A Man & a Book

It started with a simple invitation from a group of 27 local, Tanzanian churches, for Billy to come and lead a Community Health Evangelism seminar. The church leaders saw the potential these new principles had for their local communities and pulled out all of the stops—including hiring a photographer to document the event. Neither Billy nor Prosper, the young, budding “photojournalist,” could have predicted what God would do with their friendship over the next several years, nor could they be aware of how little it had to do with a camera.

A man reading from the Bible

After the seminar, the church leaders urged Billy and Leah to hire Prosper to work for them, both to help him make ends meet, and with the ulterior motive that large amounts of their time together could be spent on discipleship and mentoring. Over the course of time, Billy shared the contents of a small booklet with Prosper, called Come, Share Your Faith—an invitation Prosper took literally. While Billy and Leah were on furlough, Prosper stayed busy in Tanzania, creating quite a stir doing exactly that—sharing his story of contagious faith. Every Sunday, he would show up at his local church with new people, men who were intrigued by this man that would stop and talk to them on the street or at the store and shared about a relationship with Jesus like they’d never heard of before. The local leadership became threatened by Prosper’s success and his popularity; after all he was bringing more people into the church than the pastor was, and these men were turning to him to answer questions and give opinions instead of seeking out the “proper” leadership structures. They made a decision to try and “slow him down” by enacting some church discipline. Prosper sensed the Holy Spirit leading him away from this church body and calling him to try something new.

Along with seven other men, Proper began his own “house church,” meeting regularly with them and discipling them. When Billy and Leah returned to Tanzania, they came alongside Prosper, offering more discipleship resources, and encouraging him to start his own church plant. Out of these relationships, the Moshono Christian Church in Tanzania was born. They moved to their own property, and began meeting in a make-shift structure, funded by the tithe off Billy & Leah’s federal tax return. Prosper, now married to his beautiful wife, Sophie, with their powerful testimony, continues to lead the church. He lives and breathes discipleship, and can often be found sitting on the side of the road with a traveler, pouring over a little booklet, talking excitedly about a God and his Son who changes lives.