With the 2016 Tanzania Church Leadership Summit just around the corner, Calvary Chapel Africa recently spoke to pastor Gabriel Gwahenye about his life, ministry and the spiritual needs of the Tanzanian people ahead of the conference in June. Gabriel Gwahenye and his wife Candace have been serving in Kigoma, Tanzania for around 6 years. Gabriel, a Kigoma local, is the pastor of Grace Fellowship and runs various outreaches to the community. He studied at Calvary Chapel Bible College and in 2009 returned to Kigoma to minister there where he started a small Bible study that has grown into the church that he now pastors.
Gabriel has a vision to equip the future leaders of Tanzania to be people who love and fear God and have a morality based on the Bible. He believes that Christian discipleship is the key factor to the development of the nation. And while Gabriel has a vision for equipping the future leaders of the country, Candace has a heart for the children of the region and together they minister to many of the country’s orphans.
Listen to our interview with Pastor Gabriel (10:25):
Tanzania at a glance:
The United Republic of Tanzania is located in Eastern Africa and is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the North, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the West and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the South, with the country’s eastern border lying in the Indian Ocean. It is possibly best known for the island destination, Zanzibar, which is found just 40 kilometers off of its coast.
The official capital of Tanzania is Dodoma, which is located 309 km west of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam is the country’s commercial capital and is also the major seaport for the country’s serving its landlocked neighbors.
99% of the population is native African (of which 95% are Bantu consisting of more than 120 tribes) and the remaining 1% consisting of Asians, Europeans, and Arabs. The majority of the population identifies as Christian (61%) with 35% practicing Islam with a small percentage of folk religion.
Culture and language
Tanzania has been described as one of the most diverse countries in Africa and this is reflected in the fact that there are more than 120 local languages spoken in the country. Swahili is the national language that is widely spoken while English is the official language of education; administration and business.
If you are planning a trip to Tanzania here are some helpful Swahili phrases to practice:
Jesus is Lord – Yesu ni Bwana,
John 3:16 – Yohana 3:16 : ”Maana Mungu aliupenda ulimwengu hivi hata akamtoa Mwana wake wa pekee, ili kila amwaminiye asipotee, bali awe na uzima wa milele.”
Please give me some food – Tafadhali nipe baadhi ya chakula
Please Give me some water – Tafadhali Nipatie maji