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Baptisms in the river at Mgabala
As the Ethiopian Airways Boeing 767 flew its final approach close to the magnificent snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro and the tree spotted plains of Africa, my excitement grew. The thought of what the next three weeks would bring filled me with apprehension and delight. We had a busy time ahead meeting brothers, sisters and contacts in several places in Tanzania.
When we arrived in Dar es Salaam, capital of Tanzania, we found various members of the Dar es Salaam ecclesias (churches) waiting for us and their friends who wanted to be baptised. The next morning we caught the dala-dala (minibus) for the hour's bus ride to Mbagala on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam. A twenty-minute walk brought us to the church there. On the way we purchased oranges, bananas, bread and soda for everyone for lunch. Shortly after arriving we interviewed several contacts and five of them were baptised: Justin Gasty, Prosper Ngatunga, Marianus Allen, Ernest Allen and Charles Shengo.
There are two ecclesias at Dar, Mbagala and Sinza, and a small group in Mbezi beach. Distances are a problem and even though dala-dala rides are cheap, the cost can be prohibitive to the average Tanzanian.
At Dar we held the yearly AGM, which is required by law to allow the Christadelphians to be a recognised church in Tanzania. Members from all ecclesias had been invited. Many had not seen each other for a whole year. There was a lot of talking and catching up to do.
This trip will be memorable for the many baptisms and the strong in faith who uphold the word of God; for the brothers, sisters and contacts who endure difficulties and hardship; and for those who face problems because of their beliefs. The words of one brother remain imprinted in my mind: "When my family and I are facing hunger we pray to God and somehow we get through."
Let us pray for the work that is being carried out in Tanzania and for those who need help with their many varied problems.
Tim Evans and Michael Owen
|"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation." (Mark 16:15)|