News Release

Elder Stevenson Visits Humanitarian Project in Tanzania

As part of his nine-day journey to several African countries, Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Lesa, visited an important medical center in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, on Thursday, February 15, 2024.

The Church is helping expand the Makuburi Health Center, which serves an area of nearly 93,000 people and sits next to the Church’s Ubungo chapel.

“When we see the service that is being provided to mothers and children here, our hearts are touched by what you’re doing,” Elder Stevenson told medical center leaders and local media following a tour. “This became an opportunity for us to participate in just a small [way toward] the wonderful things that you are doing here.”

“This municipality has a good partnership with the Church since they came to our municipality through coordinators who are working here,” said Dr. Tulitweni Mwinuka of the Makuburi Health Center.

The Church is also providing support for the Kimara Health Center, which serves 145,000 people. In 2022, the Church helped fund a wheelchair ramp and a potential second floor.

The work in Tanzania is only a small part of what the Church of Jesus Christ does globally. In 2022, the humanitarian work of the Church included more than $1 billion in expenditures, 6.3 million hours volunteered and 3,692 humanitarian projects in 190 countries and territories.

While in Tanzania, Elder Stevenson, along with Elder Ian S. Ardern, President of the Africa Central Area, also held separate meetings for Latter-day Saints and missionaries of the Tanzania Dar es Salaam Mission.

Elder Ardern counseled missionaries to slow down and make things simple to learn more deeply.

“Take your time. Learn one thing a day,” Elder Ardern said. “Don’t turn the page [of scripture] until you learn something from the page. Thin pages thick with meaning. There’s a message on every page for you.”

Elder Ardern also encouraged the missionaries to tap into their power.

“You have so much power to counter opposition, it is incredible,” Elder Ardern said. “Don’t underestimate what you can do.”

Elder Stevenson said his fourth great-grandfather, William Holmes Walker, was one of three Latter-day Saint missionaries who were the first to set foot on the African continent in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1852.

The Apostle taught the missionaries for an hour, leaving them with his testimony of Christ.

“I bear my witness that God lives,” Elder Stevenson told missionaries. “I bear witness of God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. I bear witness that Jesus Christ lives, that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God. He is our Savior, He’s our Redeemer, the Savior of the world.”

Elder Stevenson, who was in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last week, will next visit the Saints in Kenya.

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