10 years ago, we filmed the promo video ‘It was a long bus journey…’ Filmed in Adelaide, but telling a story of Tanzania, it invited partners to join us as we headed from Adelaide to Tanzania with CMS Australia.
There have been obvious changes in our appearances and we were only in Dodoma 3 years, but this vision remained constant for us.
What if Tanzania’s leaders knew Jesus? What if they met Jesus while they were still uni students? What if they took Jesus beyond uni into their professional lives?
What if the doctors knew the great Healer? What if educators knew the great Teacher? What if engineers knew the great Designer? What if lawyers knew the great Advocate? And what if economists knew the great Provider?
Or, for shorthand, meet Jesus at uni, take Jesus beyond uni and into your professional life. It’s where the name of this blog comes from.
However, not long after we got to Tanzania we realised God’s people were already working on these things! In fact, they had been for decades. An opportunity was offered to us to set up our own independent campus ministry but we turned it down because we could think of nothing better than joining in with what was already going on. It was an enormous privilege that TAFES accepted us to work with them.
I guess we could have packed up and gone home once we realised the thing we talked about in this video was already being done. But that line of thinking only works if missions is deficit-based – the missionaries come to meet a need that is lacking. But if it is God’s mission and we as his people are on it together with him, then of course I expect to find Tanzanian Christians who are on about the same thing. After all, we are serving the same God! The question becomes not, “How do I meet the needs I see?” but “What can we do together?”
TAFES has had needs that we have been able to help with. But as we have contributed to TAFES, it has been because of this shared vision together.
And a beautiful thing for me has been the expansion of that vision. In this video, we asked “What if Tanzania’s leaders knew the great Provider, Healer, Teacher, Designer and Advocate?” As I’ve been doing my PhD about TAFES women’s theology of prosperity, I see that God is all these things in Tanzania, but in ways I would never have thought of. And so, though we asked, “What if Tanzania’s leaders knew Jesus?” by partnering with Tanzanian Christians, I have come to know Jesus in new and different ways as well.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.