, it was a good day. By God’s grace, the mission was accomplished. Tomorrow, Thursday, I head back to Nairobi. Spend one night and Friday head to Uganda for my and ITEM’s first step into an apologetics ministry. It will start with a Summit for several groups that are interested in apologetics, followed next Monday-Wednesday by an apologetics conference. More about that another day.

May the Lord encourage you as you hear these stories of how your prayers and partnership is paying dividends in Africa generally and Tanzania specifically.

By His grace,

Steve

CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES

2 thoughts on “Travel Diary 2: Back on Track in Tanzania”

  1. John and Martha Bamford

    Thank you, Steve, for sharing this diary. The pictures are appreciated so much, too. We will be praying for you and the others involved in the meetings and classes. Praying you will get some good rest and some good hot showers!

  2. STEPHEN ADJETEY OKAN

    Dear Brother Steve God blessed you as you take proper care of the word of God
    This is the master plan for training pastors the word of God may he guide your trip and also proper health to travel for such to Tanzania Malawi Nigeria Kenya
    When you start moving from home he is there and any place you have to go he is everready to see you through

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