23rd-27th of May, we the workers at Soma Biblia met for our annual workers seminar, this year held at Amabilis conference center in Morogoro. Workers from all of Soma Biblias branches in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Iringa, Mbeya and Mwanza came together. And we were also visited by some special guests from the Tanzanian Bible Society, and Pastor Oswald Ndelwa from Iringa, blessed us with two inspiring Bible lessons.
One of the purposes for this annual seminar, was to be together and evaluate our work in the past year, to exchange experiences, discuss and share ideas on how to reach even further with the gospel of Jesus Christ. But there was also room for recreation; to play games and to visit various attractions, like the animal reserve in Mikumi, and the Uluguru mountains. Most importantly we had time for sharing and witnessing for eachother, which touched us and encouraged us; even if we are put through tests and trials, we are still on the winning team.
Pastor Owald Ndelwa taught and reflected together with us over word of God in 2 Cor 5: 11-21, and reconciliation. And how the way reconciliation in our African society is different from that of God, who gave His only son to die in our place for our wrongdoings. This gives us a responsibility; a responsibility to bring people to Jesus, to witness to them, spread the gospel in various ways including spreading the Word of God.
At the seminar we also had time to share from our daily work; the upsides and the challenges we face in each and every branch. This is a very important exercise, as all can contribute with their views and ideas of how to solve different problems.
A special tradition was started at the seminar this year: the recognition of the workers who have worked for Soma Biblia for 10, 20 or 30 years. Four workers were this year recognised and given a special certificate and a gift of appreciation. Among the four, were three who have worked for more than 10 years, and one who have worked as long as 30 years with Soma Biblia. This was a real encouragement also for the other staff, as they see that their work is recognized and appreciated.
Every year in the months leading up to the seminar, there is a competition between the branches to wee who are best at distributor of a chosen item or items. This year the competition was on which branch could sell the most books produced by Soma Biblia. The competition was hard, and everyone really did their best, but in the end it was the workers at Soma Biblia Mwanza who took the victory and the Soma Biblia cup home!
All of this is a motivation for the workers, showing them that their work is not taken for granted, but that they are recognised and appreciated. Praise, honor and glory are to our God, who has enabled us to do all this.
James Sabuni, Editor Soma Biblia