Back to Africa
Monday I am headed back to a land I have grown to love…Tanzania. Once again I will be reunited with my good friend and brother-in-Christ, Fanuel Kiroka. I made my first trip to Tanzania in 2009. They say once you’ve been to Africa it gets in your blood. That is certainly true for me! The splendor of God’s creation is simply magnificent but the people are what really draw me.
Fanuel is a pastor seeking to reach his tribe, the Pare people, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is a tremendous man.
Educated with a master’s degree in theology with command of multiple languages, Pastor Fanuel has successfully planted more than 7 churches among his people in the Pare Mountains. I was privileged to support the birth of Fanuel’s first church at a distance from the United States, but I was even more privileged to help strategize and be on the ground with Fanuel as he launched the second church between 2009 and 2010. What has happened and is happening in the Pare Mountains is a move of God.
Not only is Fanuel a pastor but he is also a discipler. He has brought under him a group of young men who are called to preach. He shepherds them, trains them, sends them to seminary in Arusha, and when the time is right and they are ready he places them as the pastor of a new church in the Pare.
So this time next week I will be with my brother once again, sharing meals in his mud-brick home, singing and worshipping in his church which meets under a tent, training church leaders, and helping Fanuel grow the Kingdom from his corner of Tanzania. And once again, I will be taking with me a group of young future pastors who are with me at Cross Church this year serving a one-year ministry residency in our School of Ministry. I always enjoy seeing Africa for the first time through the eyes of first-timers.
One of our over-arching goals is to serve the church in the Pare Mountains and to encourage the brethren. But it never seems to fail that I am the one that ends up being blessed and encouraged.
Please pray for us and if you want to follow us on our journey, you can follow my Twitter feed or check back here and see the latest Twitter posts on the right-hand column of this page.