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Tanzania Mission Team Update #2

Pastor Dave administers Communion during Sunday worship at Maasae Girls Lutheran Secondary School in Arusha, Tanzania.
Pastor Dave administers Communion during Sunday worship at Maasae Girls Lutheran Secondary School in Arusha, Tanzania.

 

Hello from Tanzania!!!

After about 33 hours of travel we made it to Arusha Lutheran Guest House where we all collapsed in exhaustion :-). We are all safe and made it with only one incident… our bags haven’t followed us here quite as quickly :-(. We are missing 17 bags… We have heard that 9 of the 17 bags have been found and hopefully we’ll get those (and more!) today. Prayers for the safe delivery of all the bags are definitely needed!

We spent yesterday at MGLSS (Maasae Girls Lutheran Secondary School). We arrived at the school while the girls were in Sunday worship and we slipped into the back rows trying to not be noticed (which was completely impossible!). As always, the service was incredible. The girls singing the hymns is so joyful and engaging. Retired Pastor Nangole lead the service and Dr. Msinjili introduced Beth (Mama Anya) to the girls who then asked everyone to introduce ourselves. Pastor Dave was honored by being asked to participate in the service which he gladly did by administering the Eucharist during communion. He was also asked to give the closing prayer which was wonderful. Toward the end of the service, Dr. Msinjili asked the girls in attendance (which were about 250-300 girls) to stand if they were Muslim. About 8-9 girls stood. Dr. Msinjili then explained how the school encourages all girls to get an education, regardless of faith, and that they live harmoniously with each other. It was a powerful moment/message and a great example to all of us!

The school now has solar power after a fund-raising campaign from Operation Bootstrap Africa and this allows them to have stable power for every classroom, every day. What a huge blessing to the school and the girls! There is also a new two-story administration building which was completely needed since the old administration building was so cramped. The classrooms and dormitories are pretty much the same. Pete and I are looking forward to getting in the computer lab today :-). We had chai with Dr. Msinjili, Pastor Nangole, Ciwilla and soon-to-be Pastor Sinyati. It was great fellowship and Dr. Msinjili gave us a history of the school and answered our questions. He replied to Beth’s question as to what the biggest need of the school was with a frightening answer of the school is only able to provide 25 scholarships a year instead of the 60 scholarships it would like to (and they have done in the past). This is because of two main reasons: donations to Operation Bootstrap Africa are down and costs at the school are going up (mainly due to teacher’s salaries). The need is so great here and the girls that attend are benefited so much. It is truly heartbreaking.

We were then given a tour of the campus by the Form 5 and 6 girls. The girls have great English by now and are wonderful hosts. They all show so much confidence and we can only believe that this is due to the education they are receiving at the school.

It was a wonderful first day in Tanzania and we are looking forward to more today!

Thank you all for your prayers and support!

Kwa heri (with blessings),

Matt Pohle on behalf of the 2016 Cross of Christ Mission Team

Late P.S. All the bags have been found and were delivered to us today!!! 🙂