Tanzania Missions February 2008
Our trip to Tanzania was long overdue. Allen Wells and I had looked forward to this for months and it was with great anticipation that we boarded the plane to Dar Re Salaam and then onto Kilimanjaro. I had first met Ps Norbert two years earlier while on Mission in Kenya and he had willingly agreed to take on the role as our mission”s representative in this vibrant yet poor country. I went there to see the progress of Moriel Missions Tanzania, now an official government Non Profit organization, and I was really impressed with the progress under Norbert”s leadership.
Our first day was a trip to the Moriel HQ. 20 acres of land given freely by the Tanzania government is being developed into a mission station that now has a school for vocational and biblical training. The journey there was not easy and everyone winced as the underside of the vehicle was scraped by the terrain and the exhaust almost ripped off. The 30 kms took nearly two hours to travel in the blistering heat with seemingly no air.
One of my duties was to give certificates to the hard working students most of who are orphans. Here they learn agriculture, computer skills, tailoring, English studies and biblical studies. The presentation of the certificates was made at the church run by Ps Nelson, a lovely man of God.
Not only is the land being developed for growing but a mill has been purchased that strips the maize kernel from the husk and then over to the milling machine for flour production. The Moriel land is next door to a village and the ladies have formed a cooperation that helps one another with the milling as well as funding a mini credit union for the poorest amongst them.
As well as crops, it is hoped that they can raise cattle, goats and chickens to feed the growing number of orphans and widows. A cattle shed has already been erected and we hope to be able to encourage donations of animals for the upkeep of this needy community. ‚ One of the nicer duties was to pray for the local pastors and leaders so that they could be set aside as ministers of the gospel with Moriel. Although we are not a credential giving mission (most of us are wit CMFI) it was with a sense of occasion that we were able to set these men aside. The final act of our time on site was to meet with the government and villagers who expressed their support for our work.
The next visit of the day was to a village down the road where Moriel supports a substantial orphans and widows project. The local community has given us 2 acres of land to develop and although we could not get to see the land due to the rains and road conditions, Norbert’s vision for the place is truly wonderful. Most of the people here were Masai and it was heartwarming to be received with song by both widows and children.
The next day we were to set off to Tabora were Moriel has churches plus a radio program that reaches over 2 million people on Radio Tabora. The ministry here is struggling to pay the $160 per month it takes to host the show and it is our hope that a sponsor may be found very soon so we can preach the gospel and broadcast some good bible teachings from the likes of Jacob. Unfortunately we could not arrange transport to this area (about 10 hours by car)
So the next day we were taken to another remote region to visit a Masai village. Our purpose was to undertake house to house evangelism and to set aside the villages Pastor of our Moriel church. The road to the village was even worse. At one time we had to get out and push the vehicle that had got stuck in mud. The local farmer was not happy as we had to push onto his land and his Panga looked very menacing. Most of us got covered in mud but eventually we were free to go on with our journey. The village was made up of simple mud and straw huts. This village had no power, no running water. The people collected orange rainwater that had collected in wheel ruts on the dirt road. They used this water for washing, cooking and drinking. Theirs is a desperate situation. Infant mortality is high, HIV infection growing and the children looked to be malnourished and sickly with opportunistic diseases evident. But despite the lack of water and desperation we were welcomed from house to house to share the gospel and not only was there a lot of interest among the majority of pagans but we had the honor of leading one Masai lady to Christ. The afternoon ended with a meeting at the church tent. The pastor has built a wonderful construction paid with donations of wood and material from Moriel. The praise and worship was awesome and it was great to lay hands on the new pastor. The ladies of the church came and gave us food at the end of rice and beef. However, even though it tasted great we couldn’t bear to eat it with so many hungry children looking on and so we asked could the food be taken and shared amongst the children.
Our next trip was to the church of Ps George. Ps George, his wife and 5 children were in a desperate situation. There small congregation are so poor they cannot support even the building. Ps Georges house costs $20pm and the Church also $20pm. In fact they were on the verge of being kicked out penniless onto the streets. At this church we preached the gospel and also were introduced to government leaders. Ps George and his family are good people. We enjoyed their fellowship and hospitality and despite the desperation, they never complained once but were in fact so passionate about the Lord that you sensed they would have it no other way.
So what did we learn and what are our recommendations for your prayer?
- We are amazed at what has been done in such a short time by Norbert and his team. They are to be commended for their vision and energy
While at the Moriel HQ we met a retired nurse whose vision it is to set up a mobile medical clinic. This is desperately needed and could save the lives of many children. The following link is to a USA company that could supply the ideal vehicle ‚ for the kind of terrain at a cost estimated at $7000 with transport to Kenya and fitting of back box
- Clean water is an issue. The people are desperate.
- Energy is an issue. We could easily set up a solar station that could serve the village.
- Pastors if they are to travel and preach the gospel and look after their families need some source of income. Even if it’s only a monthly gift to pay the house and church rent. This could be done by creating a ministers account administered by the Moriel Tanzanian board to help out when needed.
- Equipment such as sewing machines, electrical generators and of course animals are needed.
All this takes money and of course the expertise to implement these things. But I am sure that this is doable and that through these measures we could see the sustainable growth of this ministry that blessed our hearts during this brief visit. I will be going with Jacob in June and I pray that in the meantime the Lord will burden hearts to enable us to help Moriel Tanzania to reach the Pagan people of the Masai with the gospel of Jesus Christ and to save the lives of countless children.
“We also had the privelidge to meet our Kenya administrator PS Moses who came with John his board member and also our new admin for Rwanda, Burundi and DRC Ps Deo. PS Moses relayed the aweful events in Kenya and how Moriel is helping feed and meet the needs of some of the 600,000 people displaced through ethnic violence. Please pray for the brethren there who are being stretched to the limit. PS Deo comes from a country that after the aweful ethnic cleansing is having a new start. He related how the Lord is working and the planting ofr churches is going ahead. We hope to visit Rwanda in the future”.
Director Moriel Missions