A long time ago I remember hearing a Scott Wesley Brown song about Africa. The chorus says, “Please don’t send me to Africa, I don’t think I’ve got what it takes. I’m just a man, I’m not a Tarzan, don’t like lions, gorillas or snakes. I’ll serve you here in suburbia in my comfortable middle class life, but please don’t send me out into the bush where the natives are restless at night.” That was 1995. Today, the Internet a plethora of news, some of it good news, about God’s work around the world. Still, our discomfort about how this news might effect, change, and shape us is the same.
Building A City Of Hope
I still haven’t been to Africa, but I know of some fantastic ministries that are working in this vast continent ripped apart by civil war, disease, and poverty, and still the majority of the population expressing a tender heart in hearing the word of God. One ministry that is doing an incredible work is Teamwork City of Hope, located in northwest Tanzania.
Established by John Chacha in 2007, the City of Hope is both a children’s home and a day school. They have made great progress in a short time. They currently serve 110 vulnerable children who live on campus and more than 400 in their primary school. They’ve created 65 jobs on a campus that is 75 percent sustained by their own food production. And Tanzania has taken notice as a country, ranking City of Hope in the top 3 percent of primary schools due in part to students scoring well on exams and a curriculum taught in English. In addition, they also serve the community with a medical center.
The school exist to be a beacon of hope, a city on a hill, where the fragile and broken might be whole through the love of Jesus. Like many underdeveloped areas, most people in this part of Tanzania are unable to fulfill basic human needs and are caught in the cycle of generational poverty. Dr. Chacha realized that if children are given a quality education and opportunities, they could bring about the change the community needs. “We know the country of Tanzania is going to be great,” Chacha says, “because we are already shaping the leaders of tomorrow.”
In 2015, the City of Hope saw its deepest loss with the death of John Chacha. He and a top student were traveling with two others when their vehicle veered off the road and into the Sondu River. Both Dr. Chacha and the student were killed. Though the hurt of the loss will stay, the ministry continues to press on and look forward to what God is doing. The ministry is now embarking on a secondary school in an effort to help students all the way through high school.
We invite you to get to know and consider supporting Teamwork City of Hope. And, perhaps God is prompting you to go to Africa or organize a short-term mission trip. Teamwork City of Hope is a great option to consider, since it has education, agricultural, and medical opportunities that might work well in the formation of a church team. They also have a child sponsorship program that might offer a nice, beginning step.