I have been selected to travel with a group to visit ministry partners in Tanzania. During the trip, we will be building relationships and celebrating completion of a building we helped fund.
As a church person in the ELCA, I had heard about our companion synods program for many years. However, it wasn't until I started my work toward becoming a pastor that I learned how important it is to cultivate relationships with our family in Christ around the world. I have been enriched in my ministry and my faith life by the people I have met, held conversation with, learned from, and prayed with through my journey.
The companion synods program in the ELCA matches church bodies in the United States (what we refer to as synods) with other church bodies in countries around the world. I am a pastor in the Northwest Intermountain Synod (NWIM), and our companion synod is the Ulanga-Kilombero Diocese (UKD) in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania. The UKD does amazing ministries, hosting a hospital and school, as well as many congregations in the rural area where it calls home.
I have had the wonderful opportunity to share experiences with Pastors Moses and Eliud, who have travelled to the United States on multiple occasions to share their stories with us in the NWIM Synod. My wife, Katrina, and I even had the wonderful opportunity to host them in our home for a meal on their most recent visit this past summer!
I have been blessed to travel around the world and to learn from people of faith how they experience God's love for them in their cultural contexts. I have also been broadened by experiences of fundraising for ministries.
By donating to this trip, you will help me continue to broaden my theological and cultural horizons, as well as help me share the stories of faith that uplift us all as we learn from each other. You will also help in building the foundation that other fundraisers will be based on, as we continue to provide much needed resources to our siblings in Christ in the UKD!
Pictures (top to bottom):
1. New roof which the NWIM synod helped fund at the Tumaini Lutheran Seminary, a school of the UKD.
2. Pastors Moses and Eliud, visitors from the UKD, visiting with Seth and Katrina June 2019.
3. Children at the Tumaini school eating in their new cafeteria, upon completion of the roof in Picture 1.
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