By Ross Sinclair

Our mission team partnered with a group of Tanzanian Christians from several congregations in the Mbeya region of the country. Most of the team members are from the Safwa tribe. There are 25-30 Safwa team members. The Safwa missionaries will spend several weeks per year involved in evangelism and church planting in the Mbeya region as well as other areas in Tanzania.

Here is a summary of the ministry work we were involved in:

• We provided doctrinal training for the Safwa missionary team on peacemaking, forgiveness, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the assurance of salvation. Hopefully this training will be taken back to their local congregations.

• A total of ~450 people were able to view the 3 showings of the “Jesus Film” in the area around Ifumbo. This was a great seed planting opportunity.

• We left 2 “Jesus Film” packs for use by the Safwa and 1 pack to be used by a missionary team working in Zambia. The packs contained a projector, a player, a copy of the film, a screen, ropes, and rechargeable 12 volt batteries.

• The local church in the village of Ifumbo was strengthen and encouraged by our visit. The 50+ members participated in the evening Bible study. They led us out into the community to do door to door gospel presentations. Hopefully they will benefit from the curiosity that the 18 Americans generated.

• We presented the gospel using bible stories, personal testimonies, and the 4 Spiritual Laws.

• There were 50+ people who made professions of faith in Christ. The names and locations of the individuals were left with the local church so that they can follow-up with discipleship efforts.

• The local Safwa chief accepted Christ as his Savior. This is significant because, as chief, he is the head of the local tribal religion. The tribal religion is based on appeasing the spirits of dead ancestors. Hopefully his conversion will influence others in the community to do come to Christ as well.

• Our group was invited to visit 2 public schools. We got to tell Bible stories and present the gospel to ~400 4th & 5th grade students.

• We distributed 20 solar-powered audio players loaded with 72 bible stories and 10 True Love Waits lessons. These players will be used by the Safwa and the Zambian teams in their evangelism and church planting efforts.

• An offering was given by our group to cover the cost of Safwa missionaries to travel to Ifumbo. The balance of the offering will be used as an insurance fund for the Safwa team to cover medical cost as they arise over the year.

• A pastor and a church member from the Safwa team had been in conflict for 15 months regarding a church discipline issue. Members of our team were able to help facilitate a public reconciliation of these two individuals. We are hopeful that this reconciliation will allow the Safwa team to continue to be effective in reaching Tanzania for Christ.

This was most rewarding of my three trips to Tanzania. The location was great, the people were great, and the mission work was important. I think it is one of the most meaningful things I have ever participated in. It is the kind of activity we need to be involved in here in the USA. We were all stretched to Go Beyond what we could do in our own strength. I think we all learned lessons about relying on the leading and the power of the Holy Spirit.

I am encouraged when I think about my Tanzanian brothers and sisters in Christ. We are separated by distance, culture, and language, but we have a common bond in our faith in Jesus Christ and our desire to share the “Good News” with others.