Tanzania Mission, August 2015
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
For the last 10 years Church of the Word has had a significant ongoing relationship with Revs. Given and Lilian Gaula of Tanzania. We first became acquainted with Given as a seminary student attending the Virginia Theological Seminary and later with Lilian when she came to the States to attend Trinity School for Ministry in Pennsylvania. As a church we offered financial and prayer support when Given returned to Tanzania to serve as an instructor at the Msalato Theological School in Dodoma, and maintained a close working relationship when the family moved to New Zealand where Given earned a Ph.D. in Missiology. In 2013, he was unexpectedly called to be the new Bishop of Kondoa, a rural, poor diocese in northern Tanzania that is predominantly Muslim.
The Bishop visited our church in December 2014 where he shared his heart and vision for the evangelization of this region where many have never even heard the name of Jesus. As a result of his desire for us to see firsthand the fruits of our prayer and financial support, Robin, Donna, Karen and Dylan Ramirez will be leaving on August 5th for a two-week visit. Francine Thomas, formerly of Church of the Word, and her brother will also be accompanying us on this trip. While Francine has participated in a number of mission trips to work with the Gaula’s over the years, this will be our first time visiting our dear friends in their own homeland. Our desire is to represent Church of the Word by establishing a personal relationship with our African brothers and sisters in their cultural context. We will be able to visit a number of rural village churches and interact with the Bible school students as time permits. A highlight of our trip will be the chance to minister at the diocesan synod, an annual gathering of church leaders.
We are especially excited about visiting the Women’s Empowerment Center located on the diocesan compound. Lilian Gaula established this facility and its programs several years ago when she first learned of the great need to teach literacy, Bible and ministry instruction as well as life skills such as health, nutrition and sewing. As if all of this is not exciting enough, we are planning to take part in a week-long evangelistic outreach effort in Mpendo, a remote area with a newly formed congregation. While the people there have been able to make sufficient bricks to build walls for a much-need church building, they are asking for our help to purchase roofing materials. Toward that end, Church of the Word has agreed to raise $3,000 to facilitate this project.
What does all this have to do with you? It is simple! We firmly believe that a “missions team” is made up not only of those who go to minister on foreign soil, but also those who offer the sacrifice of prayer and financial support here at home. Consequently, we are asking you to prayerfully consider donating money to defray the general expenses of our trip and to purchase materials for the church roof. All check donations should be made out to ‘Church of the Word’ and designated ‘Tanzania Mission.” Our plans are to post updates while we are away on the church website and Facebook pages.
Read more about Kondoa diocese at their Facebook page.