Global Mission Opportunities
Konde Diocese Delegation Visits Lower Susquehanna Synod, Attends 2015 Assembly
From May 29 through June 11, four leaders from the Konde Diocese, our Companion Synod in Tanzania visited the Lower Susquehanna Synod. Representing the Diocese were the Rev. Samwel Mwansasu, Director for Health Services and Hospital Secretary; Dr. Christopher Mwasongela, Doctor in Charge at Matema Lutheran Hospital; Mr. 0wen Jackson Lazaro, Director of Planning and Development for the Diocese, and Mr. Stephen Mwakyolile, Senior Nurse at Itete Lutheran Hospital. The main purpose for the visit this year was to strengthen ties with the health-related ministries and to report on progress of the Matema Beach Resort renovations.
The Konde Committee partnered with Tech4tanzania, and through their involvement expanded the partnership to members of Slate Hill Mennonite Church and Messiah College. Randy Barr and other Tech4tanzania partners welcomed the Konde delegation members into their homes and hosted a welcome picnic and fundraiser at St. Stephen Lutheran Church in New Kingstown. About $1,000 was raised at this event for mission and ministry to Tanzania.
Delegation members visited family medicine practitioners, reviewed global health initiatives from Penn State Hershey, and toured the hospital and simulation labs. They visited the Nursing Department at Messiah College and began initial conversations about working with the College’s Collaboratory program, including the possibility of an initial exploratory visit to the Diocese in May, 2016.
On Wednesday, June 3, the delegation visited Mission Central of the United Methodist Church, where they were able to identify and take needed medical supplies and equipment, along with extra suitcases to carry the supplies home. Thanks to the partnership between Tech4tanzania and Mission Central, each delegation received a personal laptop computer and a Kindle reader.
On Thursday, June 4, the delegation visited Pinnacle Health, where they were able to secure thousands of dollars worth of hospital equipment and supplies that will be transported later this year to Tanzania in a container. On Friday they visited two Christian radio stations and met with Dick Schlenker to look at PET (Personal Energy Transportation) vehicles for possible use at Matema and Itete Hospitals.
The delegation was present at our Synod Assembly and provided a lunchtime forum on Saturday with presentations about Itete and Matema hospitals. Andrew and Angie Hammer were also on hand to talk about their upcoming exchange/shared mission year in the Diocese. Dr. Mwasongela and Mr. Mwakyolile served as gift bearers for Sunday’s Assembly worship, and they also brought brief greetings.
Delegation members were guests of St. Peter (Lancaster) and Zion (East Petersburg), enjoying time with host families, visiting with congregation members, and touring the area. On Tuesday night, they attended a baseball game in York, and on Wednesday, they met with the Konde Committee for a luncheon and presentation about the renovations at Matema Beach Resort. The group also celebrated Pastor Mwansasu’s birthday. On Thursday, June 11, the group enjoyed a whirlwind tour of Washington, D.C., including a stop at the Tanzanian Embassy and a visit to the Lincoln Memorial.
Look for more information about upcoming travel opportunities to Tanzania, about ways to start or strengthen Companion Congregation relationships, and about the Hammer family’s upcoming year in the Diocese.
Preaching from Tanzania
Pastor Evan Houck will be preaching from Tanzania via Skype to the congregation of Grace Lutheran (Camp Hill) on Sunday, July 19. We give thanks for the gift of technology that strengthens our Konde partnership.