Reflections on GNJ’s Tanzania Ministry Partnership

June 25, 2024 | | GNJ News, Tanzania

The team returns encouraged

Right from the start, Samuel Perez knew that this trip would be something special. The Tanzania Annual Conference members met the team right at the airport with handshakes and hugs, followed by a special prayer. Samuel Perez recalled “Their handshakes, hugs, felt like we knew each other already. That was followed by a special prayer, when I felt the Holy Spirit, telling me that something special was about to begin.”

Giving and receiving blessings

This feeling continued throughout the Pastor’s School, GNJ brought resources to equip pastors. Rev. Dawn Taylor-Storm and the Rev. Dr. Eunice Vega-Perez taught a course on Renewal in UMC History, Rev. Leslie Houseworth and Mr. Eric Drew taught Preaching Renewal and Breakthrough, Rev. Dr. William D Carter III and Rev. Leslie Houseworth taught on Women in the Bible, and Bishop Schol taught a course on the book of Acts. In addition, the team shared Breakthrough resources, written by EPA & GNJ clergy, and then translated into Swahili to nurture transformational preaching and expand access to commentaries and resources for pastors.

GNJ brought resources and our colleagues in Tanzania brought passion and inspiration. Samuel Perez wrote about how his time in mission in Tanzania reignited his faith,  “During their daily worship and the workshops during Pastors’ School, we praised God with song and dance, in a way that I never experienced before. Their love for God was clearly expressed in the way they worshiped and prayed.”

Rev. Dawn Taylor-Storm spoke of how the work in Tanzania moved her “My life has been forever changed by my time in Tanzania Annual Conference.  The people of Tanzania teach me courage, persistence, faith and what it means to trust in God’s grace above all else.”

The legacy lives on

In 2018 GNJ set a God-sized goal to fundraise for mission and ministry in Tanzania. Over the past six years we’ve sent four resource teams to teach at the Pastors’ School, raised money to build a church in one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Dar es Salaam, and raised funds to support live-able wages for UMC pastors in Tanzania.

The seeds of loving faithfulness that GNJ has planted are taking root even now. “With your help, our faith, hope, and the Gospel will be advanced in that Tanzania community,” wrote Fernando Matsimbe, A Global Ministries Missionary.

Experiencing the power of connectional ministry

When we work together, we have a greater impact than we could ever have on our own strength. Dawn Taylor-Storm witnessed “I wish that every United Methodist would be able to witness the power of our connectional system, as the work of the United Methodist Church is building churches, schools and health clinics in communities and raising up new leaders to serve the worldwide UMC.”

Through your sacrificial giving you have built a new church building and invested in a new generation of leaders by pouring in financial and ministerial resources. Thank you!