Newsletter of Eric and Liz Soard, Missionaries in Tanzania: Our Journey in God's Life

Newsletter of Eric and Liz Soard, Missionaries in Tanzania: Our Journey in God's Life


10/9/2015

Share Love, Dream Dreams

I know that it has been too long since we have said hi since I am looking at reflecting some on our time home and yet I have been back in Tanzania a month now. A few personal updates since it has been a while. We all were able to be back in the US for five weeks this summer. It was Derrick’s and Micah’s first trip to the US and it was a blast. Micah and Kaleb were baptized by Liz’s dad. We got to see all of the grandparents. We spent some time visiting some of our partner churches in Alabama where we also snuck away to see the Space Center in Huntsville and play at a great kids science museum in Birmingham. Now Eric, Derrick, and Kaleb are back in Tanzania, moved into their new house, and starting a new school year. Liz and Micah are in Wilmore, KY as Liz finishes her last semester of seminary.
 
While we were home one of the things I felt was just a real love from people. Over and over again I was amazed at the love and support we were show by our family, friends, and church partners. We had places to stay, food to eat, people taking care of our kids, and listening to our stories of both success and challenges. I mean, we only get to the US every once in a while and very rarely get to spend all the time we want with everyone. In the end it feels a lot like we are taking advantage of others, and that we spend too much of our time in the US receiving, instead of giving.
 
I will say though what so much support allows us to do during our time home and that is dream dreams. Being surrounded by family members that are there for us even as they hate to see us leave…again. Being around friends who still answer our phone calls and drive to meet us even though we haven’t talked in a year. Being around church partners who get excited about the work here in Tanzania and what is going on for God’s kingdom in a completely different part of the world. This provides the support we need to be willing to dream. It has also reaffirmed the priority we place on equipping others. I have come to realize that equipping others is a true act of love because you are giving of yourself, your time, your money, your attention, your care when in the end you have no idea what is going to come of all of that work. To equip is to expose and guide, feed and allow others to explore realizing that the end results may not be what you want or may not directly be of benefit to you…but that is how we show our love to others, when we invest in their lives. We spent five weeks being loved and supported and I hope that as we are getting back into work and ministry here in Tanzania that we can do the same.
 
We are deworming students at Emmanuel Center Nursery School in order to give them better health, more strength, and a more alert mind to learn with. We don’t know what they are going to do when they grow up, but we still think investing in these young students now is worth while.
 
We continue to work on job skill training, and hope soon to start financial self-help groups in the communities around our local churches. I have no idea if this will increase the economy of our churches or not, but it is a great way to love our community.
 
The Tanzania Annual Conference recently voted to set up a scholarship fund to help students be able to continue their studies. You never know how a person will use education when gifted with it, but our goal is to help others have a larger number of real options, not a smaller number. That is the point and goal behind Wesley College as well.
 
I just want to say thank you to everyone who helped us feel loved this past summer, showed up to baptisms, took us into your home, feed us, listened to us…just all of it. Please know that allowing us to dream some dreams and feel refreshed will hopefully lead to more, not less…as truly showing love to others tends to do.
 
**If you are interested in supporting these efforts of equipping and empowerment consider an investment in Wesley College and Education Center as we try to launch a college that is focusing on community leadership and an exponential impact in Tanzania.

The Highlight Reel

Our Father's House

Our Father’s House, our ministry with street children in Tarime, is starting to come of age and with that we are experiencing the usual pains of growing up. Our Father’s House has now successfully helped 15 children get off of the streets and back with relatives or guardians. In October leadership will be taking a exposure/teaching trip to Railway Children’s office in Mwanza to learn from a more experienced project and to start dreaming about how to continue to support these children in education, with job skills, and at increasing the level of informal education provided to children on the streets and families after accepting these kids back into their homes. While a newer project it can be support through our Church Construction and Development Advance Special fund.

Passing It On

It is still a ways off, but I am already mentally preparing for my 30th birthday! The reality though is that I feel like I have been blessed in the last decade and before to have incredible people, great educational opportunities, and chances to go and do more things than should rightly be crammed into a single decade. I would love to use my 30th birthday to help give back, but I need your help. I want to provide 30 years of college education to students here in Tanzania, which will take $30,000. I just love when numbers work out like that, and yes I can education a college student for only $1000 a year here in Tanzania. If you are interested you can go on-line and donate to Wesley College and Education Center…any amount what so ever, to help me celebrate my birthday. If you are really into celebrating feel free to get a few friends, a Sunday School class, or a church involved and try to get an entire year’s worth taken care of. www.umcmission.org/give

Emmanuel Center Demonstration Farm

After some rough starts and stops the Emmanuel Center demonstration farm is producing fruit…well actually more like vegetables. The farm has sold its first round of produce in the local market and is looking forward to more success as women learn how to grow small plots that can produce a high enough yield to increase nutrition in the home as well as have enough to sell in market.

Masarura UMC

Masarura UMC continues to be a model church in the Mara District. At the last district meeting we heard stories of the church and how it is serving the community in both its spiritual needs and physical. We heard stories of the transformation of baptism as well as how the church contributed, came together, and built a house for a widow in their community. It is simply heart warming to hear the outpouring of love that this church truly has for their community.

Prayers and Pictures

 

Derrick enjoying some of America. Prayers for Liz and I and the kids as we spend four months apart while Liz finishes up her master's and I stay in Tanzania with Derrick and Kaleb.  Some of our students at Emmanuel Center Nursery School in new uniforms. Join in prayers for our churches in the Tarime and Rorya who are praying for rain for this planting season Emmanuel Center demonstration farm.  Prayers for our local churches that as partnerships develop they have the discernment on their side to guide them with wisdom. 













Contributions

You can support us or projects we are working on through the Advance Special of the United Methodist Church. Send a check to “Advance GCFA” at  P.O. Box 9068, GPO New York, NY 10087 with the advance number and name in the memo line that you wish to support or go on-line at www.umcmission.org/give

Eric Soard #3021468
Liz Soard #3021467
Wesley College and Education Center #3021925
Emmanuel Center #3021924
Church Construction and Development #3021923

Contact Us

Eric Soard - ericsoard@umcmission.org
Liz Soard - esoard@umcmission.org
Our Blog- www.ingodslife.blogspot.com
Wesley College website - www.wesleycollegetz.com
Eric's Missionary Bio
Liz's Missionary Bio