Trip Start Aug 23, 2005
21Trip End Sep 09, 2005
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Notice the Joe English LP record behind my shoulder - they are a little behind the times with SOME of their media - ahead in many other ways...
Today I learned:
· Ministries are born from visions, even if they are unclear.
Today I met:
· Judith (New Life Band founder's wife)
· Ruthy, Ruth, Moses, John - New Life workers
· Bagita Erickson (Swedish missionary who publishes children's literature for the FPCT - Free Pentacostal Church Tanzania)
· Amos (Habari Maalum Media manager - he sings too! I bought his CD at the store)
· Habari Maalum (Good News - or special news)
· New Life Band - youth ministries (camps, schools, community, church...), recording artists, recording studios - Judith
· FPCT - Free Pentacostal Church Tanzania Publishing - Bagita & Vicki
· Habari Maalum Media - TV, Radio, Video, Music, Printing, Publishing, Brail/Blind printing, Bookshop, etc - Amos
The New Life Band finds ways to be self-sustaining when it can. I visited their studio which they built themselves in offices in the same building where my guide Simon & my host Edgar have their offices. (Internet Provider has still not fixed their situation by the way.) The studio for New Life is very good & is used by many other artists, which makes it self-sustaining. They have the same Korg Triton keyboard my church in Orlando uses for sequencing. The band itself is a group who travel all over the world. I hope they'll come to the Camp Ground or other ministries I love so we can all enjoy their ministry!
The office is filled floor to ceiling with stackable chairs for their many youth events which take them all over the region. Annually they hold 2 full youth camps with about a 1,000 teens each. Some are Christians & some are not, so discipleship & evangelism are both important.
Simon's ministry (EMPOWERING CHURCHES FOR YOUTH MINISTRY) is global. He is so very visionary & has an entrepreneur's mind like no one I have ever met - & I have met many very strong leaders with these characteristics! "Empowering" is exactly the right word to describe his impact. He did burn out a few years ago & was made to stop for a year for health, but shows no signs of stress now as he is more balanced & still doing much much good. His heart for people to do for themselves is contagious. He has offices in both Dar es Salaam & Arusha with partners in many other places. Several youth centers are fully functioning & many others are in the works all over Tanzania.
The Habari Maalum campus is a wonder to behold. It was built in 1982 on desert mountain land just outside Arusha Town. The first goal was a Christian radio station, then a TV station was added. All under the Free Pentacostal Church umbrella with ministry in mind. Ministry is not always evangelism & discipleship. In the world of the Maasi people there is much to be learned about environmentalism as I have already been learning. Habari Maalum used the radio & TV to spread the word about the importance of responsible horticulture. It became clear they needed to practice what they preached. Today it is a beautiful campus of many acres that appears to be a natural forest. There are many crops on campus which grow trees, fruits & vegetables. Because the emphasis is on the communications media, this is not a self-sustaining part of the ministry, but the integrity it gives the organization is immeasurable.
The same can be said of the publications being produced for the blind. While not self sustaining, it is a very vital ministry that is unique in that all materials to produce completed literature in brail is on campus, eliminating the need to depend on the USA or other countries. Nearly the entire Old Testament has been completely translated into Swahili brail, & the entire Bible is of course the final goal, though they print many many other literature.
Most of the media ministry focuses on radio, TV, & audio production (start to finish). It is worldclass. I've seen many studios, & these are very modern & thriving. This is a self-sustaining ministry which attracts Christian artists from all over the globe to do their recording here. The government also uses the facility for a larger fee when they are looking to produce quality media. Some of the people I met were students, some faculty, some staff. All are dedicated & talented. There is a complete center dedicated to follow-up & counseling for the many many inquiries they receive. There are ministry cassettes to send to inquirers which have been translated into most every African language. Their listenership & viewership reaches over 5 million people.
They work across the street from a FPCT church where they film many music videos. I met some women there who teach Maasi women to sew for trade, & who also work with local orphanages. There are many orphanages in Tanzania due to AIDs & single parent issues.
We ended our day with a late lunch at a restaurant where I finally saw several other white westerners. The restaurant served a VERY large portion of delicious pasta & mince meat - they have westernized their portions! Too much for me.
Tomorrow I leave for a true safari adventure where I will hunt with bushmen & see wonders that should really put my camera to use!!!