It was a joy to spend a few days on the campus of Neema Theological Lutheran College (Matongo). With 90 students from 8 countries in Africa, this year is the largest student body to date. Spending time in the classrooms, greeting the students around the campus and attending chapel helped me to be part of this community of believers and strengthen my relationships. I met some of the students in their home countries and have seen them serving across various ministries. Seeing them blossom and doing well in their studies brings me joy knowing that they will be strong witnesses of the Gospel to many.
Once a year all of the missionaries on our Eastern and Southern Africa team gather together for our continuing education retreat, this year it was hosted by our colleagues in Ethiopia. Concordia Seminary provides these continuing education experiences for clergy, church workers and laypeople in efforts to serve the church and world through theological education. Rev. Dr. Jeff Oschwald, from Concordia Seminary St. Louis, led us through “Reading the Acts of the Apostles as Holy Scripture.” It was very enlightening for me and I gained a deeper understanding of the book of Acts. During events like this, our team is able to worship together and receive Holy Communion together. This is something that strengthens us a refreshes us.
WHEN THE MUD WINS - TANZANIA
The adventure began as my colleagues and I traveled to the Tanga Diocese of the Lutheran Church in East Africa (LCEA). Tanga is an interior area which is very beautiful and lush with winding mountain roads. This time of year the short rains have started, making travels tricky. As we started our journey we could see that there were some places where the mud would be a challenge, but we pressed onward. It however got deeper and slicker and with about 20 kilometers to go, a decision had to be made. Looking ahead to the mud, we decided, THE MUD WON that day. We went back to a central place and tried to call the bishop along the way. Several hours later, the bishop and pastor met us. We went back to a town two hours away, spent the night and in the morning had very fruitful conversations. Even when the mud thinks it wins, God’s mission goes forth.