Tanzania Work Crew 2009

In 2008, the Northern Great Lakes Synod put out a call for a work crew to go to Kisarawe Lutheran Junior Seminary in East Africa in rural Kisarawe, Tanzania.  Eleven people from the Upper Peninsula answered the call and began to prepare to leave for 32 days from June 8th to July 9th, 2009.   Zion Lutheran Church had two members that were part of the work crew, Bonnie and Ken Groh.


Front row:  Nancy Bird-Hancock, Rev. Tim Bernard-formerly of Marquette, Ann Christiansen-Gladstone, and Ruth Snyder-Munising.
Back row:  Loni Rochon-Niagara, WI, Ken Cygan-Hancock, Bonnie Groh-Manistique, Ken Groh-Manistique, and Jean Cygan-Calumet.
Not pictured:  Pastor Robert Langseth and Deloris Langseth who were already at the Luther House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The work crew spent most of the time at the school in Kisarawe but on two of the weekends they spent time at a host families home and were able to worship with their Companion Congragation.

Mrs. Helen Baruti, Bonnie & Ken’s host, is a member of Magomeni and is also a Church Elder.
This picture was taken at 10:30 pm on June 9th, 2009.  Tanzania is 7 hours ahead of us. It was 56⁰ degrees in Marquette when we departed Sawyer International Airport and 92⁰ in Tanzania when we arrived there.

Magomeni Lutheran Church
This picture was taken as members were starting to arrive for the 7:00 am church service.  The average church services lasts approxiamtely 2 ½ to 3 hours and includes much singing and celebration.  Two services are held on Sunday mornings.

One of several choirs at Magomeni Church.
Magomeni  Lutheran Church is in urban Dar es Salaam.  In contrast, Zion Lutheran Church being in a small town with about 300 church members, while Magomeni is in a large city with approximately 3,000 members and growing.

Receiving a gift of altar cloths from Magomeni to take home to Zion Lutheran Church.
(Pictured are:  Ken Groh, Helen Baruti, Bonnie Groh and Gad Mkemwa.)  Gad was the interpreter for Bonnie and Ken and the Chair of the Evangelism Committee.

Magomeni Lutheran Church is getting ready for ground breaking for a new church. 
They have indicated that they have outgrown the present church.  This picture shows a part of the overflow crowd that worshipped in the section attached to the Church.

Ken and Bonnie received a wonderful, warm reception at Magomeni Lutheran Church and the parish Elders there indicated a sincere desire to re-vitalize the Companion Church program with Zion Lutheran Church. So this is where the Tanzanian Companion Church Committee begins its second part of their story.

Comments from Bonnie and Ken Groh
“The first year after arriving home from Africa, we were asked to do many presentions about our experience while on the work crew.  That kept us very busy!  But we felt the need to start with the Tanzanian Committee in order to re-vitalize our relationship with Magomeni.
Several people volunteered to be on the committee that began in September of 2009 and have been very helpful in planning and carrying out the activities planned.  We appreciate having such a great group to work together with!”

The Committee started out by members participating in an inservice, the writing of an action plan, developing a mission statement and setting up goals and activities.

They helped to plan and put on a Community Awareness Program.  The program attended by approximately 50 people, heard some facts and information about Tanzania, viewed a power point presentation and saw a fashion show of African clothing and the showing of artifacts and souveniors.  Food items such as those available in Africa, were served at the end of the presentation.

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