Mungu yupo! God is with us! It is by your prayers, encouragement and financial support that I am here in Mwanza, Tanzania as a long-term OCMC missionary, and I would like to offer you a glimpse into my life and work at this time. Here are the tasks I have been given since arrival in Tanzania on 23rd April 2010:
- Full-time language and culture study in Dar es Salaam (April- Sept ’10)
- Part-time language and culture study in Mwanza (Sept ’10 – April ’11)
- Assist the OCMC Teaching Team in Geita, Tanzania (24th July – 8th August ’10)
- Assist OCMC Missionaries Michael Pagedas, Katie Wilcoxson, and Felice Stewart in their transition during Katie’s medical emergency.
- Serve as Team Coordinator (ongoing)
- Search for a place to live (ongoing)
- Build relationships with Archdiocesan staff in Mwanza (ongoing)
- Integrate into the local Church (ongoing)
I have six specific assignments for the next two years. The first three are from the OCMC Missionary Department, and the rest from His Eminence Metropolitan Jeronymos of Mwanza. His Eminence insists that the first three assignments take priority:
- Learn the Kiswahili language and begin studying other local languages
- Learn the cultures of Western Tanzania
- Build relationships with the Orthodox Christian faithful and others
- Develop an Archdiocesan youth program
- Develop a monthly Archdiocesan newsletter
- Facilitate yearly OCMC Teaching and Medical Teams.
The territory of the Archdiocese of Mwanza covers eight of Tanzania’s twenty regions, although we are currently working in only two regions. The Coptic Church is doing good work in a third region, and the remaining five have no Orthodox Christian presence. In this territory are many Muslims and many nominal Christians who have no church in their village, have never heard the Good News of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and are enslaved to fears of witchcraft, sorcery and ancestral curses. Major Christian groups include Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Pentecostals, and other Protestants.
So the task of the Archdiocese of Mwanza is to care for our 40,000 Orthodox Christian faithful and empower them to bring the liberating Gospel of Christ to the people of all the geographical territory assigned to us. It is my hope that my tasks here will help strengthen indigenous missionary outreach to the many Tanzanians who eagerly await the Gospel.Your prayers, encouragement and financial support enable me to work out my salvation in this good place. Thank you. And stay in touch!
By your prayers in Christ,