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Heather Johnstone - Tanzania

The Rehema Project benefits women and children in crisis – who don’t have food, clothing, or shelter and who are susceptible to all sorts of illnesses because of malnutrition. Many of them struggle with the effects of HIV or AIDS and sometimes suffer abuse, rape, theft and mistreatment; they are trapped in poverty, with little hope. As Christians we are compelled, through Christ’s love, to show love, compassion and mercy.

Call 

I had been a Christian for two years in 2011 when I felt God calling me to mission – I spent 17 life-changing months working on water and building projects in Tanzania and India. While in Tanzania I helped manage a local project for women and children in crisis, and when the opportunity arose to return to Tanzania to run the project, I did not hesitate to follow the call.

Role 

I manage the Rehema Project for the Diocese of Mara – an empowerment project aimed at helping the most disadvantaged women and children in Mara.

Read more about Heather Johnstone

I am South African by birth and British by naturalisation. In 2011, after almost 30 years of working in banking, account management and HR management, I was made redundant from my senior role in a business risk consultancy in London. I felt called to do something completely different, something that made a difference, and after praying about it I went to Tanzania on a short-term mission trip. I was introduced to Rehema and couldn't help but become involved. This experience further cemented my call; I firmly believe that God called me to short-term mission to give me a taste of life in long-term mission. After training with Church Mission Society, I returned to Musoma and I'm excited about sharing in the love of Christ with the Rehema ladies long-term.

I served in Tanzania for over a year without affiliation to any mission organisation. It was rewarding but I was aware that I didn't have the support my contemporaries had from their mission organisations – prayer, pastoral care, encouragement, advice, financial support, link support, etc. CMS Australia was well represented and highly regarded in Musoma, so CMS was an obvious choice – after all they have more than 200 years' experience.

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