Tanzania… How long?
We arrived in Tanzania in 2012. We expect to be here for 10 years altogether, spending a few months back in Australia every three years. Long-term intercultural work provides a unique opportunity to learn language and build relationships at a deep level. Hitting your stride in another culture, they say, only comes after about six years of immersion. This investment recognises the dignity of the people with whom we’re working, and helps guard against ignorance or colonial practices on our part.
Aren’t there more Christians in Africa than in Australia? Hasn’t the western missionary era finished?
Yes! We have never seen ourselves as ‘taking the gospel’ to Tanzania — the gospel is already here and thriving. However, we do believe we have a part to play in seeing the gospel continue to take root. Just as the Western church has much to learn from Africans, so we as Australians have something to offer Tanzanians, and they’ve invited us to explore this in partnership together. We’re seeking to work with Tanzanians, not impose ourselves on them.
Who is CMS Australia?
Is CMS denominationally affiliated? Are you guys?
CMS traces its history back to 1799 in England with Wilberforce and co, and its historic links are with Anglicans and evangelicals. Today, CMS Australia is non-denominational and receives no money from a particular denomination. In South Australia, the CMS staff, workers and supporters hail from a range of different churches and denominations. Our own denominational backgrounds are a mixture of Lutheran, Anglican and Uniting Church.
How can I be part of what you’re doing?
What can our church do to show we care for you?
We always feel cared for when we get a reply to our emails and other posts — even just a one-line message! It’s also a big encouragement when churches invite our input as teachers and mission educators (don’t hesitate to ask). See also: 5 Facts that Can Help Churches Better Relate to Their Supported Missionaries (Seedbed Blog).
There are big taxes on items sent in the post from overseas so as much as we’d love a care package, it’s probably not worth it.