Today is day three with 17 women who traveled from their homes to Tanzania. We continue our journey with our sisters of the Women Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. As we travel together, Nov. 6-14, we will learn more about accompaniment, a spiritual and practical way of understanding mission.
This travel seminar is part of Women Building Global Community (WBGC), Women of the ELCA’s global education program. Our last trip was to Liberia in 2012 (see photo below). The WBGC travel seminars have connected women through ELCA companion synods for more than two decades. On these travel seminars, we commit to accompaniment, building authentic relationships, discipleship and a program that is mutually beneficial to both women’s organizations.
Our day will begin southeast of Arusha to Same as we visit the Navururu Irrigation Association (NIA) project, a Lutheran World Relief-sponsored site. This project was an outgrowth of a malaria outbreak and grew into a health and livelihood endeavor.
Our first two days have been filled with anticipation, learning and relationship building. On Sunday, we worshiped at Lutheran Church Arusha Town. What an awesome and exciting experience to worship with women of great faith! During our days together, we will continue to learn more about discipleship, the importance of relief work, education and sustainability from the Mwangaza Project.
We’ll join the women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) for Bible study discussion and sharing. At Tumaini University Makumira (TUMA) school of theology, we’ll participate in the recording of Gracious Spirit, Heed Our Pleading, one of the 2017 Tenth Triennial Gathering hymns. We’ll also visit the Great Rift Valley.
As we travel this week, we ask for your prayers for the staff and all of the women who will share in this experience. The women on this travel seminar include Valora Starr and Eva James Yeo, Women of the ELCA staff; Faustina Nillan Losai, staff for the ELCT women (Arusha, Tanzania); Barbara Miller (Washington, Mich.), WELCA executive board member; Christie Pearson Brandau (Osage, Iowa); Connie Schmidt (Escanaba, Mich.); Pastor Esther Ngomuo (Nashville, Tenn.); Jayne Young (Columbia, Mo.); Kara Califf (Ankeny, Iowa); Mary E. Laiser, (Arusha, Tanzania); Naomi Paasch (Moorhead, Minn.); Ndefisio Pallangyo, ( Meru, Tanzania); Nancy Norberg (Escanaba, Mich.); Patricia “Patti” Austin (Decatur, Ga.), WELCA executive board president; Rahel Mwitula Williams (Chicago, Ill.); Sara Lomayani (Arusha, Tanzania); and Shelby Morgan (Albuquerque, N.M.).
Eva James Yeo is director for membership for Women of the ELCA.
Photos will be posted on Women of the ELCA’s Facebook page as we travel.
The photo of the 2015 Women Building Global Community (WBGC) trip to Tanzania was taken on the grounds of Arusha Town Lutheran Church, Arusha, Tanzania. The other WBGC photo is of the group who went to Liberia in 2012.