Just a quick note to give you an update. In my post from last night (Tanzania time for me) I asked for prayers for Freddy.
We found out that Freddy had surgery yesterday and is expected to make a full recovery. Thank you for your prayers. A little demonstration of God's connection from Tanzania to Minnesota.
We just spent 3 days on a safari to Ruaha National Park; Tanzania's largest National Park. Kidamali, Shepherd of the Hills partner congregation, is on the road to the park, so we drove through on the way there and back.
The drive was an adventure in itself. If you've ever driven on a dirt road and had the washer board effect where your whole vehicle rattles you'll understand the road condition for the last half of the trip. I think it was 60 kilometers of that. Then throw in some engine trouble on both the way there and back. But even with that, the trip was amazing.
I've been seeing God's work with the people of Tanzania, now I had the chance to see God's work with the land of Tanzania. We took three drives through the park with our guides. It was simply amazing. We saw so many animals and birds. I'm going to have to buy a guidebook to identify everything. There are 542 different species of birds in Ruaha. I was close enough to an elephant to realize that they have eyelashes. I saw a giraffe bend over to take a drink. I saw a landscape all the way around from horizon to horizon and the only man-made things in view were the truck we were on, 30 feet of our road and a cell tower on a mountain. God's creation is wonderful.
We're back to visiting churches tomorrow. We'll take a long bus trip again and spend 3 days south of Iringa. On Sunday, we'll worship with another partner congregation then head back to Iringa. Monday begins our return voyage as we'll be busing to Dar es Salaam. Our flight will leave Tuesday with a Wednesday return for our arrival in Minnesota.
Please say some prayers for Freddy, grandson of Liz Spohr and nephew of Sarah Spohr both members of our group. He's having some medical issues. Pray that the doctors figure everything out, that they can fix whatever's wrong. Pray for Freddy's healing so that he can go back to doing the things that young boys do. Pray for Liz and Sarah for peace that their worries and concern for Freddy won't detract from the trip.
Hello from Tanzania! I thought I would give you some highlights of the trip so far and go more in depth later.
We arrived in Iringa late on Thursday and are staying at the Lutheran Centre here. On Friday, we toured the Iringa Diocese offices. The General Secretary of the diocese, Naymann Chavalla, spoke with us about what is going on in the Iringa Diocese. We saw the offices of Bega Kwa Bega, Radio Fruaha and the tree seedlings they are growing in efforts to plant a million trees.
On Saturday we took some time to visit the Isimilia stone age site and hike through the stone pillars canyon there. In the afternoon, some of us visited Huruma, a local orphanage.
I spent Sunday worshiping with our companion church in Kidamali. Pastor Rick from our group gave the sermon in English with a Swahili translator. The service ran close to three hours long, but it seemed quicker than some of the one-hour services I've sat through in the United States. Since this is Shepherd of the Hills' companion congregation it was special for me. I addressed the congregation and gave them a gift from Shepherd. They told us about their prayers for Shepherd - they pray for Shepherd every Tuesday and Friday and had been praying for us through our pastor searches. They told us about the students who have been given scholarships to attend school through the generosity of Shepherd members - over 70! We visited one of four remote preaching points the parish has. I found the whole experience very moving.
Today we went to Ilula Lutheran Hospital, one of two hospitals in the Iringa region. We then went to Image, the companion congregation of Pastor Rick's church, Bethlehem Lutheran in Bayport. The congregation there gave Pastor Rick a goat. They will send the goat to Iringa and Pastor Rick will donate it to the Huruma Orphanage that we had visited. After that we visited the Image Lutheran High School. There are 700 students boarding and attending this high school. Many of them are there on scholarships provided by Bega Kwa Bega. Wow, it was a long day of driving on our bus over bumpy dirt roads.
It is so exciting to see God's work here on the other side of the globe. And also, how God's work in Minnesota has affected life over here for the people in Iringa.
Thank you all so much for your prayers for this trip.
On our plane coming into Tanzania we were given immigration forms to fill out. Instead of having the letterhead at the top saying "The United Republic of Tanzania" the top line read "East African Community". As I filled it out I wondered if our country would be very different if it was the United Communities of America.
On our drive to our hotel in Dar es Salaam and on our bus ride to Iringa it was a common sight to see a group of people sitting and talking. It might be two neighboring shopkeepers, maybe a group of people around a pump filling their water jugs, maybe some young men shooting pool on an outside billiard table, or it could be a group outside of a market standing with their bags. The rarer sight was seeing a Tanzanian alone. Community just seems to be something they do.
Tomorrow I go to Shepherd of the Hills' companion congregation in Kidamali to worship with them. I'm looking forward to our relationship being renewed. The companion congregations are all linked through a program called Bega Kwa Bega, which is Swahili for Shoulder to Shoulder. The relationships are built on 3 P's - Prayer, Presence, Projects. Shepherd has been through some turmoil in the past years with 5 Pastors in the last 5 years or so. Now, I hope that the relationship with Kidamali can be reinvigorated. We want to be in community with our companion congregation.
Just a few examples of community that I've been pondering.
We have arrived!
We boarded our plane at 2:30 on Tuesday afternoon. 24 hours later we were getting on our bus to be taken to our hotel for the evening. It was 24 hours, but according to the time zones it was only 16. Still it was a long day to be mostly sitting in an airline seat.
It was dark when we entered Tanzania, so even though we had a stop at Kilimanjaro Airport we couldn't see the mountain.
We rode to our hotel in the dark as well, but there was still plenty of activity. Dar es Salaam has a population of 1.36 million. I couldn't help but wonder about the stories of the lives of the people we saw.
Today, we will be taking a bus ride of about 9 hours to reach Iringa. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this country.
Another one of our group is also blogging. Those of you from Shepherd of the Hills Church will remember Pastor Horacio. His blog is at www.pastorhoracio2016tanzaniatrip.wordpress.com. (Sorry, I'm not sure why that doesn't turn into a hyperlink when i typed it. You'll just have to type out the address in your browser.)
Thank you all for your prayers for a safe voyage; they worked. Keep praying.
Back in July I wrote about a trip I was going to take to Tanzania (http://timkwrites.weebly.com/blog/we-cannot-find-kidamali-tanzania-google-maps.) The trip seemed far away, not only in distance, but in time as well. While the distance hasn’t changed, time is getting short. I’ll be leaving in a week. I’m getting ready to go; gathering supplies and figuring out what to pack.
There have been a few meetings of the group that is going, so I have some more information about the trip. We’ll be staying in the Lutheran Center in Iringa, Tanzania most nights. I’ll be able to access the internet from there, so I will be able to post updates from Tanzania. Although, I’m sure my posts will probably be more travelogue postings of what we did and where we went. I’ll probably need some time to process, so there will be posts after I return as well.
I’ll be worshipping at Shepherd of the Hills’ companion congregation of Kidamali on our first Sunday. Google maps told me they couldn’t find Kidamali. I did find it with an internet search and heard some more information about the location at our last meeting. It sits on the rim of the Great Rift Valley.
I am looking forward to this trip. Like the old theme song from the TV show Cheers says, “taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot.” With the internet, I won’t be totally out of touch, but at least I’ll miss a lot of political ads.
Obituary notices aren’t the best at giving a picture of the person. They’re designed to give just basic information – date of birth and death, relatives and the time of the service. I wanted to give you a picture of my dad by telling you some of the things that were not in the obituary.
1. The Shot
Dad didn’t feel right when some of his friends were serving in the military during the Korean War, so he decided to enlist. His father told him he could join anybody except the Marines. So, Dad enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, and was proud to have served. He was on the base basketball team in Barstow, California. In one game, his team had a big lead as halftime approached. With seconds to go they had an inbounds pass after the other team scored. Dad stood in the corner of the court as far from his basket as possible. They passed the ball into Dad; he threw up a shot and scored. Dad always ended this story by telling us that he had the record for the longest shot ever in a basketball game and his record couldn’t be broken.
2. The Politician
Dad was active in Democratic politics. In 1963, he ran for Mayor of Bloomington. In a Republican city, he drew 49.25% of the vote and lost by only 165 votes. His opponent’s daughter had been crowned Miss Minnesota just before the election. Dad said to me once that after he told Calvin Griffin that the Twins should pay for their own sewer connections at Met Stadium that Calvin started contributing a lot of money to his opponent. He also ran for the state legislature. I remember seeing his signs up in many yards. They were black and bright green and one side read “Kane Cares.” We kids were pulled in to help with delivering campaign literature to houses. It was a job we were used to having helped Bob Hoffman with his run for city council. After that Dad didn’t run again. Although one Sunday after church he was approached to run for Bloomington city council. I was there and heard his answer. He asked, “Isn’t Tom Spies running?” When told that Tom was running as an independent Dad said, “I don’t want to run against Tom, he’s a good man.”
3. The Network
This is before the term networking existed as it does now. When I was young, it used to seem that every time I went anywhere with Dad we would meet someone he knew and Dad would stop to talk with them. I felt like everybody knew my Dad.
4. The Coach
Dad coached in the BAA (Bloomington Athletic Association) with young kids. He coached me in baseball and basketball even though I was thoroughly uncoordinated and not a good athlete. He was positive with me, teaching me to bunt to get on base and praising my passing ability in basketball. He also coached football with Bob Hoffman. They went undefeated for 8 years. Dad used to doodle offensive plays on napkins and envelopes.
5. The Smoker
Dad used to smoke. Mostly he smoked pipes. One of the newspaper articles that appeared when he was running for Mayor said that he had over 150 pipes which was one for every organization where he had volunteered. After his doctor told him if he didn’t quit he’d die young dad gave up smoking cold turkey. I was in a mall with him and walking by a tobacco shop, Dad paused and took in a deep breath and sighed. “Every time I walk by a tobacco shop I want to start up again.” The winter he stopped is remembered by the family as the year he made bread. To take his mind off smoking he made banana bread, pumpkin bread, cranberry walnut bread. Then spring came and he stopped making bread and worked outside planting roses. He loved roses and loved giving them and having them.
6. The Minnesota Teen Corps
Dad enjoyed working with young people. His time with the Minnesota Teen Corps was an exciting time. Teen Corps did service projects at summer camps around Minnesota and also sent toys to Appalachia every year for people in poverty. It was a source of pride to Dad that Teen Corps alumni went on to work in social work all over the country and even internationally. There is a house that was named in Dad’s honor at a facility in France.
7. The YES Man
Dad was instrumental in the formation of the YES or Youth Emergency Services which was a hotline for people in trouble. It wasn’t uncommon for Dad to receive a phone call at home with a person in trouble who was feeling suicidal. What was the byproduct of those calls? We’ll never know for sure.
8. The Family Man
Several people have mentioned to me that the regarded Dad as a father figure. And that’s the way Dad was. He was universally accepting and supportive of people. Over my life I’ve come to realize that family is more than just your relatives. You also have the family of people you choose to have in your life. That comes from my parents. I am blessed to have been a part of my family. There’s no drama at holidays, we all like each other and have a good time together. That’s the family my parents built.
9. The Love Story
Mom was the love of Dad’s life. They celebrated 64 years of marriage 4 days after Dad entered hospice. Dad told me that when he had to buy greeting cards the only times he would actually read the card he was getting was if it was for Mom. (Although, later in life he would read the joke cards. He was the one who started the family tradition of getting nasty birthday cards about how old we were and then signing someone else’s name to the card.) Debbie and I took Mom and Dad out to dinner for their 40th anniversary. We went out to Khan’s Mongolian Barbeque. Khan’s has a buffet where you can put meat and vegetables on your plate and then they will cook it up for you. When Dad came back to the table after having been through this he had a plate that was all meat. Afterwards we opened our fortune cookies up. This was the only time in my life that I saw a repeat on fortunes. Mom and Dad both got the same fortune. “You have a tremendous capacity for enjoying life.”
10. The Death
Dad was in severe pain for a long time prior to his death. While it’s not good that he’s gone it is good that he’s no longer in pain and has been reunited with his parents and siblings. He fell and broke his pelvis and then developed pneumonia. He entered hospice care and we took him home from the hospital. In his time at home every one of his children and their spouses, every grandchild and their spouses, and every great-grandchild was able to visit him and say goodbye. A member of the military came to give Dad a pin and thank him for his service to the country. For several days after that Dad did not open his eyes. They told us that he could go at any time. On Sunday with several of the family present he made an effort and opened his eyes. My mother held his face in her hands and they gazed at each other until he was gone.
I've been trying to post every Tuesday. It keeps me on track to have a schedule and a deadline. I've actually made it every week since starting this blog except the one time I forgot and posted a bit after midnight. This week I'll be posting later in the week.
My father passed away on Sunday. He was known by his grandkids as "Posty," thus the title of this note is a tribute to him. The funeral is tomorrow and I need to work on what I'm going to say as a remembrance. I'll be back to post later in the week.
Dad's obituary is at:
Tim Kane's memories, musings and updates.