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.
Tim Kane's memories, musings and updates.