The second trip to Tanzania within the second wave of Luke 10 Exploration Trips went out from September 17-25, 2023.
Ten exploration teams made trips to ten different destinations and peoples between April 2022 and March 2023. These trips were the first wave of exploration in discerning potential new fields for EFM to launch as part of EFM’s Five-Year Goal. It was determined that eight of those destinations require a second trip for further, deeper, exploration, plus as of July 2023 plans are being made by FSW to start a new work among unreached people groups in Cambodia and surrounding areas. Further exploration will help EFM to begin making decisions about where to make commitments in November 2023 to send North American households to launch new fields. See more information here.
The following is a report written by a member of the team, Matt Macy.
|Who Was on this Trip & Where Did We Travel?|
This team is made up of representatives from Burundi Friends and the U.S., including: Pastor Domitien Sabongerwa (Burundi Friends Church Missions Liaison), Pastor Fidele Bizimana (General Superintendent of Kwibuka Yearly Meeting – Burundi Friends Church), Pastor Daniel Nkuriye (Kwibuka Yearly Meeting – Burundi Friends Church), Salomon Ntibaharire (Kibimba Yearly Meeting – Burundi Friends Church), Pastor Aaron Mupenda (General Superintendent and Legal Representative of EFC-Rwanda), Brad Carpenter (EFM Missionary), Brendan Steinacher (EFC-MAYM), Matt Macy (EFM Director of Mobilization), Nathan Macy (Future Missionary from EFC-MAYM), and Todd Brown (EFC-MAYM).
The team met in Dar es Salaam on September 17 and started the trip with a day at the East Africa School of Missions on September 18. We are interested in this African one-year training school for Burundian, Rwandan, and American future missionary training to prepare for going to the unreached peoples. Some of our team arrived directly from the second South Sudan Luke 10 Exploration Trip. Two Luke 10 South Sudan team members joined us at the school: Aaron Mupenda (EFC-Rwanda Superintendent and EFC-Africa Director) and Todd Brown (EFC-MAYM).
Then those on the Tanzania exploration team traveled to Ngerengere from September 19-22. The first Luke 10 Exploration Trip to Tanzania last year, visited this city and visited graduates from the training school who are working as missionaries among unreached peoples in the region, including with the Kutu and Zaramo people. The team felt that the Ngerengere area was promising and decided that the second Luke 10 trip should focus more time here. The team split into three groups to explore the town and even visited villages nearby based on contacts we made. On the 22nd, on the way back to Dar es Salaam, the team followed a tip from a Massai village near Ngerengere to visit an unchurched village called Boyi, which turned out to be a promising lead for potential church planting.
The remainder of the trip was spent in Dar es Salaam in times of prayer and discussion for discernment on next steps.
|What was our experience traveling here? How did the Lord meet us?|
Visit to Missionary Training School. Our day at the East Africa School of Missions in Dar es Salaam was inspiring and unifying. We observed classroom teaching in Swahili and English and toured the small campus. We were challenged and impressed by missiological discussions led by the school’s Director, Samwel Kengela. We had seen the fruit of the school’s training when we visited several graduates of the school serving among unreached people in the field last year on the first Trip. This, along with hearing Samwel’s experience in planting churches among the unreached, gave us increasing confidence in the school. The school has trained just over 100 African students since 2015, in an April-March calendar year, which includes a three-month group field experience at the end. The school uses seasoned teachers and practitioners from all over the world to make one- or two-week visits to the school to fulfill all of the school’s courses.
Samwel helped our team further understand what it would take to prepare our missionary team to go to the unreached. Also, our understanding of each other’s mission-sending framework expanded as we continued to discuss the idea of sending missionaries together with Friends in Burundi and Rwanda. We see the need for missionary training among both the goers and the senders. Plus, we love the idea of US missionaries getting training alongside African missionaries in Africa.
Time in Ngerengere. We split into three groups to explore this town. We met many people who were friendly, open to talking about their families and customs, and also many who were interested in showing us their homes.
- We were surprised initially, based on last year’s visit, how many people here identified as church-attending Christians. But we also learned that many of these churchgoers did not understand the gospel or how to follow Jesus. We also learned that the Muslim or Christian identity was often more about a family or community cultural identity than about a personal, active practicing faith.
- We learned consistently that in this town, Muslims and Christians live in peace with each other (they report that the village is generally different in this regard, and we saw this last year). We were told several times that a new church would be welcome here, as long as it did not bring division among the religions and groups that were established.
- We talked to several people who didn’t recognize any difference between Muslim and Christian. One team talked to a man who visited both Muslim and Catholic churches and saw no difference except that shoes had to come off to enter the Muslim church. We also met people who were Muslim and married to a Christian. But we also met some Christians who knew and could clearly explain the difference.
- We heard of villages further away from town that don’t have local access to the gospel or have any church. We met a man and heard of other people who travel quite a distance from villages to attend church occasionally.
- We had several groups of people, especially in villages, invite us to come back and start churches. We felt warm hospitality and welcome, and a hunger for spiritual and physical development.
- We kept hearing from everyone that access to water is a big need in this area, both for human consumption and for cattle.
|We Are Eager to Go!|
- We are honored and excited about opportunities for partnering with Burundian Friends to learn together how to develop a multi-national missionary team. We would like to see EFM continue to work with EFC-Burundi in developing a missions-sending framework. We are praying for EFC-Burundi as they continue to strengthen and organize their missions-sending vision and capacity.
- The Burundians are eager to begin evangelism and church planting and inspire us all to go. Nathan Macy, a future missionary on this team, is expressing desire to go. We all see opportunities for whole-life discipleship and development.
- Research shows a vast number of villages, towns, and peoples in the greater area who are unreached.
- Ngerengere is a place that needs the gospel, and it makes an excellent hub logistically for getting established and developing an equipping and sending strategy in the area.
- Missionary training and a common language for missions strategy amongst Burundian and American missionary teams, as well as among senders, will be a key part of developing an effective missions-sending framework.
The second round of Luke 10 Exploration Trips continues through October 2023. The EFM National Luke 10 Think Tank will meet on November 8, 2023 to look at which fields meet EFM’s CAN GO Criteria for launching new fields and begin making the first decisions as to where EFM will commit to deploying missionaries by the end of 2025.
Are you Feeling Called to Join EFM?
Are you interested in exploring missionary service? Do you know of anyone of any age who might be interested in exploring the idea of serving as a missionary overseas for two or more years?
EFM is currently looking to contact and connect with people about opportunities to explore serving as missionaries with the Friends Church!
We look forward to sharing more news as it becomes available about what we are finding and discerning in EFM’s Luke 10 Initiative.