Mission Statement: Changing Lives for Christ through Compassionate Caring
Vision: Develop Tanzania into a Vibrant Christian Community
Core Values: Christ, Compassion, Caring, Commitment, Change
- We believe in the sovereign Power of God who is the Creator of the universe and all within it. (Ephesians 3:14-15).
- We believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God who lived, died, and rose again for our salvation. (Revelation 1:17-18; 1Thessalonians 5:10)
- We believe the Bible, in its entirety, to be the inspired word of God. (1 Timothy 3:16)
- We believe in salvation by grace through faith. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- We believe the Holy Spirit changes lives by revealing Jesus Christ to us. (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13)
- We are committed to following The Great Commandment to Love God above all others and love our neighbors as ourselves. (Matt 22:36-40)
- We are committed to carrying out the Great Commission, to go and make disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28:19)
STEMM is an inter-denominational Christian ministry.
STEMM was founded in 1996 and organized in 1997. The founders, Dr. Steve Meyer, Rev. Jon Gerdts, Mike Boose and Lazaro Nyalandu, led a group of 10 Siouxland residents on the first trip to Tanzania in 1997.
From that experience, Dr. Meyer and his wife Dana were inspired to find a means to provide ongoing assistance to the beautiful and desperate children of Tanzania. They also felt compelled to facilitate a means for others to experience this life-changing journey.
STEMM was specifically created to develop a relational bridge between Siouxland and Tanzania by addressing the priorities of spiritual growth, medical care, and educational opportunities. In building this relationship, the overwhelming AIDS orphan crisis was one that was brought to our attention and today is an integral part of the STEMM ministry.
Since inception, STEMM groups have traveled to Tanzania on a semi-annual basis – January and July each year. As the demand grows, so do the number of trips. It is through these “hands-on” mission trips that many Christians from all denominations and all walks of life have experienced life change and renewal in their own personal spiritual journey.
Letter from STEMM’s Founder:
Dear Friends in Christ
Thank you for taking the time to visit our Siouxland Tanzania Educational and Medical Ministry Website. As president and one of the founders of the STEMM ministry, I warmly welcome you to discover how God has blessed us with our efforts to minister to the people of Tanzania.
Let me begin by giving you a brief history of the formation of our organization. In June 1996, a year following a profound life changing experience of mine in mainland China, my pastor, John Gerdts and I led a team from our church to the country of Tanzania. We were there for three and a half weeks and were able to experience the profound blessings that accompany third world mission activities. We were profoundly touched by the country of Tanzania and more importantly, by its greatest resource; its people. The people of Tanzania, who despite life spans in the mid 40s and a mean annual income of less than five hundred dollars a year, demonstrate daily the joy of appreciating the blessings that God has given them. We found in Tanzania a people who were in extreme need of a multiplicity of goods and services, and yet who seemed incredibly content, and taught us a great deal about priorities.
As a result of the experiences shared by the twelve people on that trip, myself, John Gerdts, my wife, and Michael Boose, with the help of a native Tanzanian, Lazaro Nyalandu, formed the Siouxland Tanzania Educational and Medical Ministries. Compelled by the Holy Spirit to create an organization, and motivated to build a bridge of Christian compassion between Siouxland and Tanzania, we were incorporated in the State of Iowa in the spring of 1997.
As evidenced within our web site, our organization is multifaceted. Initially our objectives were to educate 50 children annually through high school and to perform orthopedic operations during our trips to Tanzania. As you will see, God has blessed us tremendously in regards to both our educational and medical programs. In addition we have branched out into health education, support for orphans, and now the construction and operation of a STEMM orphanage. Looking back over the twelve years of our existence, I am continually amazed at the bountiful harvest that God reaps with a few ordinary laborers. What we are really about is impacting people for Christ and his kingdom both here and in Tanzania. While there are many avenues towards that goal, our priority is to at all times and all places attempt to be the hands, feet, and the face of Jesus to the people of Tanzania. In so doing, we hope to plant a seed and provide a witness that will compel people to claim Jesus as the Savior of their life.
A particularly compelling story of the impact of our ministry of love occurred several years ago. I feel it is a great example that acts of love and service are often times much more impactful than mere rhetoric alone. There was a young man from a rural village in Tanzania who had a profound crippling deformity of his lower extremities. The STEMM team performed an operation straightening his legs which allowed him to walk. It so happened that his uncle was a chief of a large village that was entirely Muslim. When the young man walked into the village his uncle exclaimed, “praise Allah, let’s have a feast.” When the chief was told that actually the miracle had been performed by God through Christians from America who had shown compassion on his nephew and operated on him, the chief actually went to the hospital to verify this fact. When the chief walked back to the village he mandated that the mosque be torn down and a church be built. The net impact is that over 100 people who were Muslim are now serving the risen Lord.
Examples such as these motivate us to continue our work in Tanzania. In closing, let me thank you once again for visiting our web site and taking the time to explore our organization. We warmly welcome you to become involved in any way that you feel inspired. If this is your desire, please contact us and become part of the STEMM team. God can use you in our organization, and so can we!
Thank you once again. May God richly bless you.
Sincerely in His Service,
Dr. Steve Meyer