Simon & Sue French
with Hannah and Jasmine
Tanzania is one of the world’s poorest nations; agricultural subsistence dominates its economy. Health and education sectors require massive investments.There is freedom of religion; all major faiths have the ability to share and propagate their faith. Christianity makes up 54% of the population with Islam totalling 31%.
The Datooga people, around 200,000 in number, live in Northern and Central Tanzania, often in remote locations. Traditionally they are semi-nomadic cattle herders. Although their cattle are still very important, they are increasingly settling in one place and supplementing their income by subsistence farming. This change in lifestyle creates new opportunities to reach them more easily with the Gospel.
Simon and Sue work with Datooga evangelists like these pictured, seeking to enable and equip the Datooga church to reach out to their own community.
In 2005 Simon and Sue, with their two girls Hannah and Jasmine, joined a TIMO team that spent two years living with the Datooga in the Lake Eyasi area. On the team’s completion, they felt a burden to remain in the area to continue the discipleship of Datooga believers, through Bible teaching seminars, and also to encourage and enable the local Africa Inland Church Tanzania evangelists and leaders, as they seek to reach the unreached in the area.
Simon writes: ‘In the last few years we have seen a few Datooga men and women make a commitment to follow Christ and feel the desire to share the Gospel amongst their own people. This has resulted in a number of new churches being planted, often in rural and hard to reach places. Our role working alongside the Tanzanian church is to assist these churches as they seek to reach out to their Datooga neighbours.’
Partner with the Frenchs
The Frenchs work with the local church primarily in reaching the Datooga. From July they will be on home assignment.
If you would like to partner with the Frenchs in your prayers, gifts and practical support, download and complete this form and return to Freepost RTJH-JRZE-XXKX Africa Inland Mission, Halifax Place, Nottingham NG1 1QN.
For any queries, please email: email@example.com
Latest prayer points
- 16 February 2018
“When the Lake Eyasi pastorate leadership met in October to discuss the Christmas plans an invitation was made by the Mohedagew evangelist to come to his church for the 3 day celebration…The local Evangelist also planned the celebration to be a witness to the community – having one of the three services outside the church building during which a number of neighbours came to see what was going on; as a result they heard the Word of God shared by the local Karatu Evangelist, with a translation into the Datooga language…On December 25th the small church was full with both visitors & local people. At the end of the service, again translated into Datooga, a small number of people came forward expressing a desire to know more. Last Week we met with the Evangelist and he confirmed that some of the group have regularly been coming to church, still committed to seeking Jesus. This ‘fruit’ is the work of God, a result of prayer & the labour of those sharing God’s story in this community for many years. May we pray these verses for the work at Mohedagew – Colossians 1: 10 &11.”
- 24 November 2017
“Ministry has been progressing well especially the Datooga Bible storying project which continues to make steady progress. An answer to prayer is that another Datooga Evangelist, Isaaka has joined the team crafting the stories. He has fitted in well and with his help he and Gabriel have translated the first two of six planned New Testament stories. Simon is also mentoring Evangelist Gabriel in the technological side of the crafting process- using a smart phone to record the story, then editing the story on a computer using the Audacity programme. This means that Evangelist Gabriel will soon have the skills and knowledge to craft, record, edit and distribute more stories after the initial story set has been finished. In the meantime Simon and Sue are taking regular trips to the village of Mohedagew to work with the small team on completing this initial set and to start using them in the community.”
- 4 August 2017
Simon is currently working on a project to translate Bible stories into Datooga: “Once recorded, the stories are first checked for Biblical accuracy. Then a group of Datooga people, which includes both Christians and non-believers, check that they will be understood culturally… Simon and Evangelist Gabriel have now finished crafting the Old Testament stories which they had selected, and they are now ready to start on the New Testament. In some ways this will be easier as there is a Datooga New Testament translation available, and this helps with vocabulary. In other ways, this will be harder, as some of the New Testament concepts and teaching are hard to translate into the Datooga language and culture. To help overcome some of these challenges, Simon and Gabriel would like to increase the translation team by at least one person. Please pray that God will lead us to a godly Datooga person with the appropriate language skills and commitment to the project.”