Serving the Lord in Tanzania

February, 2024

“Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Rev 2:10)

Dear Co-laborers in missions,

              Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We want to share how God’s grace has been upon our Tanzania ministry since last December. We had a very busy December, 2023.

Workshop for Teachers

              To prepare for the VBS Outreach Project (VBSOP, hereafter), which began last December, under the leadership of Dr. Ra and Miss Angela, we held the Teacher’s Workshop for VBS for three days (Dec. 11-13). We trained seven BCEA-TZ students in the following: theme messages for each day, small group doctrinal study, making arts and crafts, and learning children’s hymns and actions.

              In addition to the VBS, requests for specific educational programs from Sunday school teachers were also raised. So, from the fall of 2024, we plan to develop and distribute teacher education programs for Bible College students in BCEA-TZ and Sunday school teachers in local denominations.

Vacation Bible School

Annual On-Campus Program at Glory Bible Presbyterian Church, Arusha (Campus Church)

              In early Dec. 2023, under the guidance of missionary Eun-Young Bai, the Kenyan and Tanzanian students held a regular winter VBS (pictured above) at the Glory BP Church, our campus church. For three days (Dec. 4-6) the infants, kindergarteners, primary and secondary students had a fruitful time learning the Word of God, studying the Bible in depth through small group study, learning hymns and actions together, and playing fun games. In addition, the Kenyan and Tanzanian students had a great time visiting the Cultural Heritage of Tanzania together under BCEA Tanzania, led by Missionary Bai.

Annual Outreach Project at Emmaus Presbyterian Church, Moshi

              Realizing that Tanzania has almost no education system for children’s ministry and teacher training, we have started an outreach project to spread the VBS program to local Tanzanian churches, beginning in the winter of 2023. After educating the Bible College students through Teacher’s Worship in BCEA-TZ, VBSOP opened at Emmaus Presbyterian Church, Moshi, on December 21-23, 2023. It was intended to lead students to Christmas worship service and events on December 24-25. Three Korean missionary families, including our family, and seven Bible College students from BCEA-TZ, worked together to teach John 3:16 under the theme “God’s Precious Gift, Jesus Christ.” The theme messages were taught by Miss Angela Park JongHwi. In December 2024, we plan to expand the target range of VBSOP and conduct it in three churches.

Glory Bible-Presbyterian Church

Christmas Message and Giving Gifts

              Rev. Park SK delivered the Gospel message, the spiritual food, from John 3:16 at the Christmas worship service. Along with this spiritual food, we also distributed physical food. The problem her is the shortage of resources and inflation is also serious. So this year, we shared rice with two churches, including our Campus church. In addition, gifts for children were prepared and shared, including a special lunch so that all church members and guests could share a table of fellowship.

Bible Recitation Contest

              In Tanzania, it is not easy to find church members who personally own a Bible, because the price of the Bible is high compared to the income level of the church members. So, we continue to carry out the Bible Project, led by BCEA-TZ, to distribute the Bible to local churches. We also read three chapters of the Bible together every week for church members who have difficulty getting a Bible. Still, this is not enough to meditate on the Word of God every day. So, from Christmas 2023, we held a Bible recitation contest as an opportunity for church members to get closer to the Word of God. The participants had to recite the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and other important verses. Fifteen church members, from primary school students to adults, participated, recited, and received prizes. We plan to continue to use this program in the future. May the Lord bless all those who have prayed and supported these ministries.   

Bible College of East Africa Tanzania

Opening of Spring Semester, 2024

              On January 2, BCEA-TZ began her new semester. It started with 29 students (more than usual), but unfortunately, three students dropped out in the first month. Currently, 26 students are working hard to “study, work, and pray,” as the school slogan goes. Please pray for them that they will never forget Coram Deo (in the presence of God) and that they may be honest and do their best in studying God’s Word to prepare for their ministries.

Archive Project

              Even though the sound, conservative doctrinal foundation based on the Word of God functions like a human spine, the biblical doctrinal foundation of churches here in Tanzania is weak. Due to the need of local pastors, Bible College students, and believers to be properly trained, we launched the BCEA Tanzania Archive Project in the spring semester of 2024. During this semester two courses, which cover vital doctrines, are being offered through the YouTube channel (Bible College of East Africa Tanzania). However, considering that BCEA-TZ is an international college, one course is offered in Swahili (Westminster Confession of Faith) and the other in English (Systematic Theology – Soteriology). Local pastors, Bible College students, teachers, and believers who thirst for good doctrinal teaching can listen and study for free.

Practical Training for Music Ministry

              The need to teach the principles of sound worship based on God’s Word, and the need to train people for the music ministry was also raised. So, after educating the basic music theory at Church Music I & II, we have been training pianists for worship service under Pianoforte for students who have passed all of Church Music I & II.

ChemChem Kindergarten

2023 Graduation Service

              On December 02, 2023, Chemchem Kindergarten held its Graduation Service, with a total of 28 graduating (more than one-third of all enrolled students). Surprisingly, 14 were from Muslim families. Watching them reciting the Bible verses and singing hymns together at the Graduation Service, we prayed earnestly that the seed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which they heard and learned every day at Chemchem Kindergarten, could grow in their hearts and bear the fruits of faith in the future.

Singalong with Piano

              Tanzania’s education curriculum does not have an art-related curriculum, including music education. Although children are born with an amazing musical talent unique to the nation, they need to experience the right way of praising God and a better educational environment directly or indirectly from an early age. So, we have been running Singalong with Piano sessions since 2023.

Opening of Spring Semester, 2024

              The spring semester of 2024 began on January 8 with 66 children. Based on the Tanzanian education curriculum and Bible verses memorization/hymn singing education, the need for basic ethics/morality and biblical sex education has been raised this semester. Therefore, we are planning education programs and continuously improving the curriculum. Wisdom is needed to ensure proper ethics/morality/sex education based on God’s Word while considering the local situation.

Construction Projects

Mission House

              From the beginning, missionaries have been living in guest houses, without the protection of privacy. The guest house is not appropriate for a family to live in. In addition, the need for building a mission house where long-term and short-term missionaries (especially female missionaries) can live safely has been continuously raised. The Mission House’s construction has been underway since December 2022. Several obstacles have arisen due to local circumstances, but the project is almost at its final stage and is undergoing important finishing works.

Glory BP Church Reconstruction

              Glory BP Church was poorly built from the beginning and began to show signs of danger after 18 years. The front showed signs of collapsing along the horizontal axis, making it urgent to rebuild. Due to funding problems, we could not start work for ten years. Yet, because the situation was serious, it could no longer be delayed, so construction began in February 2024. We aim to complete the project before the College Graduation Service at the end of April 2024, by God’s grace.

              May the Lord remember all your prayers and support for His kingdom!

                                                                                              In Christ,

                                                                                                 Rev. Dr. SeungKyu Park and Dr. ChaeWon Ra