A new boat helps seminary students in Tanzania on fishing trips.

By January 17, 2006

Tanzania (MNN)—Efforts to bring the economic policies under control are stabilizing Tanzania.

The new president, Jakaya Kikwete, has promised to continue building on the foundation built by retired President Benjamin Mkapa. That means observers expect continued recovery programs and macroeconomic policies. Add to that more structural reforms, including privatisation, and it appears the country is on surer footing than it was a decade ago.

But not everyone gets the benefits. There are many who remain isolated not only from politics, but also from people.

Grace Ministries International’s Sam Vinton says their missionary, Ted Rabenold, took up the challenge of raising the money for a boat that would help them reach into inaccessible areas around the Rukwa Valley.

The boat is a 16–foot jet boat that has a low draft and handles itself very well in the shallow lake waters. When it arrived, the team took a group of students from the Lay Bible School. It was an excellent time for them to see this new tool for mobilizing the church at work.

“It gives the opportunity now for him to take a number of students out with him”, on a regular basis, Vinton explains, adding that Rabenold will “…drop them off in the various villages along the lake, and then come back and pick them up and drop them off and spend a night maybe in the last village and bring the back to the school.”

Vinton says in the test runs, the team took the opportunity to preach to the villagers. The response? They were amazed that someone would target the Lake shores’ peoples. “We believe it’s going to be opening up a new opportunity, and these people are not really reached with the gospel at all. So that gives us a great opportunity of evangelistic outreach that we did not have up to the time when we got that boat.”

As a result, they are already planning its use in medical outreaches such as Dr. Paul Newcomer’s eye team coming next year.

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