Day 13 of our Advent calendar and a different testimony from Echoes International mission partner Christine Reid, who tells of her lifelong journey with God and how He led her to serve in Tanzania.
‘I’m a retired teacher from Greenock, Scotland, serving the Lord at Making Children Count For Christ (MCCC) in Moshi, Tanzania.
‘My testimony began as a nine-year-old, when a school friend took me to a children’s meeting held in a local school on a Thursday night. It was an outreach work organised by people from Cruden Hall in Greenock, now known as Ardgowan Evangelical Church. One Thursday night, an elder from the church, Mr William Church, taught a simple gospel message using two apples which looked identical; however, when he opened one, it was black inside. He explained that is what our hearts look like to God because of sin. He opened the other and it was white, and he explained that if we acknowledge that we have sinned, believe that Jesus died for our sins and confess our need of a Saviour then we could be forgiven and have a relationship with God and eternal life. It was thus a very simple ABC of the gospel which led me to trust Christ as my Saviour that night. I wasn’t from a Christian background but l understood clearly this message of salvation. I can testify that God has never left me nor forsaken me throughout life.
‘Now, I’m a mother of two grown-up children and granny to two granddaughters. My interest in Africa and mission work began at the age of nine, the same year I trusted Christ as my Saviour. The Bible Society of Scotland came to school and gave us a project to research Scottish missionaries. I chose David Livingstone and Mary Slessor, who both made an impact on me.
‘I attended Hamilton Missionary Fellowship while at college. I was involved in our local camp work and went on SCEM summer outreach teams. I continued to attend mission days and report meetings, and read mission newsletters, all of which had an influential part in my desire to serve the Lord overseas in mission. Throughout the years I continued with camp and outreach work linked to my local church.
‘About 15 years ago I had the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Uganda. That was the first of many opportunities in Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and India on mission and educational visits. While attending a mission day at Hamilton College in 2017, I was encouraged by the testimonies of mission workers. I heard how God can use us despite our age, background or ability, and how He wants us to be available to serve Him. At that meeting, my friends Ian and Marilyn Campbell (Zambia) invited me to teach at Amano Christian School in Chingola. After a sleepless weekend thinking over my call to mission, I handed in my resignation as I knew I had to be obedient to God’s calling.
I can testify that God has never left me nor forsaken me throughout life.
‘During a visit a few months later in 2017 to MCCC Moshi, Tanzania, with a GLO mission team, God challenged me about the need for education among the young and for the work at MCCC. God gave me the opportunity to serve Him in Zambia for a year in preparation for the work here at Moshi. While working in Zambia, God granted me the desires of my heart when, 52 years after learning about David Livingstone as a child, l was able to visit Victoria Falls in Livingstone.
‘I arrived at MCCC in May 2019 and have been involved in supporting the children at the centre with their homework. I am now a missionary teacher trainer and children’s evangelist. For a short time I helped with tutoring two new boys who weren’t registered at school. I’m now involved in the daily lives of the children and young people at the MCCC centre. On 4 August 2019 we began a Sunday school work, with 35 children attending on a regular basis. Thanks to help from the Brass Tacks team with refurbishment, a kindergarten was opened on 7 January 2020 and I am currently involved in providing a kindergarten for the local community, which trains up young Tanzanian teachers. We have 11 boys and 4 girls attending on a daily basis and we have the opportunity to not only educate but share the gospel with them.
Pray for Tanzania:
- for the work at the MCCC centre, the Little Counters Kindergarten and the Sunday school work in Tanzania
- for young people leaving the centre for schooling, college and university, that they would continue to hold fast to God, and the biblical teaching they have learned
- for many Tanzanians who are facing poverty and hardship.