A New Primary School (Tanzania 2017)

July 12, 2017 was a day of celebration at Mpalapande as the new primary school building was dedicated. Maasai, Hehe, Barabeig, and Bena tribes were represented along with the Americans. Those present from Shepherd of the Valley were: Pastor Rick Summy, Kirsten Levorson, Matt and Bobbie Bainbridge, Christina Nissen and her children Drew, Lydia and Isabella Thuras. The school is the first building dedicated by newly consecrated Bishop Blastone Gaville, and several carloads of Iringa Diocese officials came out to witness the event.

Bishop Gaville’s remarks were based on a verse from Proverbs 4:13, “Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.” He reminded those gathered that everything they can see in this place comes from God – the partnership between the Iringa Diocese and the Saint Paul Area Synod, the partnership between Tungamalenga Parish and Shepherd of the Valley, this building, and the gift of education. He asked the local congregation to “protect this gift” and guard it from damage, because “this school will provide leaders of the future.” Inside the dedication plaque, we placed a Bible translated in both Swahili and English, to represent our partnership.

The village chairperson offered the thanks of the community. “Thank God, he has seen the need of the people here.” The local Member of Parliament sent greetings and thanks to the church community.

Pastor Paulo Massinga also offered words of thanks. “Thank God, what we have been waiting for so long is now here.” Classes for children in first, second and third grades are scheduled to begin with the new school year in January. Until then, the congregation will be sponsoring classes for adults who want to learn to read and write.

Many thanks to all who so generously contributed to this project through gifts to the Capital Campaign.

Leave a Reply