WHERE THE BATTERSONS BECAME A TRIBE...
We were proud to serve in Tanzania with Global Effect Ministries, for four years. It's where we dove into full time missions head-first, where we learned how to do life in a new culture, with a new language. Doing life with the Tanzanians was an immense blessing, and our lives are changed forever by their amazing hospitality, emphasis on relationships over anything else, and the humbling way they pursue God.
Many of the ministries we were involved in fall under Global Effect, but we also branched out into other areas of the community as well - here's a glimpse into some of the areas we served in.
Hope International School
Hope School aims to change the nation by empowering the NOW generation. Only the second international school in Moshi, but at a fraction of the typical cost, Hope has grown exponentially over the years. Hope has over a dozen countries represented and children from Christian, Muslim, Sikh and non-believing families. Each class is capped around a dozen students and is equipped with a western teacher and a Tanzanian (or Kenyan) teaching assistant. A large emphasis is placed on learning through experience, projects and the arts - all with an emphasis on sharing God's unconditional love with the students as they learn and develop their mind, body and spirit.// *Want to teach in Tanzania?Learn more here!* // Amanda was the Curriculum & Logistics Coordinator and Bill taught Preschool and PE to grades K-8.
Over chai and chapati these leaders shared successes, sought guidance and gained wisdom and resources from each other on Saturday mornings. Ezekiel's River is a group of leaders and pastors from different areas around Moshi. They gathered twice a month to read and discuss books to equip themselves with strategies and resources to take back to their communities and churches. They read books by authors such as Bill Johnson and Harold Eberly and they work on getting the books translated to Swahili so the pastors can take them to the leaders they are raising up. This group also aimed to recalibrate and redefine purpose, raise the standard of what a 'normal' Christian looks like and to equip leaders to impact the church, family, government, education, media and finance/business world in Tanzania.
We knew when God called us to Tanzania, that he did not want us to come and start something new. We were not here to reinvent the wheel, so our aim was to partner with ministries that were already on the ground and running. We offered ourselves in any capacity that was needed. Amanda often used her photography to capture either missionary families or their projects so they have quality photos to share with their supporters. She also used her gifts of teaching and administration/organization to help other missionaries in the community. Bill used his gifts of planning and organizing as he served on the new construction committee for Global Effect. He's also passed on his knowledge of Farming God's Way practices to a home for women, and served on the council for our local church.
It was also a goal of ours to bring more healthy relationships and unity to the community we live in. We did this by hosting life groups in our home and helping where help was needed in the everyday - like babysitting, helping with moving, taking dinner to friends, serving in kids ministry at our community church and even grocery shopping for others.
We are strong believers in our lives being a constant witness to the love of Christ and we are humbled that he would have us live among a nation such as this. In Tanzanian culture, it is commonplace to have a gardener during the day, a night guard during the night, and a woman to work around the house during the day. We were blessed to be a blessing to our workers and are so thankful for their diligence in taking care of our little farm, the produce trees, protecting us and watching over the property.
We loved to surprise them with little blessings here and there. Like offering a large plot of land for our gardner to plant beans on for himself and the other workers and their families. Or passing on some skirts to our house mama, a pastor's wife. Or offering our night guard quality hiking shoes from America. They are such little gestures, but you wouldn't have thought so by their reactions! "Asante sana, God bless you, bariki sana, asante!" Their thanks were endless for such small tokens of appreciation.
It wasn't just about the gifts- though generosity went a long way. We also desired that they see our interactions as a family and and with the community to see God's light shining brightly in us and that they might long to have the same light.