CVM serves to send veterinary professionals across the world to develop sustainable outreach through veterinary medicine. Dr. Lena and Patrick Wensel are great examples of this as they serve Christ in East Africa. Lena trains local animal health care workers to improve the health of their livestock while Patrick provides Community Health Evangelism and church planting training to the community.
What does sustainable really mean? Sustainability implies that the work that the Wensels are doing will be able to be maintained, at a certain rate or level, by Tanzanian partnerships within the community. Their goal is to develop programs that will be able to be continued without outside support as well as programs that have eternal results.
We want to introduce you to the people working alongside the Wensels who through training and their own passion for the “good news” are changing Tanzania:
Meet Evan and Jane
Together they planted a church deep in the countryside. This area is unreachable by vehicles in the rainy season and is so secluded that their daughters no longer have access to schooling. Can you believe this smiling, youthful woman (in the knit cap) has borne nine children? Only three are present in this picture because the eldest is married, and her last five children all passed away in their toddler years. Truly, the Joy of the Lord is their strength.
Meet Mark and Sara
They have planted a church in a larger community, where many children play and roam together, and tiny little girls can be seen carefully carrying babies and toddlers who are nearly as big as their caretakers. One sad day last October, this family’s baby was crawling around with the kids in a neighbor’s yard. Sadly, he meandered into a pit filled with hidden smoldering embers left over from the recently burned brush. During our visit, we watched as this cheerful little man toddled around on healed but severely damaged feet and practiced grasping things with the three fingers that survived the accident. His parents used the Wensel’s visit as a community outreach opportunity, where they fed neighbors and shared the message and love of Christ. Mark and Sara had nothing but praises to sing about God’s provision and protection.
Meet Eli and Betty
Eli and Betty are church planters who have a heart for building relationships with Muslims. They are well-equipped for this ministry, as Eli was previously Muslim. Even with this background, the growth of their church has been agonizingly slow. Ministry based on relationships and love takes time, trust, and respect. This faithful couple has built a homestead and church right on the side of the main road, where they have opened their hearts and lives through literacy training and a newly developing chicken business!
These are some of the gifted people who work alongside CVM veterinary professionals to share Christ within their communities, and these are the people who are bringing transformation to Tanzania.
If you would like to know more about the Wensel family and the work they are doing in Tanzania, find out more. If you want to know more about how you can share the good news through your own profession, visit the CVM website for opportunities and tools that can help.