Thursday was a busy day. It is customary to say farewell to the
district superintendent and the bishop before leaving the diocese.
The bishop is at a meeting all week with all the African Lutheran
bishops so the diocese office was closed and I didn’t make it there.
Dr. Swai drove me to Boma where the Hai District office is located.
Several pastors were getting ready to leave on a pre-pentecost retreat
so I was able to meet many area pastors. The director of education
for the district, Pastor Amos, visited with us and we shared emails
and became Facebook friends. It was fun talking about the challenges
in faith formation that we both face. He said 65% of the population
here is under 25.
We had a wonderful tea with him and the district superintendent and a
woman who is in charge of a women’s prayer organization. Then we
toured the campus and saw their “food pantry.” It is a large shed with
3 huge grain bins. Maasai women and children come there when the men
are away grazing the cattle and goats so the women have no food
source. Every congregation contributes to the grain bins. The
district office has a good location at the intersection of 2 main
roads. They are building a hostel for women and youth to use as a
place to make and sell local handicrafts.
Dr. Swai then took me to Moshi to do some shopping in the downtown
area. I went to the bank first to change some money and learned that
you need to show your passport to do that. Fortunately, I had it with
me. I enjoyed seeing all the men and women with their sewing
machines out on the sidewalks in front of the shops where they sold
fabric and custom made clothes. This was not a tourist area, so my
presence as a non-native was instantly obvious. It was really fun
Thursday night, the elders came over for a meeting to discuss the
continuing relationship with St. Mark’s. They have appointed a young
man to obtain a smart phone or tablet and be the email contact in
Tema. I told them I would send my emails to them in English, but
include the “google translate” version in Swahili so hopefully things
will make sense.
Friday is a quiet sermon writing day. I am looking forward to
celebrating communion with everyone on Pentecost.