Summary of Tanzania Ministry in August 2022

I have recently returned from an intense ministry trip to Mwanza, Tanzania, together with
Brother Julius Midodo from Kenya, one of our international elders. It was a wonderful
experience, and it’s clear that God has opened a door in this area for the vision of the high
calling of God in Christ. Because no one was available to go with me, I went alone. It was a
tough decision, but one which I believe God blessed. We originally had planned for a
conference in Homa Bay, Kenya after the ministry in Mwanza, but we changed our plans due to
unrest in Kenya after the August national election.


But the one conference was both exhausting and rewarding. In four days I spoke twelve times,
and the word was received with enthusiasm. There were two pastors in the meetings, Pastor
Simon and Pastor Peter (how wonderful is that?), and spending time in fellowship with them
was especially rewarding, even though it usually required a translator.


The feedback from the meetings was very encouraging. The meetings were in the second
largest city in Tanzania, and literacy was very high; so almost everyone there had bibles with
them, and most people were taking notes. During almost every meeting we had an opportunity
for questions, many of which were very insightful. Pastor Simon and Pastor Peter were both
very excited about the message of the high calling. They want to do everything they can to get
the ministry to a wider audience. At one point on Friday evening (the second day of the
conference), they both got up front with Julius to tell the people that they want to have a
second conference as soon as it can be arranged. (I actually found this confusing at the time.
Were they ending the conference early? But they were actually just happy.)


A fun note: in the African culture, the worship is very different. I find it to be a revelation of
body ministry. In the United States, a worship leader might lead the worship, and in some
places the worship is very good, both in Spirit and truth. But in Africa, multiple people may lead,
and the leadership can change from song to song and even within the same song. From my
point of view, the change of leadership was done seamlessly. And the songs they sang usually
required a response; the leader would sing, and there would be an answer from the
congregation. There was great energy, with both singing and dancing, and a lot of fun. In true
body ministry, the “whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint
supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of
the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Eph 4.16, KJV). I appreciated this aspect of African
culture.


The door in Tanzania and Kenya is open. We pray that it will become, as Paul said concerning
Ephesus, “a great door and effectual.” There needs to be an investment into the leadership in
these locations, and others as the opportunities grow. Julius Midodo is fully committed to this
expansion; he believes the message of the upward calling in Christ is deep, but also simple to
understand. But the message needs to be reinforced. In this trip, I was the only one available
for ministry – but there needs to be multiple ministry teams. In some countries, we can
supplement the trips with internet messages, and Dan has done a lot of work along these lines.

But this is not possible for some of the rural areas of Kenya, and even in the cities the internet is
not very reliable. And there is no substitute for being there when you can. As Paul said to the
Romans, he desired to come to them so that he might impart some spiritual gift. I thank God
that the ministry was able to move forward in August. Please pray for this wonderful door in
Kenya, Tanzania, and potentially expanding to other places in East Africa.


Gary Simmons

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