We recently finished our annual mission trip to Tanzania. Our goal is to assist in church planting/evangelism by partnering with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, a country located in East Africa.
The church body is called KKKT which stands for kanisa la kiinjili la kilutheri Tanzania. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) is the federation of Lutheran churches in Tanzania, and one of the largest Lutheran denominations in the world with almost 6 million members. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) has a partnership with the SELVD diocese. Our focus this year was on the Kishapu district in the Shinyanga region.
Our evangelism team(ranging in ages 25 to 83 from the US) also includes a local pastor and evangelist who will disciple the new Christians and establish a church in the district. Often we need translators in both Swahili and Sukuma as we go out to visit the people in their bomas.The arrival of a group of mzungas ( white people) become a curiosity. We may be the opening, but the proclamation of the good news of the Gospel is the real attraction.
Bob Allen, our group leader, challenged us not to get hung up on numbers, although they are impressive. We come for one, he reminds us.
On this day, I was partnered with Pastor Dave Tews of Arkansas. He prefers the colorful laminated pictures in Swahili to do his presentation and I am trained on the Evangecube. Since our stop was at the home of this woman, he told me to do the presentation. When we finished and she was baptized, she took the new name of Maria. My middle name happens to be Marie. It made me smile. I had to ask how old she was and was told that she was over 100 but not sure how much over 100. I think she looks beautiful. Today, we came for Maria.