On Mission to Reach the Unreached
Global Evangelism and Church Planting at Wells Branch Church
The Goal of our Global Missions Work
Planting Seeds, Planting Churches, Planting Hope
There is a dire need for the Gospel in Tanzania, and Wells Branch Community Church is committed to reaching unreached people groups with the life-changing reality of Jesus Christ. We launched our mission organization 1520 Unreached in 2013, and sent missionaries James and Indurance Myer to Tanzania in 2014. Their work continues until this day, bringing light to the dark areas by planting seeds, planting churches, and planting hope amongst the Zaramo Tribe.
1520 Unreached exists to establish indigenous, self-sustaining church planting movements in unreached people groups all over the world. In our first missionary expedition in Tanzania we have established ancillary ministries of albino care and farming, both of which enhance our church planting movement.
Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa. It is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south, and by the Indian Ocean to the east. Tanzania is the 13th largest country in Africa (by land mass) and the 31st largest in the world.
Tanzania has a population of 51 million. It is the sixth most populous country in Africa. Many maps denote Dar es Salaam as the capital of Tanzania, but it is not. The capital is Dodoma. Dar es Salaam is the largest city, a principal port, and commercial hub.
The precious metal Tanzanite is mined in of Tanzania. Tanzania is home to two renowned tourism destinations – Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, and the wildlife-rich national park – the Serengeti.
The Zaramo practice superstition as well as Islam. The New Testament is becoming available in their language. Prayer and intercession are needed to break the strongholds that are keeping them bound. The Zaramo need laborers who are willing to go and work among them.
Our Local Team
Our local pastors Jacob and Eliah lead the charge in the Zaramo region, spearheading evangelism outreaches, interacting with local government leaders, and facilitating our humanitarian efforts in addition to ministering. Our church system is structured as a hub-and-spoke, with the "mother” church located in the largest town in the Zaramo region.
Self Sustainability: The 1520 Unreached Farm
Agriculture in the Zaramo Region
One of the goals of 1520 Unreached is to educate, train, and develop our local leadership to motivate and train the next generation to support their ministry through sustainable avenues. Our strategy for self-sustainability in Tanzania includes farming and apiculture (beekeeping). The 1520 Farm is 50 acres and located in the Zaramo region. We grow rice and corn, as well as raise hundreds of pigs and goats. We provide education and training on modern agriculture and irrigation techniques, and beekeeping. Our hope is that as we send young pastors into the remote villages and unreached areas of Tanzania, they will also have means to economically support themselves. As villages experience both the life changing reality of Jesus Christ and are able to support themselves, then they are able to reproduce Christ-centered communities.
What is Albinism?
Albinism is a genetically inherited condition which is very rare and, worldwide, affects approximately one in twenty thousand people. Although rare in the western world, albinism is quite common in sub-Saharan Africa, likely as a result of consanguinity (being from the same kinship as another person). In Tanzania, albinos represent one in every 1,500 births, a much higher rate than in any other nation.
Very few understand or are educated about the medical and genetic causes of this condition. Many locally believe it is a punishment from God or bad luck. This lack of knowledge about people with albinism means that folktales and superstition take the place of medical facts in the minds of many local people, which in turn has major effects on the social integration of people with albinism into Tanzanian society. A large percentage of albinos die by the age of thirty for reasons which could easily be prevented, i.e. persecution and cancer.
Our Work With the Albino Population
We act as advocates for the local albino population. We hold quarterly events in various areas of the coastal region. We work through the local school system to identify young albino students and invite them and their families to our events where we educate all on the condition of albinism and effective skin care. We distribute sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses, and hats and share a meal together.
Our work is important because sunscreen and lip balm are scare in Tanzania, and where available (major cities) they are prohibitively expensive. The majority of albinos, if they live through persecution, die at a very young age (30-35 years old) due to skin cancer and other skin ailments. Our work is potentially lifesaving and we thank God for the opportunity to impact lives and hopefully change engrained patterns of thought. We currently ship all our sunscreen and lip balm from the United States. We continue to look for resource partners as we strive to make this ministry sustainable.
The Missionary Team
The Myer Family
James and Indurance Myer and their sons, Moses and Abel, are our missionaries in Tanzania. They moved to Austin, TX in the summer of 2012 to join Pastor Chris Plekenpol and be a part of Wells Branch Community Church . Together, they helped launch 1520 Unreached. They permanently moved to Tanzania in June 2014 with their hearts and hopes set on impacting the Zaramo people of Tanzania with the life changing reality of Jesus Christ.
James was born in Nebraska and spent his childhood in Minnesota and Kansas. He is a military veteran, having served one tour of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Biblical Studies. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys hunting and lifting weights.
Indurance was raised in Grand Prairie, TX. She is Nigerian and one of six children. She played basketball at the University of North Texas, where she received her degrees in Business Economics and Finance. She worked in the banking industry before embarking on the mission field. She enjoys fitness, sports, and reading.