Tanzania Missions



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Tanzania Prayer Partners


Mariam Benjamin Mgogoro ~ Immanuel's Compassion Child


Tanzania Team updates from July 2011 trip to Kidugala
















“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people, but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”
~ 2 Corinthians 9:12

Has there ever been a better opportunity for Immanuel to shape a nation and bring life and hope to thousands?



Our History with Kidugala....

The early 1990’s - Immanuel made a signature quilt that was given to Bishop Zephania Mgeyekwa. It still hangs in the Tanzania Southern Diocese meeting and tea room.

October 1994 - The Bishop of the Tanzania Southern Diocese located in Njombe, Bishop Zephania Mgeyekwa and his wife, Rhoda, preached at Immanuel.

 Late 1990’s - Pastor Heather Ploen became friends with Pastor Isaac Chengula during seminary school here in the United States. Pastor Chengula was originally from the Kidugala area. He then went back to Tanzania and worked for the Southern Diocese in Njombe until 2008, he now teaches at a seminary in Tanzania.

 2002 - Pastor Chengula and his wife visit Immanuel Lutheran and shared Tanzania culture. This is when his home congregation (Kidugala) paired with Immanuel as Companion Congregations.

 2004 - Immanuel families adopt Mariam Benjamin (a child from outside Dodoma, Tanzania) through Compassion International. On-going support of Mariam continues.

 2005 - Cheryl Chipman goes to Tanzania as part of an ELCA mission trip. Since Immanuel and Kidugala were companion congregations, she spent some time with the people of Kidugala. She took a wall-hanging made by Immanuel and it still hangs today in Kidugala.

 2006 - The women of Kidugala have a dream of a Women’s Center and hostel for Kidugala. They sent woven purses back with Cheryl to be sold or auctioned off. The money was sent and a cement foundation has been poured

 2006/2007 - A Tanzania Team was formed and Immanuel collects items that fill a shipping container to be sent to Kidugala. The container is completely filled with school supplies, desks, hospital beds, medical supplies, midwife kits, corn shellers, tools. During this process, Immanuel voted to leave the ELCA and joined LCMC. A letter was sent to Bishop Lukilo and Pastor Konga informing them of the change-they still more than welcome Immanuel to visit Kidugala and remain companion congregations. Immanuel was told locally that it was not possible for one church alone apart from the ELCA to be able to ship this container. The funds were raised and the container was shipped in March 2007.

June-July 2007 - A Tanzania Team was sent to Kidugala. The team consisted of 7 members (Patty Allen, Cheryl & Rick Chipman, Larry Haas, Linda & Larry Hopp, Deb Schechinger) They first visited Mariam in the Dodoma area. This was the first American team to ever visit a compassion child in this area. The team then spent the remainder of the month in Kidugala building a strong relationship with Kidugala. New bibles are purchased and distributed to all the Evangelists of each Preaching Point. Boxes of Swahili New Testaments are received by the Gideons in Njombe and the team distributes to school children. No further construction has been completed on the Women’s Center due to lack of funding. Kidugala has the idea to form “HEAD in Jesus Christ Committees” (Health-Education-Agriculture-Development) with both Kidugala and Immanuel-Harlan. Soil testing is also done at this time. “Women-to-Women” meetings are held: share ideas, exchange cooking ideas/recipes, the Women of Kidugala receive vegetable seeds for their gardens. The team visits with Bishop Lukilo and Asst Bishop Isaya Mengele in regards to Immanuel’s new membership with LCMC. They understand and support our decision to leave the ELCA. They, along with all the ELCT churches in Tanzania, also voiced concern for the direction that the ELCA’s taking. They assure us that Kidugala will always remain a companion congregation with Immanuel and want the friendship/relationship to continue to strengthen and grow.  When the team returns, they bring 2 Kidugala Ambassadors to stay in the Harlan area for 3 weeks: Philipo Mloge and Neema Mlelwa. The container sent in March was not released from port customs until after the Ambassadors return.

September 2007 - Monthly packets of correspondence are sent to Kidugala (letters, cards, photos, newspaper clippings, devotion/prayers).

2008 - Complete Old & New Testament Swahili bibles are purchased for all confirmation students in the Kidugala District. Fund-raising is in place at Immanuel to fund the construction of the Women’s Center. Bicycles are purchased for all of the Evangelists.

September 2008 - Rick Chipman and Larry Haas return to the Kidugala area on an Agriculture mission to vaccinate pigs, discuss “no-till” practices and develop compost pile practices. Soil testing from 2007 are reviewed and a small maize (corn) test plot has been started along with an Mpogolo tree project. Also, many families of the Kidugala area have all been helping to build the Women’s Center. Progress is being made.  The hospital beds/supplies, school desks/supplies are in place and being well used. All 200 Midwife kits, 200 AIDS kits, 200 Layettes have all been used. Bike repair supplies are purchased and more bikes for several new Evangelists are purchased.

November 2008 - Penpals are started between Kidugala Youth and Immanuel Youth.

July 2009 - Another team of 7 return to Kidugala (Patty & Stephen Allen, Cheryl & Rick Chipman, Jen Hansen, Mark Knoell, Angie Madsen). The friendship strengthens. The Women’s Center and Hostel are not totally completed, but complete enough for the team to stay at the facility.  “Women-to-Women” meetings and cooking classes are again held. The team returns with more medical, school supplies and midwife kits. Bishop Lukilo in Njombe received a framed photo of all the members of Immanuel. The 2 Kidugala Ambassadors that return to Harlan are Pastor Asher Konga & his wife, Edina. Again, complete Swahili bibles are purchased for all confirmation students in the Kidugala District (over 130 students).

February 2010 - Three portable battery operated fetal doppler monitors are purchased and sent to Jason Mtokoma. Also sent are splints, dental kits, dressings, and other medical supplies for the Kidugala Clinic. Jason received new blood pressure equipment and a stethoscope for his use at medical school. He took the dopplers to Kidugala and all the midwives have been trained in their use. Donations of mission money from Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Jacksonville and St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Irwin was received and used towards the purchase of the dopplers for the clinic and for the blood pressure equipment and stethoscope for Jason

September 2010 - Rick Chipman and Kevin Seevers go back to Kidugala on an Agriculture mission. Attending to maize (corn) test plot needs, joining with Tuimaini University in Njombe for continued education of agriculture needs, reviewed problems with pigs, chickens, crops, irrigation. Pastor Konga has been transferred prior to his retirement and Kidugala District has Pastor Nuru as their new pastor. Progress has been made in corn yields and decreased illness in pigs. Pastor Nuru Kahwili has been presented with a new bicycle of her own. All Evangelists, Pastor Nuru, the Bishop and the Asst Bishop receive Kidugala/Immanuel t-shirts. The Bishop keeps the framed photo of Immanuel members on his desk.

October 2010 - Orphan Education Project has been started for the 300 Kidugala district orphans to attend school.

November 2010 - Prayer Partners are formed with Immanuel and Kidugala members.

Summer 2011 - Another team will return to Kidugala and two Kidugala Ambassadors will return to Harlan with the team.

Present Relationship...

Kidugala is a community of 5600 people, of which 4066 are Lutheran
The Lutheran church is centered in Kidugala with 11 parish preaching points in the vicinity Immanuel continues to sponsor Mariam with financial support for her health and education

Bi-monthly worship services emphasize Tanzania with song, prayers, creed, food, etc.

Offerings of medical supplies, school supplies, material, buttons, caps & bandanas, shoes, etc. are collected and shipped directly to Kidugala

Pen-pals with students have been arranged

“The importance of the companion synod relationship has been stated many times”, quotes a church leader about his recent visit. “There is a lingering fear that we are not in this for the long haul. Village officials give thanks for the well, but in the same breath say the next village also needs one. Some have to walk 5 miles for clean water.”

Future Ministry...

Assisting in Heifer International connection for Kidugala
Providing agricultural assistance in soil testing and crop advice
Assist with women’s health issues—midwife kits and layettes
Provide travel assistance for Kidugala student exchange
Provide education assistance with text books & teaching aids, assist in construction of school expansion
Develop an effective irrigation program

“Here in the villages is a body of people whose faith in Christ as loving Savior bring a joy to worship that is uncharacteristic of anything in Iowa. These people pray for us daily and fear we are not prepared to walk with them in the long haul . . . .. How can we turn our backs on such people? How can we say we’re not concerned about the quality of water they’re drinking, about a culture that has diminished the role of women and victimized them. It is the church that is leading the change."

Immanuel is a church that can become a player in shaping the future of Tanzania!

From the coins saved to sponsor Mariam by Taylor, one of our 6 year old boys,

...To the homemaker who gave material and buttons so ladies in Tanzania could learn how to sew,

...To the man who gave up his farm caps to keep the sun off our Tanzanian friends’ faces,

...To the person who donated bandaids and gauze for the Kidugala Health Center . . .

You have a gift to share!

"Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us ...if it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously."

~Romans 12:4-8a

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