Saturday, September 27, 2014

Just TWO Weeks Left! - Stiver Family Newsletter



It's hard to believe how fast time is flying by around here! It's been an exciting year of life and ministry in the Kilimanjaro Region since we returned here in January. As if that's not exciting enough, in a little over two weeks we'll be back in California, and only a couple months after that we'll be welcoming our baby boy into this world! We are so blessed by the support we've received this year as we've been able to contribute to several ministries this year. This especially is the case as we've been establishing our Kingdom Families program and preparing for expansion in early 2015. We're excited to share a couple updates with you as we begin closing out this year of ministry in Tanzania.

Kingdom Families Update
We are so thrilled for what's happening with Kingdom Families. Since our newsletter update on the project a month and a half ago, we've seen a couple really wonderful things take place. The first of which, we've added a fourth local partnering church to our program. The pastor and his wife (who is an American missionary friend), Lewis and Jill, have been a blessing to our ministry and have a very similar dream for orphan care. They in fact are trying to get a similar ministry going called "Ndoto Yetu" which is Swahili for "Our Dream." They are perfect people to partner with and Jill has shared with us some prospective families and ideas she's had for orphan care. Their church has two campuses, one that Brandon preached at two weeks ago and the other that he will be speaking at this Sunday.

The other exciting thing that has happened with Kingdom Families is that we've opened up an official file with the Social Welfare Department here in Moshi. This is a very important first step as we look to add more orphaned children and Welcoming Families in the coming months. The officer that has been helping us, a woman named Mama Mboya, said that the Social Welfare Department could potentially start calling us with kids that need homes as soon as the start of the year! God has given us so much favor as Brandon and Meshak (our Tanzanian Assistant Director) have met with Mama Mboya a couple times. We thank God for her and ask that you would pray blessings and continued favor for Kingdom Families with Mama Mboya and the rest of the Social Welfare office.

Promise got all dressed up for our visit to the Social Welfare Department in Moshi a couple weeks ago
Hope International School
This month, Hope International School, a project of Global-EFFECT, began its third year of schooling here in Moshi. As this is a large GE project, we ourselves have helped out in different ways at the school. Brandon has been the webmaster for the school over the last year and Melissa recently stepped into a larger role early in the school year as the staff set up its preschool. Melissa was able to use her ECE experience/education by bringing oversight and training for the preschool teachers. And when one of the teachers had to return to the states unexpectedly, Melissa stepped in as a lead teacher during the transition time. This has actually been our first week off from the school as we are now preparing for our own transition into baby furlough. Hope International School is a really fun community to be a part of as children and families come from so many different cultural and religious backgrounds to gain a quality education. 

The school is actually still hiring more teachers from the states for the current school year. If you or someone you know, might be interested in teaching in Tanzania this year - even starting as early as October. While most Christian international schools require teachers to fundraise all costs that they might have, all the necessities for teaching at HOPE International School are covered: housing, airfare and the like. You can find out more by going to the website, www.hopeschoolmoshi.org

Students playing basketball during P.E. at Hope International School
Personal Update and Upcoming Furlough
We have started to set things in order on our home front here in Tanzania while also trying to set things up for our time in California. We had a momentous push towards Promise's birthday last weekend and are now full steam ahead toward our furlough time. We have a few larger speaking engagements already penned in on our calendar and have begun setting up other meetings with smaller groups. We'd love to catch up with you over coffee, in your small group, or at your church, so please contact us! We'd love to be able to work out a meeting of any sort. If you're living in or near the Central Coast or in southern California, we'll be near you at some point. So lets connect! 

Listed below, you can see some engagements that we've already scheduled, but we still have plenty of dates on the calendar to fill. If you're on the Central Coast, we'll be around October 16th through November 8th and then again from Thanksgiving onward. During the holidays and baby's birth, we'll be lying low, but could potentially schedule something in late January into February before returning to Tanzania. If you live in southern California, we'll be near you from November 9th till November 25th. If you want to check out a few sermons that Brandon's given in the past, just click here.

Our biggest needs right now are a car to borrow for the duration of our time. We'd even be interested in renting or buying one on the cheap. We also need a place to stay on the Central Coast from Thanksgiving till late February (three months). 

Here are some speaking engagements that you can catch us at:

Sunday, October 26th - First Baptist Church, Los Osos, CA 9:30am & 11am
FBC Los Osos is one of our supporting churches and we're excited to share with this congregation that we really have a heart for. This is the church that Melissa grew up in and Brandon worked at for a year.

Saturday, November 8th - Welcoming Children Home Conference at Grace Church, San Luis Obispo, CA 8:30am - 4pm
This is an opportunity that we're really excited about as Brandon will be teaching a workshop on international orphan care. It's a full day event that we've attended in the past and they really do a fantastic job. The keynote speaker is Johnny Carr, author of Orphan Justice. Sign up for this conference by checking out their website, www.welcomingchildrenhome.com

Sunday, November 9th - The Garden Church, Long Beach, CA 9:15am & 11am
We'll be sharing at our beloved church in Long Beach. They've been a supporting church of ours since Brandon first moved to Tanzania five years ago. Come hear a little from us, but also enjoy amazing worship and time in the word with this wonderful community.

Sunday, December 5th - Cayucos Community Church, Cayucos, CA 10am
We were blessed to connect with this church last year just before our return to Tanzania. They have a delightful congregation and we're so excited to see them again.


Thanks for reading!! We look forward to hearing from you and hopefully seeing you soon!!

Love,
The Stivers in Tanzania

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