Over 28,000 people sealed their acceptance of the Adventist message with a spectacular baptism in the country of Tanzania following a three-week evangelistic campaign. The message was broadcast live from the city of Dodoma at Kizota Adventist Church and relayed to more than 3,000 sites across the country. This success was a result of a partnership between Hope Channel Tanzania and Morning Star Radio, and a purposeful use of social media in evangelism. The theme of the campaign was “Shangwe katika njia yake,” a Kiswahili phrase that means “Joy in his way.’’
In his comments, pastor Mark Walwa Malekana, president of South Tanzania Union Mission and main speaker for the event, asserted that biblical joy is a fruit of the spirit that does not change with circumstances. He added that the newly baptized understood clearly that only Jesus can protect them against the hardships of the world, and commended lay people and church leaders for their involvement in the campaign.
The participation of individuals with various talents made the event holistic; each sermon was preceded by compelling health and family life presentations with practical solutions for social issues. Not only did the shows arrest the attention of people thirsty for physical and mental fitness, they also provided tips for maintaining family bonds.
Besides church health workers, the government of Tanzania sent equipped nurses who tested attendees for some non-communicable diseases.
Additionally, church members were involved in compassionate ministries during the campaign. They visited the poor in the slums of Dodoma, listening to them and providing financial aid.
Some, after building a shelter and giving a little money to an old woman who was making a living from collecting used bottles in dumps, were shocked as the latter attended on Sabbath and returned tithe from the mite of money they had given her. She was eventually baptized.
An army officer who had been wrestling with a pastor over the existence and intervention of God in the life of his people requested to be baptized as well. She testified to God’s existence after unutterable miracles that took place in her life beginning when she began studying the Bible with the pastor.
Since 2016, the media in Tanzania have been instrumental in bringing thousands of new members every year to the church. Most of the meetings are organized under the umbrella of Hope Channel Net events.