When Judith Miranda, lay leader of Malibu Group, was browsing Facebook a few years ago, she saw a photo of a child sitting alone underneath a tree. Concerned by this image, and moved with compassion, she reached out to discover who he was—and where he was from. Her inquiry led to three years, thus far, of sharing God’s love with the Maasai people in the Arusha Region of Tanzania.
Miranda learned that the child in the photo, Joel, was the younger brother of Israel Laizer, who lived in TingaTinga, a small village in the Arusha Region. A student studying at the local Adventist university to become a pastor, Laizer was the only Adventist in his village. Upon connecting with Miranda and developing a friendship, Laizer requested that Miranda visit his village to help him share the gospel with the Maasai people there.
“I prayed about it, and the Lord blessed me to go,” recalled Miranda of her first mission trip to Tanzania in 2018.
Since that first trip, Miranda, with support from the Malibu Group in the U.S. and the help of Laizer, has led evangelistic crusades, orchestrated baptisms, taught the health message, installed a water system, and built a church that is also used as a school in TingaTinga.
“We have God working to change people’s hearts with the help of His people from Malibu church,” said Laizer, who now works as a pastor at the TingaTinga church, which was built almost two years ago. “Here at TingaTinga, we have seen the grace of God working through His people, and we see the love of God in our midst.”
This year, Miranda visited in June to set up housing and provide food for widows in TingaTinga. Soon after that trip, Miranda was moved to go back in August, this time to help find housing and schooling for orphans in a nearby village. Miranda worked with Laizer and the people in the village to create an orphan center in TingaTinga and arrange for 32 orphans to attend boarding school.
“I had no idea that God would send me back,” said Miranda. “If God impresses me, I have to go.”
Malibu Group, which was first formed more than 10 years ago when Miranda and her husband discovered there was no local Adventist church in that community, has been instrumental in supporting this mission work in Tanzania. In addition to offering financial, moral, and spiritual support, a few members plan to join Miranda for an upcoming trip.
“God so loved the world,” Miranda added. “We as Adventists must show that love. You can see a difference because we show love.”
By Araya Moss