This report is taken from Rush Creek Bible Church's Missions Report
Dave Velting, Ken Wieringa and Tom Thorburn met missionary Mike Caraway in Sumbawanga, Tanzania. The purpose of the visit was to gain insights about GCDE’s outreach and ministries and its impact on the people who have participated in one or more of its educational programs. We also had the opportunity to attend and participate in the dedication of the newly remodeled office building that GCDE owns and now calls home. We met with the GCDE Board of Directors to learn more about their vision for GCDE. The visits were very informative and gave us many insights about how GCDE has grown as a Christian non-profit organization in the past 10 years since its founding.
Some of the highlights of our visit:
Several hundred small business people have been trained in the past six years. They have put into practice many of the biblical values and principals woven into the good business practices taught by Mike Caraway and Martin Haule. We visited some of those who attended the trainings and were impressed with their Christian walk and the changes they’ve made in their businesses.
Over 50 farmers have attended seminars on Farming God’s Way over the past two years. These seminars were lead by GCDE Board member Jelle Kipaka. Several demonstration plots were established during the growing season last year along with 6 farmers putting into practice the basic principles of Farming God’s Way. We visited several of those farm families and found that they had increased yields of their corn (maize) crops. Each of the families are planning to expand Farming God’s Way to larger parts of their corn when the planting and rainy season starts in October. The result of the increased yields means that each family increased the amount of food for their family and have the excess to sell for cash. We convey the thanks given by many to RCBC for their generous gift to support the ministry of Farming God’s Way.
The dedication of the GCDE office building gave many people who had benefited from GCDE’s programs and ministries an opportunity to share their testimony and impact of the changes brought about in their lives. One such testimony was a mom whose daughter was born with a cleft palette. This child was not accepted by the community nor accepted by other children. Following the surgery which took place in Dar es Salaam this young lady is able to participate fully in school now without the humiliation that she experienced previously. Following her mother’s testimony at the dedication the daughter spoke briefly and brought tears to everyone’s eyes. Praise the Lord for those willing to speak out about their faith in Christ Jesus. There have been over 120 cleft and fistula patients who have benefited from this ministry thanks to Lynn Caraway for working with Tanzanians to get the program started several years ago.
In Mbeya we visited with another group of business persons who have gone through business training led by David Mbukwa. He participated in one of the very first classes taught by GCDE. He has taken the training to over 160 of his fellow business people in Mbeya. He is a strong Christian witness and is giving back to his community in several ways with his colleagues this past year. In working with his colleagues they’ve established a savings and loan club to help each other to strengthen their financial position to benefit their families and work in the community. We also had the opportunity to visit with many of the missionaries serving in the Sumbawanga area including Steve and Barbara Sherman, Ted and Kim Rabenold, Mark and Jodi Guilzon, Brook Seekins, Mike and Terese Benton, and Cory and Kim Hodgson. We were guests of Mike and Lynn Caraway in Mumba. We also spent time with Wayne and Sheryl Gasser in Dar. Each of them asked that RCBC family continue to pray for each of them and their families and the Lord’s work they are leading in Tanzania.
It was gratifying to see and visit with many of the people that have benefited from the work led by the GCDE staff and Board. May the Lord receive the praise for these ministries being led in His name. Our heartfelt thanks to all who made our visit to Tanzania so informative and gratifying because of the Lord’s work they are leading.
~ Dave, Ken and Tom