Tanzania, like Zimbabwe, is one of the newest countries in Africa where HeartCry is privileged to serve missionary pastors. Over two years ago, I received a call from my dear friend, Ronald Kalifungwa. Ronald is pastor of Lusaka Baptist Church in Lusaka, Zambia. He told me of a young man, Simon, who completed a pastoral internship at Kabwata Baptist Church under Conrad Mbewe and had since spent a good bit of time with Lusaka Baptist. The young man was Tanzanian, and LBC was ready to send him home as a church planter. HeartCry gladly partnered with Lusaka Baptist to supplement what was needed to complete Simon’s support.
I thought it would be helpful for HeartCry supporters if Simon gave us a summary of his nearly two years in Tanzania and filled in the background for future reports:
“My name is Simon Patilo Balibwa, a missionary of Lusaka Baptist Church. I want to continue giving praise to our God for how He has undertaken for us. In this report, I will specifically give a summary of this new church plant, Dodoma Reformed Baptist Church, for the last 21 months from November 2018 to August 2020.
I moved to Dodoma in November 2018 to take the initial steps of finding a house to stay, getting legal permission from government to help us conduct meetings, making contacts, and finding a meeting place. I have so far managed many of these, yet still continuing with the process to acquire a permanent church registration. We started to meet for Bible Study at my house in November 2018, and our first Sunday worship service was in March 2019, with about 7 people gathered. Now we meet for both Bible Study and Sunday worship service with about 20-35 persons.
I have been going round evangelizing in different places, like food courts, bus stations, neighborhoods, schools, and recreation centers. I have met with different kinds of people, but many who profess to be Christians do not have clear knowledge about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those who do not subscribe to Christianity tend to offer excuses as to why they are not Christians. They often provide examples of different unbiblical conduct committed by some church leaders and this is discouraging to them. I am grateful to God that through prayers, Bible Study, teaching, preaching, and many related Gospel endeavors, many have found the truth and I can testify that the word of God is effecting changes in their lives.
We soon started reaching out to students at Universality of Dodoma, St. John University, and Institute of Rural Development Planning (IRDP). We also started the Carpenter Ministry to reach out to the carpenters and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them. Indeed the Lord has worked in these ministries.
We praise God for His grace and mercies in answering our prayers… on 1 March 2020, Dina and I exchanged marriage vows. We said “I do” and are now husband and wife. We are so grateful to God and, more specifically, to Lusaka Baptist Church for their prayers and material support which enabled us to afford the logistics of our wedding celebration. Please continue to pray with us that this union will honour and serve God and His people.
- We are earnestly praying that we can find an open door for radio ministry. This is another opportunity that will enable us to reach many people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Dodoma. We need funds to pay for a one-hour slot once or twice a week.
- Please pray for us at DRBC that we can buy a church plot and build our own structure.
- We are still processing the application for permanent church registration; we praise God that we managed to get the second endorsement letter that we have been praying for so long.
- I am continually grateful to God for Lusaka Baptist Church, HeartCry, and all the partners for your prayers and support. Continue praying for me, my wife, and the brethren here, that God may grant us good health, strength, wisdom, and all necessary resources needed for propagating the Gospel of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
- Pray for the souls I minister to and God’s intervention in every aspect of His work.
- Please pray that God would give us more wisdom to propagate the gospel regardless of the challenges we may face. I hope to tell you more about the grace of God to us in forthcoming months.
- Please continue to pray for me that I would be faithful to God and tireless in this work. Please pray that God would raise more men and women to work in His vineyard here in Tanzania.”