Compassion Church Plant in Tanzania

Partnering with God in Tanzania

In January of 2022, Pathway celebrated 20 years of being a church. For our anniversary, we wanted to give back in a BIG way.

In early 2021, Pathway was presented with the opportunity to partner with Compassion International to build a church in the Dodoma Region of Tanzania. Thanks to your generous gifts, the facilities were completed in June of 2021. In January of 2022, we presented our church with the opportunity to sponsor children in this community. The church is currently ministering to an impoverished community of people (50% of whom are children) and has become the center of a life-changing experience for 150+ children and their families.

Interested in sponsoring a child through Compassion? Click the button below.

The Goal: $75,187.44

You Gave: $136,000

This financial gift from Pathway has funded the construction of the new church and the facilities for a Compassion-assisted student center. The surplus will go toward other Compassion churches in this area who need additional support.

  • One Large Meeting Room / Sanctuary
  • Three Classrooms
  • Kitchen / Food Preparation Space
  • Restrooms / Latrines

View photos and read updates HERE.

Why Compassion International?

In 65+ years of ministry, Compassion International has served more than 1.9 million children in 25 of the poorest countries in the world, as well as over 8,000 international church partners—all in Jesus’ name. The Compassion ministry model is built on three distinct foundations.

Exclusive Focus on Children

All Compassion programs take a holistic approach to child development, addressing a child’s physical, spiritual, socio-emotional, economic, and educational needs. Compassion intentionally seeks out children who are facing extreme poverty—”the poorest of the poor”.

Exclusive Work with the local church

Compassion believes the Church is God’s agent for change in a broken world, and their programs are offered only through partnership with local churches in the developing world who have the same passion to prioritize and minister to children.

Jesus at the center

Children and families are not required to profess Jesus as their Savior to participate in Compassion programs, but children will hear the gospel, see living faith, and be discipled in the ways of Jesus. Every mother and child receive age-appropriate Bibles, which are replaced as children mature.

Our Opportunity in Tanzania

Compassion is not a church-planting organization, but when they identify a place with great need that does not have a church, they partner with a church-planting organization to start a church that will become the hub of Compassion ministry in a community.

<b>The Church<b>

The Church

Pathway and Compassion will be partnering with FPCT Kondoa to build and plant the Free Pentecostal Church of Tanzania. This new church is based in an area comprised of the Burunge, Rangi, Gogo and Sandawe tribes. Most of the community members are not Christians and there is a strong need for a vibrant church.
<b>Pastor Yohana Elias</b>

Pastor Yohana Elias

Pastor Yohana Elias has been serving in the mother church (FPCT Kondoa) and is a respected leader. He has been ministering in the target community and feels called to plant a church there. To help with construction, he recruited members from the mother church and the community. He supports his family through farming and keeping livestock. The mother church provides oversight and mentorship to the daughter church, its pastor, and its leaders. Yohana Elias is married and has six children.
<b>The Community<b>

The Community

Typical homes in the area are made of burnt bricks or mud; some are covered with iron sheets or grass. To provide for their families, adults in the community depend on farming and raising animals. The area is dry and it only rains once a year during the rainy season, but this season often brings damaging rains and floods that destroy crops and the livelihood of the people. Additionally, COVID-19 has contributed to food scarcity in Tanzania. Compassion has been providing food packets and hygiene kits, and has been meeting medical needs during this time.
<b>The Location</b>

The Location

The daughter church has secured land with a small existing structure that they will expand to support the planned ministry. They are waiting to receive a title deed from the government.

The Timeline

The average construction of the church building takes between 8-14 months, depending on its location.
Many variables will influence the timeline, including availability of materials, road conditions, and weather.


Gift funding received by the national Compassion office.


Church staff members in Tanzania begin soliciting bids for construction. Materials are purchased. Planning is finalized.


Construction begins. Church leaders conduct activities in the community to build awareness and excitement, and they identify children who are eligible to register with the child development center.


As construction progresses, church staff members hire child development center staff. Staff are trained, and preparation for child registration continues.


150-200 children are registered with the center. A caregiver orientation is held.


Construction concludes. The new church opens its doors to the community, and the center begins ministry to children.

How to Write to Your Compassion Child

Progress Updates

June 2021: We received word that Pathway’s Compassion Church in Tanzania has been completed!

Although the church faced several obstacles—including frequent power outages and the scarcity of metals and other materials—they persisted. All of the construction is complete and the church is using the new facility. The new church center contains a sanctuary/multipurpose room, five classrooms, an office, bathroom and kitchen. The classrooms are partially furnished with 40 chairs and 20 tables. Playground equipment was being installed when the church team submitted their final update.

Currently, 48 adults and 42 children are attending the church. Church leaders and members are sharing the gospel in their community and already are making a positive difference. This construction project also contributed significantly to the village economy by providing jobs for laborers and local vendors.

Church staff and members pray over the church property, dedicating the land to God and asking God to remove all darkness.

The office building has two classrooms. An adjacent building has three classrooms.

The kitchen building during the final stages of construction

One of the fully furnished classrooms

Local youth and a teacher from the mother church installed playground equipment.

The completed latrine block

As chairman of the village, our government leaders and I are grateful to be able to promote this community service. This community will have young people with good morals raised by the church, people will receive the sermons and admonition of God. Children will get education, have a safe place to play, and have fun.

We believe the church brings peace in the village, and the church and child development center will benefit our community.

I am a small food trader here in the village, and I have been able to benefit greatly from this construction project at FPCT church. The number of customers in my restaurant increased as I served food to the laborers who worked on the church construction. It was a financial boost as I served many clients at the same time. I have been able to take care of my family from the income brought by the construction of this project. The construction project has greatly helped to improve the lives of entrepreneurs in the village.

Young people who used to beg found work as laborers on the construction, they have received wages, their life of begging has changed and now they are eager to continue working.

Next Steps

The major construction is completed and a few final tasks remain:

  • Clean the church grounds and improve the landscape.
  • Install kitchen equipment to facilitate meal preparation for the children.
  • Paint the foundations of all buildings.
  • Install the remaining classroom furniture (120 chairs and 140 tables) when it is delivered.

Prayer Requests

The church asks that you join them in prayer for the following requests:

  • Pray for the community to follow God and experience renewed minds and beliefs. Pray that more people will become disciples of Jesus.
  • Pray for the future crusade that is planned.
  • Ask God to raise up zealous ministers who will continue the work of service in the various areas around the community.
  • Continue to pray for the church so that they can complete any remaining details.
  • Ask God to continue to improve the economic situation of the church.
  • Pray that the church will be healthy spiritually, physically and mentally.
  • Ask God to release the community from the vicious poverty that surrounds the village.

April 2021: We received word from Compassion that the church plant is much further along than expected.
Funding was given to keep the progress moving during COVID, and will be back-filled by Pathway’s gift.

The site: encompassing the church, a building with three classrooms, an office building with two classrooms, and toilets (not pictured)

Front view of the two buildings containing classrooms

Inside view of the church building

Local women fetching water for the domestic uses

The church building with completed roofing works

Progress on the kitchen

Back view of the latrine block

Front view of the latrine block

About Missions at Pathway

At Pathway, our mission is to lead people into a full life found in Jesus Christ (John 10:10). We believe the components of full life in Christ can be summed up as—Connect, Grow, Serve, Go. Our heart for Missions at Pathway is that we would serve others here, near, and far and play a part in God’s purpose for the world.

Contact us

Todd DeTurk
Missions Director