Monday, November 3, 2008

At St. Peter's Lutheran Seminary, Himo

Mt. Kilimanjaro, from our lodgings in Moshi

Hello to All from Moshi, Tanzania,

I awoke this morning to the sound of chanting, at 4 a.m. A large crowd has gathered here in the city center of Moshi, Tanzania, and they are celebrating. This is my first indication of the outcome of yesterday's election in the U.S. Everywhere we have gone, people have asked us about our opinion on the U.S. election. We speak to them about our concern for the unborn, finally committing the election and all things into the hands of our Lord, who reigns over all.

This is the day that I will begin my trip home. Pastor Mayhew and R. Schmitt will remain here in Tanzania for another week. Here are some of the features of our trip over the last 4-5 days:

Over the weekend we made the 5-hour drive to the coast, to visit our stations in the Tanga area. We met with some of the pastors and representatives of the 5 congregations on Saturday afternoon.

On Sunday, we visited the church at Mkinga, where Pastor Gondwe serves. It is a very poor village, with mud houses and mostly thatched roofs. During the service, an infant boy was baptized, and one adult man was received as a member of the congregation. Pastor Mayhew preached on Rom. 1, the Gospel as the power of God unto salvation, for a Reformation theme. I gave a children's explanation of the meaning of baptism. We had to eat the stewed chicken and rice they had prepared quickly, so as to make it back to Moshi during daylight hours.

Monday was our first visit to St. Peter's Lutheran Seminary in Himo. We presented seminar topics to the students, and met with Pastor Jesse Angowi.

On Tuesday a pre-graduation service was held for the first graduating class of the seminary. The actual graduation is scheduled for Nov. 14, after we are gone.

The singing was truly impressive. Pastor Mayhew and I both delivered addresses to the graduates and students. We presented the grads with a small monetary gift from Project Kinship. Kinship sponsors have made it possible for these men to enter the pastoral ministry. Each of them will now have the opportunity to apply for an MDF "self-help" loan, so that they can arrange for some kind of additional occupation to support their families, as the congregations they will serve are too poor to sustain a pastor's family. One man plans to operate a tailor shop; others will raise chickens.

After another session with the seminary students today, I will be on my way to Nairobi. My flight home leaves tomorrow evening. The trip has involved quite a bit of hard work, but we can plainly see how the Lord is at work among the people of our East African affliate churches. Thank you for following our progress and keeping these efforts in your prayers. In Christ, Pastors B, N, and R. Schmitt

PS -- You can follow the remainder of the visitation by checking Pastor Mayhew's trip journal, at:

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