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Children at Misemere

Children at Misemere

Life in a refugee camp is hard and tough, but there is a certain dependency culture in that each person receives subsistence rations from the United Nations. These are barely adequate to sustain life, but they are something, and when you realise that ordinary folk in Africa have a hard time eking out an existence anyway, and that most of their waking moments are occupied in that daily grind, you can appreciate that to receive provisions of any sort allows more time for other pursuits.

So it is that among our refugee members and their friends Bible study classes are held almost daily. Add to that the input of correspondence courses in English or French and we have an important factor in the increased interest in the Bible among the refugee population of Africa.

A visit northwards along the shore of Lake Tanganyika by a Christadelphian from Kigoma took the Bible message to the village of Misemere, where in the last two years there have been 18 baptisms.

Misemere, which is just 10 km south of the border with Burundi and a day's boat journey across the lake from the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), accumulates and accommodates various refugees who pass through. They are there with no papers or official permission, and the Tanzanian authorities are continually rounding up such folk to place them in transit camps before sending them back to their war-torn homelands. Quite a considerable number of our refugee brothers and sisters live with the daily fear of being rounded up by the authorities and sent somewhere they have no desire to be.

David Smith
from The Bible Missionary, no. 151, January 1999

Information about Tanzania