Students at the new Global Mission Secondary School, with missionary Christina Kim at the far right, back row. (Photo: Courtesy of Christina Kim)

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA – God has a way of working through challenges even when we are tempted to give up. The Global Mission Secondary School (GMSS) had been years in the planning. In 2020, God miraculously made a way to complete phase one, which included four classrooms, three laboratories, an administration block, a well, kitchen, public toilets, dorms, fence and playground. Our teaching team gathered, and God sent 41 students who came from lower income families or single parent households. I greatly appreciate all the donors who made it possible to enroll 41 students with scholarships that covered 50% of the school fees.

In 2022 and 2023, we completed phases two and three, which included a library, cafeteria, small dispensary, prayer tower, additional dormitories and an office building. The Cornerstone Church on campus was completed with support from First Korean United Methodist Church in Wheeling, Illinois.

The Rev. Sun Hyung Jo and two church members from First Korean UMC came to Tanzania to officiate at the Cornerstone Church dedication in September 2023, with the GMSS community, the Dar es Salaam district superintendent, church leaders and members of United Methodist churches in Tanzania.

Today, the GMSS community has grown to 148 students, nine full-time and two part-time teachers, two administrative staff, three security personnel and three cooks. It is located on the western outskirts of Dar es Salaam city. Through our parents, who volunteered to be GMSS ambassadors, the school has become widely known in Tanzania. When we were recruiting new students for the 2024 academic year, 182 candidates took the entrance exams, even though we had capacity for only 40 students. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, who has been helping us build a Christian school where lives are transformed, and global leaders are raised (the school vision).

Baptisms in the Indian Ocean

In 2022, I baptized seven students in the beautiful Indian Ocean, which was an awesome experience. In 2023, we baptized 16 more students at the same place when Rev. Jo and his team were here in September.

Rev. Sun Hyung Jo (left) of First Korean UMC in Wheeling, Illinois, and Rev. Christina Kim (right) baptize a student from GMSS in the Indian Ocean. (Photo: Daniel Suh, First Korean UMC)

As we held the hands of the students and entered the water, the school choir began singing. We were filled with excitement, joy and gratitude, bearing witness to their new life in Christ as devoted followers of Jesus. Rev. Jo was overjoyed by the experience and expressed his desire to return with his church members for another baptism. That night, I knelt down before God, giving thanks for the incredible life I live as a missionary in Tanzania.

Nifuate Mission Center

The Nifuate Mission Center, established during the COVID-19 pandemic, is located in Chambewa, which is about 55 kilometers south of my home. In May 2020, a Korean Presbyterian missionary couple retired and offered their land for the work of God. I saw this as God’s calling to reach out to this community in both word and deed.

Sports activity outside the Nifuate Mission Center in Chambewa, Tanzania. (Photo: Young Seon “Christina” Kim)

Chambewa is a fishing village with about 155 households in which 90% of the population is Muslim. Their major concerns are education for their children and income-generating projects to increase their livelihoods. By God’s grace, we planted Chambewa UMC within the mission center. A group of volunteers has been working together to reach out to this village by offering sports activities for children and youth, teaching English and math to children, and providing needs-based programs. Both the mission center and the church have been in operation for over three years. The Holy Spirit has blessed us, and we have become friends with this community.

In May last year, one of our volunteers, Jonas, was ordained during the 2023 Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church of Tanzania. He was appointed as pastor for Chambewa UMC. I met him when he was 16 through my discipleship and leadership training in the Tarime District.

In mid-September, we relocated a construction team from GMSS to Chambewa to build two preschool classrooms, an office and a small multipurpose hall for the church, the preschool and the community. God is at work, and I believe God will provide the grace to see it through to completion.

With God, all things are possible. This is the GMSS school motto, which stemmed from my experiences with God’s faithfulness and provision during the construction of its campus. COVID-19 may have halted our progress, but it didn’t stop God. I used to sing the song “Way Maker” alone, but now I sing it with 148 students and 20 staff together. As a GMSS community, we pray for wisdom, maintain our integrity and strive for excellence in everything we do.

I extend my heartfelt appreciation to each donor, scholarship-giver and mission partner who is committed to supporting and praying for the next generations and my work as a missionary. God’s work cannot be done alone; together, we can accomplish more for Christ and the Kingdom. May your life be a blessing to others in need and promote peace and justice in all that you do.

The Rev. Young Seon “Christina” Kim is a United Methodist missionary with Global Ministries who works as the director of Next Generation Ministries of the United Methodist church in Tanzania, based in Dar es Salaam. Next Generation recruits and equips young leadership for ministry and mission.

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