Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

Bible Seminars for Young Adults in Tanzania

By Young Seon Kim*

I thank God for choosing me to serve the next generation in Tanzania. I packed my bags, bought three Bible boxes, and left for Kasulu District with Ziada, who is gifted in leading praise and worship. Suddenly the heavy rain came down and made unpaved roads flooded everywhere. I prayed the whole time for safety until we arrived in Kasulu. The District Superintendent of Kasulu, Rev. Vilian, came to greet us, provided a delicious dinner, and gave us fabrics to cover ourselves because we were wet and cold after the rain. When God calls—God provides!

NWO-Kasulu-Mijini-church-2017-0001.jpgYouth and young adults in from of the Mijini UMC in Tanzania, where Young Seon Kim held Bible study. PHOTO: COURTESY YOUNG SEON KIM

There are 15 United Methodist churches in the Kasulu District. Five of these are located in the Nyarugusu refugee camp. Many in the camp are Congolese refugees who have been crossing the border to Tanzania since the civil unrest in the DRC began in the 1990s. I provided two Bible seminars in Kasulu District, one for the churches inside Nyarugusu camp and one for the other 10 churches in the district, held in the Mijini UMC. Some young adults rode by bicycle for 11 hours to get to the Mijini church for the seminar. Everyone was excited about getting together to learn God’s Word. I love to listen to young people reading the Bible together. How beautiful. In the Nyarugusu camp seminar, each church was supposed to send five young leaders for the seminar, for a total of 25. But I ended up having 50, with additional pastors and some women and children. My big concern was how to feed them all.

NWO-Nyarugusu-refugee-camp-2017-0002.jpg                                    A young adult participant in the Bible study conducted by Young Seon Kim in Nyarugusu refugee camp works hard to read and study the Bible in Tanzania. PHOTO: YOUNG SEON KIM

The God-given solution was not to turn anyone away, but to reassess our plan and offer just one meal a day so everyone could eat something. No one complained. Their desire to study the Bible was so great that they studied hard for two days, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

There was no power in the camp, so I could not take photos or video. However, I recorded every individual and every inspiring moment in my heart. We gave rainboots to 15 active leaders. The two winners of our preaching contest each received a bicycle.

NWO-Kasulu-bikes-2017-0003.jpgIn the Kasulu UMC District of Tanzania, some young adults rode by bicycle for 11 hours to get to the Mijini church for the seminar. PHOTO: YOUNG SEON KIM

Everybody asked me to come back. If God is willing, I will return to Nyarugusu. “Life is fragile, but God is with us.” This is the testimony from the congregations in the Nyarugusu refugee camp that I take with me.

*Young Seon (Christina) Kim (Advance #: 3021957) serves as a Global Ministries’ Missionary in Tanzania and the director of the Next Generation Ministries (Advance #3022281).

Copyright New World Outlook magazine, Spring 2017 issue. Used by permission. Email the New World Outlook editor for more information.