Our work continues to get even more exciting as it moves closer and closer toward empowering and blessing the lives of those who are suffering the most in Tanzania.  I have already mentioned the launch of Vineyard Maji Salama, our initiative to partner with communities and sell them a device that will provides safe water while saving them money and time, and here are two other exciting happenings.

tjm home visits




dorothy and I meeting with perspective women (and enjoying it I might add)

dorothy and I meeting with prospective women (and enjoying it I might add)





Trade Justice Mission is a Columbus, Ohio based NGO the focuses on justice and economic development for women through the creation of jewelry co-ops.  Our team is partnering with TJM to create two jewelry co-ops in Dar. I, Doug, am helping to gather one co-op of land-less, asset-less, financially struggling women who are mothers of boys in D.Y.O.C. or previous female members of the football center.  I chose these women because we already had a relationship with this community and there are so many children and families who are struggling and looking for hope in this football center.

(from right) our guide, dorothy, and tjm prospect standing in front of the family's home

(from right) our guide, dorothy, and a tjm collaborative prospect standing in front of the family's home

Recently Dorothy Lyatuu and I got to meet the prospective women and we even visited their homes to learn more about their stories. The journey to these women’s homes required a guide who knew the city well. On the way we were harassed by a police officer who did not like my driving (Dorothy talked and smiled our way out of that.), then we were surrounded by a crowd of men who desperately wanted us kununua (to buy) one of their live goats; finally, we had kulipa (to pay) someone to watch our car while we entered a neighborhood on foot because the neighborhood did not accommodate vehicles.

neighborhood where vehicles don't go

neighborhood where vehicles don't go


Through these home visits we got a short preview of the possible impact and justice that will be wrought in the lives of these women.  

Some have been left by their husbands and ostracized by their family; another woman’s family is walking through the devastating toll of HIV; the suffering does not end when the  sick and suffering person dies; usually so many others in the family are left to struggle after the loss.

visiting another home

visiting another home












wali na maharage (rice and beans)

 For the past few months our church has been collecting rice and beans as a congregation.  Two Sundays ago, after planning and praying, we divided into three groups and found families in the neighborhood of our church who we thought might feel blessed to receive a gift of one kilo. of rice and one of beans.




elliott learning to measure in kilograms

elliott learning to measure beans in kilograms



the result:

We got to pray for many; interestingly, some refused for religious reasons.  Many were happy to hear about our church being in the neighborhood.  Almost all seemed very grateful and some families even invited us to sit, discuss and tembelea (visit) with them.


two highlights:

  1. One group found a family that had not eaten in two days and their visit, prayers, and gift meant more to them than I can express.  
  2. One woman, a reader of the Koran, stated that she was glad to see that Christians were doing this.  She said she thought all that Christians do now is collect street kids to open orphanages, so they can make money.  

I pray that God continues to help our church affect perceptions such as this for the better.


One Response to “Closer”

  1. Teddy Dellesky Says:

    Great to hear all that you are doing. It seems like some meaningful in-roads are being made in your neighborhood and throughout the city. We are cheering you on!

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