A SPIRIT-LED PRESENCE
There is no more powerful example of our precept to be spirit-led than the presence of our orphanage. Nowhere in our original charter of our founding fathers vision existed even the faintest thought or dream of running an orphanage. But in 2007 we were called by the Holy Spirit to take a more active role in caring for the children of Tanzania in a loving Christian environment.
From our very first trip in 1987, we had supported financially, prayerfully, and logistically several other small orphanages. For several years, we provided food, clothing, beds, blankets and even chicken coops for struggling homes for orphan children. Then, God introduced us to Rhema. She was a young beautiful seven-year-old child with HIV. Over an 18-month period, she had moved through three different orphanages because as soon as they found out about her medical condition she was turned out into the street. She ultimately died of her disease because no one would care for her.
The Holy Spirit placed deeply into the hearts of several of our board members that this was unacceptable! Furthermore, the majority of orphanages were institutional in nature. While providing very basic sustenance, this did not nurture the kids in a loving Christian environment. In full disclosure, Dr. Steve was very adamantly opposed to this concept thinking it would stretch us beyond our resources. However, at our fundraiser in 2007 a fleece was laid out for the Lord asking him to affirm the vision by providing an additional $40,000 at that event. Not surprisingly, God answered boldly by providing us more than that amount.
At every step of the way, God directed our steps and provided the resources. The Siouxland community graciously donated almost $400,000 to begin construction of an orphanage. After searching for three years, God providentially provided the perfect land and location for our children’s home. In May 2011, our dream became reality when we opened the STEMM children’s village (SCV).
STEMM CHILDREN’S VILLAGE (SCV)
For almost a decade now we have provided a loving nurturing environment for 24 beautiful children who are not excluded because of their HIV status or other malady. Our orphanage was selected as the best run orphanage in our district and the second-best orphanage in all northern Tanzania. Most importantly, we have transformed the lives of two dozen children who had absolutely no hope into a new generation of loving equipped Christian leaders.
In June 2019 we will open two more orphan houses to double our capacity to 48 children. Each of our four homes are created to nurture the children in a loving Christian environment growing up in a home with mamas, aunties and their new brothers and sisters in Christ.
A completely unforeseen but inarguably providential blessing has been the placement of our orphanage in a remote predominately Muslim village. We have deeply engaged in community development and spiritual outreach with in the community. The consequences are that multiple souls are being won for eternity by the light that we are shining in that dark and hopeless village.
The Gospel of Mark states that true religion is to care for orphans and widows in their distress. Our mission has the amazing blessing to do just that in Mbuguni, Tanzania.