Today marks the final day of our mission trip to Mwanza, Tanzania, serving the Mwanza Bible Institute and Hope Royal School. During our time of ministry, God was so powerfully present in ways that kept us in awe as He carried our team through a week filled with extensive teaching, training and discipleship. Ed Kaleefey, Don Marrell and Neil Kassuba provided instructional support through preaching, teaching and discipleship in a variety of ways to local churches in and around Mwanza, the MBI class, and with the primary students at Hope Royal. Cindy Marrell, Nancy Roelfsema and Ann Bagley were very busy engaged in teaching, care and support to both the women’s conference which included MBI student spouses, as well as the children’s activities going on each day at Hope Royal. It was an amazing effort to see each member of the team with their unique spiritual gifts come together and engage in such an overwhelming amount of work the Lord had set before us. By trusting in God, He not only sustained our team through the day to day, but we also had a true sense that His Holy Spirit was moving in this place as we saw participants growing in understanding The Bible, but also the realization that God knows them, created them and wants to utilize them in His image to continue to build the church. Ultimately, our team was dedicated to the great commission that Jesus gave us: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” — Mark 16:15.
Despite feeling under the weather for a good portion of our time here, God sustained Ed Kaleefey as he provided approximately (7) hours of instruction each day to the Bible students. The good Lord carried this class the entire time when human efforts and health would have failed. The MBI students finished up their inductive Bible study focusing on preaching and pastoral care. To see not only the students but also the mission trip participants grow so much over the course of the week was one of many things to offer up our praises to the Good Lord. It was a great time of fellowship with the students where we got to know them on a much more personal level. Watching their fervent zeal for growing in understanding and preaching God’s Word was such a blessing. We saw the student’s spiritual maturation increase exponentially through their dedication to the course curriculum.
The women’s conference also wrapped up their inductive Bible study while learning how to utilize the cross reference tool in the brand new Bibles they were gifted through the generous support of this mission. Ephesians 1 was the training ground for understanding how to use the cross reference tool. Additionally, mission period supplies were given to the women to aid with personal hygiene. The pastor’s wives were also given encouragement on how to navigate ministry life with their husbands who are studying at MBI. 2 Timothy 3:16 was a memory verse the women worked on and their session ended with Cindy Marrell, Nancy Roelfsema and Ann Bagley giving manicures to the ladies which was truly a special moment. Seeing the women come together as a community where they could be vulnerable and also grow in faith by studying The Word together, prayer and devotion was an experience we soon won’t forget. The Bible students and their wives ended the day with a joint session focused on marriage building where the session teachers highlighted care and support as the MBI families move into the new season of life while being called into ministry from the Lord.
The Hope Royal Students also completed their memory verse on Micah 6:8 followed by a craft that when fully constructed, formed a large cross which was given to the school to put on display. The students reminded us each day of how much of a gift from the Lord they are and we saw them responding very well to the love of Christ that was extended by our team as we were able to bring truth from the Word of God, but also give the children opportunities during the week to learn more about our Lord and Savior, grow in faith and do what children do best…PLAY!!!
As we begin our two-day journey back home to West Michigan, we want to thank all of our mission team partners including Calvary Church who helped make this trip possible. We pray that God was fully glorified as we continue to see great strides in the growth and faith formation in this region where the Good News of the salvation in Jesus Christ is being taught and a message of hope is spreading throughout the area. We pray that God multiplies our efforts so that He will continue to be magnified as souls are undoubtedly being saved in East Africa and beyond. Our team asks for travel mercies, that the Good Lord will bring us home safely to our families and we look forward to seeing you all very soon.
— God Bless
Ed, Don, Neil, Cindy, Nancy and Ann