Evangelism and discipleship continuing unhindered in rural Tanzania
Posted on: 12th March 2021
CMS missionaries Kevin & Karen Flanagan serve in Tanzania, where they are involved in evangelism, training and discipling. In some parts of the world, Coronavirus has placed many ministry activities on hold. In Tanzania, however, evangelism and discipleship continue unhindered. Here they describe their training as it looked towards the end of 2020.
It continues to be hot and dry here in Mpanda, Tanzania. A thin layer of red dust covers almost every surface. The rains aren’t expected for another month. But we are both rejoicing over the blessing of recent evangelistic meetings. Many people were saved and more than a few delivered from demonic oppression. Week-long meetings were held in Anglican churches all over the country. We were involved with the meetings at our local church plant, St Stephens, Kazima, only a ten minute walk from our house. There was a lot of preparation and organisation prior to the meetings.
A 30-strong choir made the seven hour bus trip from another town to join us. Two evangelistic speakers were also invited.
All these people needed to be housed and fed, so the cooks in the outdoor kitchen worked tirelessly. Teaching seminars about aspects of the Christian life were held in the mornings, and evangelistic meetings later. The sound of singing boomed out from large speakers each afternoon.
This drew a couple of hundred people from the local area to join our celebrations. Several choirs performed at each meeting, and the gospel of Jesus was powerfully presented. On each occasion, a group of people responded by coming forward to pledge their allegiance to Jesus. The angels must have been rejoicing! An evangelistic movie was screened outdoors in the evening of the meetings.
On the final day of the meetings a special fundraiser was held for two big initiatives, the commencement national Anglican radio and television stations. A new book was also launched which, amongst other things, outlines the strategic plan for mission and evangelism for the Anglican Church in Tanzania over the next five years.
A special friendship with Dorcas
Karen has a very special relationship with Dorcas, the wife of the pastor who initiated and organised our local week of evangelism. Dorcas has pointed out that both she and Karen have left their homes and children to be where God has called them to be.
Dorcas and her husband moved some nine hours bus ride south, after having retired, to begin work in the Diocese of Lake Rukwa. Dorcas and Karen work together on village teaching safaris. Dorcas teaches on Christian marriage while Karen speaks about Mother’s Union and, currently, teaches from the Biblical book of Ruth. Dorcas has become an advocate for reading the Bible together. She frequently tells other women that she and Karen meet together to read the Bible and pray, encouraging them to do the same.
Give thanks to God that continuing opportunities for evangelism and discipleship abound in Tanzania, and pray that God will bless the five-year strategic plan for evangelism. To keep up with Kevin & Karen’s latest news, sign up for the Flanagan’s monthly prayer letters here.