Striving for Unity in Tanzania
While in Tanzania, running training courses in Simambwe with Impact Team member Frank - Jo and Frank interviewed Baraka, Charles and Patrick about what it was like starting Life Groups in their community and how they hope Life Groups will impact their community in the future.They said that one of the main challenges they face within their community is that a lot of people are religious, but not spiritual. This results in people attending church and trying to follow rules, but often struggling. Often their faith does not have a positive, practical or loving impact on the people around them.When Baraka, Charles and Patrick first started a Life Group, many members of the community were suspicious that they were starting a new church or even a new religion and did not want to get involved. But after time, people came to realise that they were in fact rooted in Jesus and simply spending time getting to know Jesus. The suspicion began to fade and the community members let them be - but this seems to be a constant tension.Charles has only been attending Life Groups for 3 months and can already see a change in himself:
"There are a lot of changes in me since I joined a Life Group. I feel like I have been set free because many of the things I never understood, now I understand them!"
Baraka, Charles and Patrick have felt so encouraged by the unity of the group and the resources available. The books in particular have been really helpful and informative. They have been working their way through 'Rooted in Jesus' which is designed to be accessible and it is so encouraging to hear that they have appreciated this resource and it has given a 'clear direction to follow'.
"The word of God is going to spread far and wide."
When asked what they hope for the future of the community, they said that the word of God will spread far and wide. They hope that the unity of their fellowship will ultimately prove to their community without a doubt that they are not trying to start a new religion or make money from their endeavours, but simply love them in the name of Jesus. That they will completely eradicate any suspicion placed on the Life Groups and and tear down notions of deceit. They hope that the Life Groups will then have an even greater impact and be able to help everyone to contribute more to their community. Bringing together different religions and churches in unity.
"When we meet together as leaders and in groups we need to encourage each other and lift each other up."
Please pray for:
- Deeper understanding of Jesus for community leaders who are still unsure of Life Groups
- That the Life Groups will set an example for religious and non-religious community members alike
- That they are able to continue to have an amazing impact on the lives around them