Steve and Ruth work for the Africa Inland Church’s Institute of Bible & Ministry (IBM) in Tanzania. They live in the bustling market town of Morogoro, at the base of the Uluguru mountain range, about 120 miles inland from Dar es Salaam.
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%.
A trip to Africa in 1984 first set in motion the desire in Steve to serve there. Further frequent visits over the years saw that desire grow, and towards the end of an 18-month trip in Zambia, Steve began to sense a call to be involved in discipleship in Africa. He began preparing for this by attending All Nations Christian College and working for AIM Europe in the UK. After a career in TV production, a change of direction saw Ruth moving into Christian ministry, working with Oak Hall, Tearfund and latterly SAT-7 where she was responsible for marketing and fundraising.
Steve and Ruth now work with IBM in Morogoro. IBM is an ongoing Bible training programme for around 140 pastors and evangelists who are involved in ministry within the Africa Inland Churches (AIC) of eastern Tanzania. This coastal diocese includes over 14 districts or regions and covers over half of the country. The goal and purpose of IBM is to enable, mobilise and inspire these pastors to a closer relationship with God and greater effectiveness in their ministries, thereby equipping them to lead their own congregations, as well as helping them to reach their communities with the gospel message. Various regional seminars, lasting three to five days, are organised from March through to November each year, giving the pastors opportunity to gather together for fellowship, updates, and fresh Biblical input.
IBM’s headquarters are at Sanga Sanga near Morogoro and serve as a central location for the activities of the Institute. The 13-acre site comprises offices, basic sports facilities, agricultural plots, a camp site, and a 13-bed retreat house. Work is currently underway to build an 150-seat conference centre.
Ruth is the Communications Officer for IBM and her role involves helping to manage the Sanga Sanga Retreat House; accounting and budgeting; fundraising and publicity; and the teaching of occasional English courses. Steve’s role at IBM is that of a Bible teacher and so he is involved in the planning of the various regional conferences, and the teaching itself. To a lesser degree he’s involved in the development of Sanga Sanga; he preaches at a number of local churches; and he is AIM’s Unit Leader for eastern Tanzania, which involves management and member care for AIM missionaries.
Could you partner with the Lancasters in this work?
The Lancasters work with Africa Inland Church Tanzania at the Institute of Bible & Ministry. Steve is Unit Leader for Tanzania East.
If you would like to partner with Steve & Ruth in your prayers, gifts and practical support, please 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Latest prayer points
- 3 August 2018
Steve & Ruth are in the middle of running a series of Pastors’ Conferences around Tanzania, based on 1 Peter. Steve writes: “One of the most challenging verses that we look at in 1 Peter comes towards the end of chapter 2: ‘Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply from the heart.’ (1 Peter 2:22)… Leading on from this verse I then head towards John 13:34-35 where Jesus instructs his disciples (and us!) to love one another, stating that if they do this, outsiders will realise that they are followers of Christ. Love is indeed the key to the gospel, isn’t it? Paul says to the Corinthians that if we lack love in our lives, our witness amounts to nothing… Father, fill us with your love; strengthen and equip us to love each other, so that a watching world may be drawn to your irresistible love.”
- 11 May 2018
“We mentioned in our last update that Ruth was busy preparing a series of English lessons with a difference. During the last month she’s been able to record a number of programmes for a local Christian radio station run by Faith Baptist Church here in Morogoro. The station is hoping to go live at the end of the year and they’re busy stockpiling material ready for their launch. Away from the microphone, there’s been a lot to do for Ruth at the home of the Institute of Bible & Ministry with bookings on the increase and the accounts to look after, plus the launch of the ‘Friends of Sanga Sanga’ scheme along with the new IBM website!… Please pray for Ruth as she helps to organise the AIM Women’s Retreat in Arusha in mid-May, and for strength and energy to carry out her various roles at Sanga, particularly in regard to finance.”
- 22 December 2017
“We’re thanking God for the past year and for all the plans that have come to fruition; for safety on the roads and in the home; for the opportunity to teach from God’s Word; for the progress made at Sanga Sanga. We’re also praising God for you! We’re thankful for the fact that many of you are journeying with us and providing finance and prayer. Thank you so much for being such a blessing! Please pray for Ruth as she continues to provide administrative support to IBM & Sanga, and as she balances the books, handles bookings and manages the housekeeping staff there. The site is certainly being used more and more, with groups coming on a regular basis to use the facilities, but with that growth comes busyness! Please pray for Steve as he spends the bulk of Jan/Feb/March preparing teaching material for the IBM seminars which begin in May. Please also pray for the Swansons [Tony & Cath] as 2018 will be their last year in Morogoro! They’ll be leaving in December 2018 and heading to a new assignment in Uganda. It raises all sorts of questions as to ‘what next’ for the team, for IBM and the work at Sanga. We would value your prayers as we try to discern the best way forward, and seek to recruit new personnel to cover Tony’s roles…We wish you every blessing for Christmas and the New Year.”