United Methodists of Greater New Jersey gave about $60,000 by early January to help build a much-needed United Methodist church in Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam. But members and churches are urged to continue giving to reach the $100,000 fundraising goal and help pay dedicated but under-compensated pastors serving churches across the Tanzania Conference.
Indeed, some mission-minded churches are still giving to the extended For Tanzania campaign, and several of their pastors told us why.
“I met one of the pastors from Tanzania on Facebook, and we have become friends,” wrote the Rev. George Lagos, the pastor of Plainville and Franklinville United Methodist churches in Franklinville. “He has shared with me on many occasions how life in Tanzania is and how hard they all work to be able to build a new church.”
Lagos was able to get the Tanzanian pastor to join Plainville church’s Sunday worship service via Zoom. “When he came on, I asked him to speak about life in Tanzania. That touched many people in the church. After that talk, the congregation was very willing to give. We are looking for other ways to help the pastors over in Tanzania.”
On the church website Lagos is described as “a church planter, who loves studying and teaching the bible, has a heart for mission work, and loves God.” He recently became the pastor of Franklinville UMC. “I am working with them also, to give to the campaign).”
The Rev. Peter Broomall Sr. serves two small churches, Barnsboro UMC and Mt. Zion UMC, nestled in the community of Mantua Township. “We have always been willing to reach out in support of the community,” he wrote.
“They believe in the connectional system of the UMC and have supported it through Shared Ministries. So, when this opportunity came about, they felt led to support this church planting initiative. They are aware they cannot be there to physically build the church, but they can lift this project up in prayer and contribute some seed money, keeping in mind the gospel of Mark 16:15: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
“Trinity UMC of Jersey City has made a small contribution,” reported Pastor Raj Mutnal. “This is an act of benevolence that speaks to the shared values and spirit of cooperation among our communities. We are honored to be able to do our part in this worthy cause, and we look forward to continued collaboration and solidarity in the future.”
The Rev. Keeyoung Yang describes his congregation at Tabernacle UMC as “a mission-oriented church, not only to support missionaries in the world, but also to help people in need in our community through our active church pantry.” Already supporting the Hope School for disadvantaged children in the Palestinian West Bank, missionaries in Ecuador, and missionaries and Christian schools in Myanmar, the church also gives to the UMCOR (the United Methodist Committee on Relief).
“As we listened to the Tanzania campaign,” wrote Yang, “the church naturally accepted the extended fundraising campaign to support the churches and pastors in Tanzania. We believe that God’s mission is in our DNA as the UMC and the heartbeat of our local churches.”
We urge other churches and pastors to please send us statements about what inspires your support for GNJ’s extended For Tanzania fundraising campaign to help our United Methodist mission partners in Tanzania build a church in Dar es Salaam and pay their dedicated pastors. Write to us at email@example.com.