Tanzania: Dispatch Three

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November in Tanzania

 

The organizational details of church have been worked through and decided. The Gospel Catholic Church has joined the Missionary Society of St. John/Anglican Province of America. That is a big step for them. We have new brothers and sisters, 78 parishes, over eighty clergy, a women’s group, three orphanages, and a school of theology.

 

The people here had talked for several weeks at the parish and deanery level. Then the discussions continued at a diocesan gathering in Buigiri. Many questions were asked and much discussion happened. Finally, the Bishop and Fr. Francis left the meeting room for several hours and the people there, which included the majority of the clergy and representatives of most of the parishes talked and prayed and decided. The people of the church decided to accept Bishop Fick’s invitation to join the Missionary Society of St. John/Anglican Province of America. Bishop Chidawali also joined personally.

 

That being done, the focus switched to instruction.

 

On this blog there are statements of our plan of how we like to work and teach in Africa. Those plans are out the window already. It is good that the Holy Spirit remains.

 

No more small classes of eight to ten. Here we started with 104! Attendance never lessened over four days. Students include clergy, wives, parish leaders, children and infants. It was like teaching a village. The women were fully participative – asking questions and seeking to respond.

 

The students spoke two languages, Swahili and a tribal language. Very few of the people spoke or understood English so interpretation was required. The process was slow.

 

Who are these people? These people are Africa. They are multi-generational – at least four generations were present. They are multi-tribal – at least six tribes. The task of Africa is to combine different tribes into the amalgam of one nation – not always easy. Near by Rwanda is a testimony to its failure. Tanzania is a testimony to its success. Their first president, Julius Nyerere set an example that was accepted by the people.

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