We have a sister congregation relationship with the Kitapilimwa Congregation in the Iringa Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT). We have sponsored several community projects there, including a clean fresh-water well. Beginning in the fall of 2004, a significant percentage of the proceeds of our annual Super Sale have been dedicated to building a regular on-going visit relationship with our sisters and brothers in Christ at Kitapilimwa.
We also provide a high school scholarship for four students from the congregation to attend high school at schools run by the ELCT. The government of Tanzania only provides school through the elementary years, and so the ELCT has a major initiative to provide educated leaders for the next generation of this nation. The churches of the Saint Paul Area Synod sponsor some 650 students at the ELCT secondary schools.
Peggy Howell went to Kitapilimwa in October 2005 to meet the people there, to deliver the hymnals, bicycles, and other items we have purchased for them, and to lay the groundwork for greater cooperation between our congregations.
On her return, the Moms’ Bible study group decided to take on the project of making midwife and hospice kits for Kitapilimwa and the surrounding area. Occassionally they organize a Sunday morning kit-building project that offers a chance to help with things like knitting caps for newborns and organizing packing containers during the fellowship time. They would like to thank the many members who responded to their request for project help, receiving shipping dollars and help with list. Huge thanks to the anonymous knitter who inspired us with the beautiful knit caps for the babies. We will be sending 15 midwife kits (including the hats) and 10 hospice kits to Kitapelimwa. This is truly a gift of grace!
Emails from Tanzania
By popular demand we are keeping Peggy’s emails from Tanzania here from her trip there in October 2005.
The Confirmation Youth have assembled school bags for the children in Kitapilimwa this year. Each cloth tote bag contains pencils and a pencil sharpener, colored pencils, a notebook, a workbook, a small ball or stuffed animal and an additional school item like a protractor, a compass, or a ruler. These bags were delivered and distributed by Alexis and Elizabeth Howell (two of Zion’s Confirmation students) who traveled to Tanzania this summer. Thanks to all who helped make this happen!
Gifts of Grace
Pictured are two of the most recent recipients of hats from Zion’s Gifts of Grace project which were delivered to Kitapilimwa by a mission team from Lord of Life Lutheran in Maple Grove. The Gifts of Grace Project continues at Zion. This project uses a model developed by Global Health Ministries to provide necessary and lifesaving items for newborn babies in our sister congregation in Tanzania, East Africa. One of these items is a soft knit cap; several hundred have now been made by members of our congregation, friends and relatives. For example, the mother of one of our members has made a commitment to make one knit hat per day until every baby born in the Iringa area has a cap to welcome him or her into the world. We can truly see the hands of Christ — and they are knitting!
700 Pounds of Maize
Now the “jug” is asking for your pocket change again. This time it’s to help out during the severe drought in East Africa. So far, we have gathered enough for 200 more pounds of maize for the emergency food fund in Kitapilimwa. Our goal is to provide an emergency food fund for the entire duration of the drought.
Do you realize the blessing you have when you take an aspirin, or an ibuprofen? Think about not having basic medical supplies like simple pain relievers, or maternity and newborn items. That is why the Kiti Krewe and others at Zion have taken on an on-going project of creating basic medical maternity and hospice kits and dispensary supplies for the village of Kitapilimwa. Earlier this year, we shipped 132 pounds of medical goods to our sister congregation and we are currently filling the next box.