We are now looking for a sponsoring congregation to oversee our ongoing work in Tanzania. Please let us know if you hear of any churches who are interested in Tanzania, or generally in Sub-Saharan Africa.
We are currently planning another mission trip to Tanzania in February, 2015. We hope to spend about 3 months there, working to build a rainwater collection system for Tanzania Christian Clinic, and learning more about the community and the culture.
Last weekend, we traveled to Nashville to help our teammates Lewis and Tammy Short, as they were making final preparations to leave for Tanzania on Sept. 10. We hope to spend some quality time with them in February/March, making plans for our work together.
We traveled to the Monduli Region in Tanzania during May 2014, on an exploratory mission. We were conducting a needs assessment to see whether local needs might lend themselves as evangelistic tools. We kept a daily journal at Williams Tanzania Mission on facebook.
Early in our visit, the District Commissioner listed what he considered the two largest needs of the community. There is a great need for rainwater retention and water purification. And there is a very high ratio of illiterate adults, which has multi-generational social and moral consequences.
We began asking whether anyone had attempted adult literacy programs, and whether there was any demand for such. We found two programs, which had failed because they required payment and/or because they required people to travel to a fixed location in the evening. The people who operated those programs spoke frankly about the demand, and about the causes of their failures.
As a result, we began asking about volunteer programs, and whether people would volunteer to teach others in their home or in a convenient local setting. We found that there is a Swahili term for volunteering, and we found a similar program, which trains local volunteers to teach others.
We believe we could build an adult literacy program, training local volunteers, and using the Bible and other available materials in Swahili. We would then have two immediate audiences to teach: our volunteers, and those whom they are teaching. We would use this as an evangelistic outreach, to contact and teach people who otherwise would never encounter Bible teaching.
In addition, we arranged to partner with a local church to outfit their building with rainwater collection barrels. We told them that if they raised money for one system, we would raise money for another system. A similar building nearby has six to ten 10,000-liter barrels for rainwater collection, and we believe they could do the same, in time. This church has a new building with a baptistery, but has no way to fill the baptistery, so the water collection system would fill that need, and allow them to serve the community with water as well.