dinna's story

taking the call to service seriously

Before college

Dinna grew up in Tarime, a small town near Lake Victoria in Tanzania.  Dinna’s father died when she was 14 and her mother left at the same time. Life was very hard living in a mud hut with her grandmother, who often could not afford the basics. Then one day she was introduced to Gamasara Methodist Church, and from Gamasara Methodist, she was introduced to Wesley College.

Dinna Toye.jpeg

Dinna at college

Enrolling at Wesley College was at first challenging to Dinna for several reasons. She needed to move to the second largest city in Tanzania. This meant acclimating to a much different environment, interacting with people of different backgrounds, and adapting to some studies in the English language.

 

Gradually, she began to overcome the challenges and believe in herself. College changed her life in many ways. From Dinna:

 

“It used to be that I did not know God. I did not know that God cared about me or my family, I did not know that God wanted to use me in his work. But God has made so much of my life. He has taken me to Wesley College so I could study theology and has shown me that he wants to use me and make something of my life.”

Dinna after graduation

Dinna received her degree in Theology in November 2020.  As a graduate, she wanted to practice what she learned. She took the call to be a servant leadership seriously. Together with two other Wesley College graduates and two American young adults, she put her faith into action by living in a cross-cultural Christian community. Together they piloted ‘Wesley House’ in Tarime, Tanzania – coincidentally Dinna’s hometown.

 

At Wesley House, all are committed to growing closer to God through intentional community, sharing the good news of Jesus with their neighbors, and joining in the work of bringing God's Kingdom on earth.

 

Dinna saw this as a logical next step from her education. As part of Wesley House, Dinna has reached out to show love to her neighbors in any way that she could. It hasn’t always been easy. Sometimes she got up in the middle of the night to accompany neighbors to the hospital. Sometimes she found ways to pay the doctor bill, when her neighbors came up short. In her role as ‘Community Involvement Coordinator’ she stepped out of her comfort zone – often – reaching out to invite people in.

 

When the trial period of Wesley House ended in fall 2021, Dinna didn’t move. She continues to lead the house church and the neighborhood ministry. Although not ordained and refusing to call herself ‘pastor,’ we see a servant leader at work. We eagerly anticipate watching Dinna’s next step, as she continues to grow.