Journey of Faith
Brenda Meier Kimaro’s faith journey led her from a rural Nebraska town to the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. Here she reflects on those who encouraged her along the way.
by Brenda Meier Kimaro
Carol Schersten LaHurd writes in this issue’s Bible study, “Our lives and our Christian faith have been transformed by our primary personal relationships.” My faith journey has taken me from my small-town comfort to big-city life and now to the other side of the world. Along the way, I have encountered a diverse collection of travel companions who have contributed to and transformed my faith and understanding of Christ.
I was born into a long family lineage of Lutheranism. My parents were dutiful in taking me to Sunday school regularly and, when the time came, to Wednesday night confirmation classes. Those were the days when confirmation class meant memorizing Luther’s Small Catechism. Preparing to affirm my baptism was simply a matter of regurgitating what I had memorized each week (usually during a panicked cram session on the five-mile drive from home to church). I could recite the answers to “What does this mean?” But I hadn’t explored or come to understand “What does this mean for me?”
As a result, much of my early faith formation felt more like something I had been prescribed by my parents and well-meaning Sunday school and confirmation teachers. It wasn’t really my own. But I had a longing to know more, to better understand what it meant to live in Christ.
Brenda Meier Kimaro lives in Arusha, Tanzania, with her husband and five children. She spent the first 20 years of her professional career serving Lutheran ministries and is now a writer, photographer, and documenter of life in Tanzania at www.thejoyoflifeislove.com.
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