Saturday, May 12, 2012

Synod Assembly Meeting

What a joy it was for us to attend this year’s Synod Assembly.  We can’t help but thank God for the wonderful technology that made it possible.  
We traveled to Tanga on Friday the 4th and stayed at a hotel which includes high-speed internet connection with the room.  We checked in and immediately went to Noor Optics to order new glasses.  It is amazing what children can do to a pair of glasses in six months.  We had lunch and returned to the hotel to watch the Synod Assembly on U-stream.  We “arrived” just before the distribution of communion.  It was wonderful to hear the music and singing, and to feel like part of the gathering.
Since we had such a late lunch, we stayed in our hotel room and watched the assembly until it was very late.  During the assembly’s lunch break, we did a test run of Skype with Bob Fisher.  The connection was great and we also had the pleasure of seeing some members of St John’s and Pastor Lee Miller.  We are seven hours ahead of Pennsylvania, so we went to bed before any election results.  
On Saturday morning, we visited a “supermarket” in Tanga.  It is about twice the size of the standard Wawa, but with four actual shopping carts.  We loaded up a cart with items that are not available in Lushoto.  We found Ragu sauce, pickles, Kellog’s cereal, and cans of Velveta-type cheese.  We also stocked up on some canned goods in case we are unable to get to town with the rains.  This store even sells yogurt, ice cream, and frozen meat.  Unfortunately, we are not be able to transport these items back home and cannot depend on our electricity to keep them cold or frozen.
Saturday evening, we Skyped into the assembly.  It was amazing to see the people there and to know that they could see and hear us as well.  Even from thousands of miles away, we could feel the Spirit there.  It is so hard for us to believe that a whole year has passed since we stood before the assembly for our commissioning.  We are so blessed to have been given the gift of representing SEPA here in Tanzania.  
We are humbled at being called “missionaries”.     The following is a  quote from Buguruni - Volunteers in Mission by David Dunnill, an Anglican missionary who served in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania:   “Working at soup kitchens and food banks in mission work.  All volunteer work in the community is mission work.  Knowing and accepting our responsibilities as good citizens, including our political responsibilities, is mission work.  All Christians are missionaries when they allow their professed beliefs to govern their daily living.  Mission is bringing into life Jesus’ command to Peter, “Feed my lambs..Tend my sheep...Feed my sheep”.  All of you who follow this command are missionaries with us, but just didn’t need a passport to reach your place of service.
God bless you in your service.

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