This past year and a half was a very exciting time as plans were made to visit our Companion Church, Magomeni Lutheran in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Many meetings of planning and preparing took place in order to do this.
Those who travelled to Tanzania were; Mary Ellen Debelak, Bonnie Groh, Ken Groh, Linda Levin and Kay Macgregor. Deloris Langseth from Calumet also travelled with the group and spent her time working at the Kisarawe Lutheran Junior Seminary.
The trip took place on August 23rd to September 9th, 2016.
While at Magomeni Lutheran Church we stayed in the homes of several church members. Some of our host families were those who had been to visit Zion in 2013.
Pastor Herman Kiporoza is now the Pastor at Magomeni Lutheran Church. We also met many people from the 2,000+ member congregation. They planned a very intense and enjoyable schedule for us which we sincerely appreciated.
Ken and Linda learning about cashews
Magomeni Pastor and his wife
Some of the many activities that we participated in and the places we saw included:
- Bible Study Session at Kisauke Sub-Parish,
- a visit to the district Pastoral Care and Social Services,
- Mtoni School Centre,
- Morning Glory Prayers (6:30 a.m.),
- a visit to Historical Sites,
- participation in Church Services at Magomeni, (Linda Levin was asked to play music),
- a visit and lunch with the Partnership Committee, Host Families, Church Elders, and the Pastor and his Family at the home of the Pastor,
- Kisarawe Junior Lutheran Seminary,
- ECT (Eastern Coastal Diocese) and Azania Front Lutheran Church
- Maendelo Bank and Upendo FM Radio,
- Mwenge Shopping Center,
- Matumaini parish which is a sub parish of Magomeni Lutheran Church,
- Kigamboni Parish and a tour of the first church with travel on the Ferry,
- Mikumi National Park & Morogoro for a safari,
- the National Heritage park
- We met many wonderful God loving people, shared our faith together and tried many delicious African foods.
We were also able to spend time with our generous and kind host families. It was a joy to stay with them and meet their families and friends.
On the last day with our Magomeni Companion Church, they held a Farewell Luncheon for us with the Church Elders and Church Groups. Upon having many pictures taken, saying our goodbyes and leaving our Companion Church Friends we then headed to Arusha. We spend the remaining time on Safari at Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire.
A visit to the Sub-Parish Matumaini
Grain grinder (story below)
While we were visiting the Matumaini we learned that the people have to walk several miles to grind their grain. Once they grind it up, they have to carry it back. Sometimes after they have walked all this way to grind it, they are not able to use the machine.
They are hoping to eventually get a machine and the enclosure for the machine.
Before we left Tanzania our group decided to make a donation toward the cost of a machine so they would be closer to achieving this goal.
We would like to share a few of the comments from those who traveled to Magomeni Church.
“There are many more Lutherans in Tanzania than there are in the USA!!! It was a joy and a pleasure to go there, inter-act with them and get to know them. The trip was absolutely wonderful!”
“I was amazed how much the people are connected to Church and their families. Also the love they have for their Country.”
“My experiences with the people from Magomeni Lutheran Church were life changing. God is truly first in their lives. I was in awe of the joy that they exhibited each day. They did an awesome job of showing us the work that the Church does in Dar es Salaam and the surrounding areas.”
“I was in awe of how the Tanzanian people lived out their faith each day. I was amazed at the generosity of many people who have so little, yet they shared so much.”
“When I came home I was wishing that more of the members from Zion
Lutheran could have this wonderful experience. Hopefully this will happen in the future as God sees it and that our relationship with Magomeni Lutheran Church continues.”
We now look forward to the day that some more of our Magomeni Friends will be able to come here to see us!
Back at Zion Lutheran Church dressed in our African clothing