Friday, December 9, 2011

Irente View Point

Today is Friday, December 9, 2011, a day of celebration for the people of Tanzania.  Fifty years ago they gained their independence from Great Britain.
This week was very busy for us.  We worked at the home everyday with the children.  On Wednesday morning, we traveled to Lushoto for morning devotions at the Diocese office and met Bishop Munga and his staff.  We shared greetings from our synod to theirs.
Our next-door neighbors returned from a trip to Indonesia on Wednesday evening.  Pastor Joyce is the minister of Irente Lutheran Parish (companion to Lutheran Church of the Resurrection).  She and her husband have three children, two boys and a girl.  
Today Susan and I took a walk to Irente View, about 4 kilometers from our home.  This was a place we visited when we were here on our last trip.  Irente View is one of the highest points in this region, which gives one of the most beautiful sights in the entire world.  On a clear day, you can see for almost one hundred miles.  While Susan and I were enjoying the view, we talked about the last time we were here.  How wonderful it was to have our fellow members of St John’s share that experience with us then.  As we sat looking over the Masai Plains, we shared our thoughts about our journey to date.
How blessed we have been from the beginning of this journey.  Yes, we had many challenges to face, but we have had ten times the number of people needed to help us get through them.  Everywhere we go, people have taken us under their wing and walked with us every day.  When people hear that we will be here longer than just a few months, they are excited.  They like having long relationships.
I can only hope that we reflect the true meaning of why we are serving here.  We are here to walk “shoulder to shoulder” bringing God’s message to each other, also to show that we care for each other and that we can learn from each other.  This could only happen because God is leading the way.
Susan and I would like to thank you for allowing us to represent the churches of SEPA and its’ members with this mission of serving at Irente Childrens Home.


  1. Tom and Susan, thank you for your continued work in building bridges between communities. Thank your for connecting us, shoulder to shoulder, to our sisters and brothers in the NED, Tanzania. God Bless us, everyone.

  2. Happy Independence Day to Tanzania, and Christmas blessings to both of you -- and thank you for representing all of us, Tom and Susan!

  3. Dear Susan and Tom,
    I caught up with your blog tonight. It was fun to read about your visit to Tanga and be able to picture the hostel where you stayed! You have certainly had a lot of work to do with getting a kitchen stocked and ready to use! I'm glad that you have been finding ways to work it. I do hope, though, that you get a warm shower sooner or later! That's a hard one to do without.

    The fourth Sunday in Advent is upon us and December has done its usual disappearing act. In four days, my family will fly to Minnesota to spend Christmas with my parents. I will think of you often during your first Christmas in Tanzania. Joy to the World! --Nancy