Monday, April 28, 2014

Time Flying By // Life on Kanisa Street


Time Flying By // Life on Kanisa Street
It's pretty remarkable that we've already been back home in Moshi for three months now--it feels as though it's been an eternity. Though this is not our first time living in Kilimanjaro, it definitely feels more like home than it ever has in the past. We are so grateful to God for our family of three, our home on Kanisa Street, and the community and ministry that He has brought us into. As time has been flying by, we wanted to be sure to connect with our loved ones and supporters, and give you all a glimpse of what we've been up to lately. As always, you can email us at thestiversintanzania@gmail.com to hear from us directly. Rest assured that we'd love to hear from you!

Kimbilio Families Project
We are so pleased to announce that since returning to Tanzania, we have added a very important ministry focus. At some point, you may have heard us talk about the Kimbilio Families Project which is a current program under Global-Effect, in which orphaned children are taken into Tanzanian homes and raised by Tanzanian families. We have planned on potentially helping start a Families Village sub-project in a nearby village in the future, but didn't know what our role would be with the larger project as a whole. Having talked with our directors Ryan and Stacy and our missionary colleague Vickie Hemman who has been overseeing the ministry, we've recognized that God has been in the process of transferring the Families Project to our leadership. Vickie's had a full plate as her main focus has been starting the Kimbilio (Swahili for 'refuge') Girls Home in that same village, with construction of the home already underway. Her heart is really for that home and our main focus in being in Tanzania has always been orphan car--so it seems like the perfect fit! We truly feel as though God has been preparing this project for us. 

Having worked at an orphanage for a couple years before, we realize how much better an institution is for kids rather then their previous alternatives of living on the streets or worse. However, we learn from scriptures and God's original design in creation, that the ideal situation for a child that's been orphaned is to be welcomed into a loving, Christian family. That is what we are now advocating for and organizing. The Families Project is still in it's infancy and there is a lot of work to be done now that we are running the program. You'll hear plenty about it in coming newsletters, but we ask that you be praying for us. This is new to us and this type of program hasn't been done on a large scale in our area. We currently have five children in the program and we'd love for you to pray for them and the families that have taken them in. Their names from oldest to youngest are Ezekiel (boy), Luka (boy), Zaina (girl), Edita (girl) and Amazing (girl). 

One of the first priorities that we feel lead in is to rename the Families Project. Because Kimbilio has been the name for the both the Families Project and Vickie's Girls Home, it's important to differentiate between the two projects, especially while they are both still in their infancy. Please pray that we choose a name that reflects God's heart for the children that we'll see placed into homes. Also pray as we advocate on behalf of these children to Tanzanian Christian families that we hope will have a heart to take them in. 

Brandon preaching at a Masai church outside Boma'ngombe
Short Term Interns and Teams
Our main focus as of late has been coordinating with a couple of our short-teams that come in May and June, as well as four interns that will join us for the majority of the summer months. We'll have other teams and interns coming out later in the summer, but the initial two teams and four interns all come from Brandon's alma mater, Vanguard University. We are very much looking forward to having them and Ryan, our director, has placed us in charge of ordering their schedule, preparing them for their time here, and following up with them after their trip is finished. 

We have been busy making phone calls and writing emails, lining up ministry opportunities for the teams/interns throughout Kilimanjaro. We are hopeful to see God do some really wonderful things! We want to see the way we host and lead short term teams to progress into long term partnerships. We are passionate about people stepping out in faith and want to see God do something in the hearts of the team members and those that they'll minister to in Tanzania. Please pray that the partnerships will be fruitful. 

Brandon and Promise giving kisses in our living room
The Stiver Home on Kanisa Street
It has been our heart that our home in Tanzania would be a place where people are ministered to and empowered to fulfill God's calling for their lives. Unlike our previous ministry here, when we would 'go' to the ministry location (the orphanage), our ministry now revolves around being in our home-sweet-home on Kanisa Street (coincidentally 'kanisa' is Swahili for 'church'). Over the last couple months, we've been able to host Global-EFFECT team meetings, house churches, and worship night. We were so blessed a couple weeks ago during a worship night at our home (which Brandon led) when a young German man committed his life to Christ! We were able to pray for him and his fiancé that was with him. It's been a blessing for our home to be a place where Tanzanians, Americans, and Europeans have been able to come and receive from the Lord. We are praying for more opportunities like this.

Additionally, we were blessed to host three American men for five days earlier this month. A friend of Melissa's from college had contacted us about coming out to Tanzania from his current home in Rwanda. Along with him, came his roommate in Rwanda and another friend of Melissa's that flew all the way out from California. It was a blessing to have these three men in our home and we hope to host more friends soon. (Anybody want to come out and see us?)

Us with American friends Ryan, Forest and Jack
Other Recent Ministries
As those men were here for their visit, we were able to go and minister in a nearby Maasai church that we've been involved with in the past. The pastor (Joshua Mbasha) has been a dear friend of ours for years and his warm heart and joyful spirit is contagious. Brandon really considers him to be one of his Tanzanian fathers. We were blessed to join them and Brandon preached on reconciliation. To see more photos from this service check out this post on Melissa's blog, The Beauty of Becoming.

Below is a photo from our recent ministry event, Fountain of Grace, which is a ministry project that Global-Effect hosts in partnership with other non-profits in the area. The focus of the weekend is to refresh and empower Tanzanian couples that are on the front lines of ministry as pastors and bishops in the region. Brandon led worship while Melissa captured the weekend through photos, which you can find on Global-Effect's Facebook. We heard some wonderful testimonies of these leaders getting much needed rest, receiving very touching prophetic words from the missionaries, and God doing wonderful works. One testimony that really touched us was from one of the pastor's wives. She talked about laying down her anger and receiving a more loving heart towards her husband. So beautiful to see God bringing restoration!
Leading worship at Fountain of Grace in Moshi

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