Christmas is taking on greater meaning in Tanzania. Through a five-city evangelistic crusade, Christ for all Nations has spread the gospel through Operation Decapolis.
In November, CfaN held ministry campaigns in five cities over two weeks. Crew traveled to Arusha, Kahama, Singida, Shinyanga and Tabora to set up sound systems, market the services and welcome locals. Each campaign lasted seven days.
The grassroots approach worked.
More than 350,000 people attended the multi-city initiative, and 53,153 of them declared a first-time salvation experience. The new Christians shared their contact information, so a local church can follow up and help them begin a meaningful, lifelong walk with Jesus Christ.
Many people also reported experiencing miracles, including physical healings, spiritual deliverance, restored relationships and freedom from sin and addiction.
During the crusades, CfAN posted blogs to provide highlights of the messages and the movement of the Holy Spirit.
Evangelist Gary Smith ministered in Shinyanga, Tanzania. He wrote, "The moment I got on the first flight to Shinyanga, Tanzania, I began to weep in the presence of the Lord. During the multiple flights, I was still encountering the mighty presence of the Lord that continues to stay and has not lifted from me, nor do I want it too! Glory to God."
This strategy to advance the Great Commission is new and involves blanketing a number of cities—up to 10 at a time—with grassroots campaigns. "Decapolis" is a Greek word meaning "10 cities." Changing coronavirus restrictions caused the initiative to move from the planned start in Kenya to Tanzania, with half of the number of planned services.
"Rather than give up, the CfaN team turned its attention to Tanzania, where the door was wide open. Still, the last-minute transition dramatically shortened the available planning time."
The first step in the process involved sending the highly trained Evangelism Bootcamp graduates and interns to work with local churches, uniting their vision for expanding the kingdom of God in their region.
The team was astounded at the Tanzanian churches' willingness to ignore denominational differences and adopt a "whatever it takes" attitude toward winning souls in their communities.
Bret Sipek, CfaN's lead coordinator for the Decapolis pilot program, said, "Our goal for each city is to train 1,000 local evangelists, to be able to preach in the streets and markets and to encourage and prepare 10,000 believers to pray for their loved ones and to testify. Not everyone is an evangelist, but every born-again believer has a unique story—his own testimony—and he can share it with unsaved friends."
On the last night of the crusade in Singida, Paul Maurer saw a great outpouring as he preached and the ministry's Evangelism Bootcamp graduates prayed with people.
"In my message tonight, I asked the people the following question and formed my message around it: 'What are you going to do with Jesus, who is called the Christ?' I said, 'Every man, woman and child must answer this question in their lifetime.'
"At the end of my message, I gave them an opportunity to repent of their sins and make Jesus the Lord of their life, and I was amazed at the response," he wrote in the blog. "Many thousands raised their hands to give their life to Christ! More Muslims came to faith in Jesus tonight as well!"
During Operation Decapolis, the ministry surpassed 80 million documented decisions for Christ.
The new Christians are recipients of the greatest gift ever given, Jesus Christ. Regardless of the country, political circumstances or restrictions, Christians are celebrating the birth of Christ and their opportunity to share the adult Savior with people every day, anywhere.
For more information about the Tanzania Decapolis Campaign or CfaN, visit cfan.org or danielkolenda.com.
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