Pastors in Tanzania

By August 2, 2013General, Missions

Hey family,

James Myer, his wife Ndidi, Holland, and I are at a pastor’s house in Chalinze, Tanzania using his email. I have many pictures to share with all of you and can’t wait to do it next Sunday. So here is the latest thing that is going on.

Yesterday we visited several churches in the Chalinze Baptist Association. Very similar to the Hill Country Association in that many of the churches were planted by one larger church. We were able to lead a Muslim man who is 65 years old to Christ and a young mother, Mary to Christ as well. We baptized them moments later in a river nearby.

They all have given us the right hand of fellowship to help them in evangelism and church planting. I see James and Ndidi (Didi) being here next Summer (June 2014).

There is so much need here. There are very few schools and the schools they do have are overcrowded and many can’t afford to send their children to high school.

AIDS is a big issue here, because this is a main truck stop so there is a ton of prostitution. James paid for the high school of a young girl whose parents died of AIDS.

We also got to meet a new born baby today that was dropped off in the trash across the street from a dispensory (medical clinic). It was all we could do to leave the baby at the hospital and head here to dinner.

We have visited 7 churches here so far and they were so grateful we came. They presented us with gifts and treated us like royalty. Tomorrow we visit three more churches. Sunday James, Holland, and I will be preaching in different churches in Chalinze.

Monday we will hold a pastor’s conference and teach them theology, evangelism and practical ministry.

Please keep praying for us as we encounter so much need here in Africa. The poverty is pretty overwhelming. Most people here are living in half finished mud huts. Orphans are around every corner. The pastor’s whose house I am staying at has adopted 8 orphans.

I know God is going to use our partnership with the Church in Africa to give every man, woman, and child in the Greater Chalinze area a chance to hear the Gospel from the Lips of a Wells Branch Community Church partner.

I love you all!

Chris

Author Chris Plekenpol

Lead Pastor of Wells Branch Community Church. I love watching sports, especially Army Football, dancing with Adrienne, and thinking of creative and innovative ways to communicate the love of God.

More posts by Chris Plekenpol

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Gala Myer says:

    Thank you for the news, Chris. We are so excited to help. Love, Mama Myer

  • Hi Pastor Chris,
    Wow! God is so good! I’m beside myself —I just stumbled upon your blog when our media volunteer sent it to me noticing 3 very important words:
    1) Austin, TX -my hometown,but I live in NH now; grew up at Hyde Park in the 70s,
    2) Baptist -I grew up southern Baptist and my husband, Dr. Dale Brown, was a SBC pastor for many years in Texas. He is now pastor of West Congregational Church in Haverhill, MA, and
    3) Chalinze, TZ — my heart is there!
    This is the town where our non-profit, Kulea Childcare Villages, is working — through Chalinze Baptist Church with Pastor Romy Mtenda. Romy and I founded Kulea with 2 Baptist pastors in Kenya. My husband and I taught all 3 of them years ago when we were visiting professors for a year at the Baptist seminary (IMB volunteers) that was in Arusha, IBTSEA — now Mt. Meru University.
    Romy and I, along with our Kenyan friends, felt a strong calling from God the same year and separately, across 3 continents, to rescue orphans and raise them in loving homes in their own country, sharing Christ with them and raising them to be the next generation of leaders in their field. We are replicating an amazing model in Uganda called Watoto Childcare Ministries. They are helping us with knowledge base.
    I am anxious to connect and hear which churches you visited in Chalinze and especially if you met Pastor Romy Mtenda. I stand in awe of God — I didn’t think anyone else knew Chalinze was on the map except the volunteers we’ve been bringing over since 2010, and I think of that place EVERY day, advocating for the orphans and vulnerable children.
    As you saw, the needs there are overwhelming — the baby in the trash is not unusual. Rips your heart out! I believe that as we stop for the one in front of us, Jesus is there and HE sees all the needs. He makes a way where there is no way. We are trying to grow Kulea (asap) to the point that babies just like that one you found, can “land” in our lap of love and be brought to our village to be placed in the loving arms of a Christian mother. For me, it can’t happen soon enough.
    Just this week, we rescued an 11 year old girl who was about to be married to an old Maasai man because she is an orphan with no one to care for her and no way to attend school. Her rescue is the focus of my blog tomorrow morning. You can see it at http://www.kuleavillages.org then choose “What’s Going On?” Also, lots more Kulea news is on Facebook daily at http://www.facebook.com/kuleavillages.
    Kulea has rescued 9 orphans who we are raising in our first Kulea home next to Chalinze Baptist. We are new, so it’s a good start to have a completed home, a 75 acre tract of land, a completed deep water well and guard’s home, and a church construction project in progress. We are building a large church for the Chalinze Baptist congregation as the anchor for our future childcare village. We build it on those 75 acres nearby that God gave us, and call it Ubazi Village (meaning mercy).
    We bring volunteer teams to Chalinze each year, and I’m there at least 4 times a year. We would love to host a volunteer team from WBCC or have anyone interested join one of our Kulea teams, or sponsor a child with us. Many ways to be involved. We have a deadline for the August 2014 trip sign ups approaching on Oct 1st.
    I’m leaving Sunday (15th) for Kenya to work with our Board of Directors there and check on our Feeding programs and preschools, etc. On the 23rd I will take the bus to….you guessed it! Yep, Chalinze! A few days later, I go to Dar to meet our volunteer team coming from the Boston area to serve with us for the week, followed up by safari at Mikumi.
    I’ll be home on Oct 8th and maybe we can connect at some point after that. I hope to hear from you soon. I’m in Austin several times a year to see family.
    Mungu akubariki sana! (May God bless you so much)
    For the children,
    Deborah E. Brown
    Executive Director, Kulea Childcare Villages
    deborah@kuleavillages.org
    603-489-3104
    http://www.kuleavillages.org
    http://www.facebook.com/kuleavillages
    @kulea_villages

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