An Update from our 3 Partner Parishes in Tanzania (July 2021)

By Kirsten Levorson

For the second year in a row, Shepherd of the Valley is not sending a delegation of travelers to visit our partners in Makifu, Tungamalenga, and Usolanga Parishes. While the pandemic has prevented our in-person reunion, representatives met recently on Zoom.

To obtain a reliable internet connection, representatives from each parish traveled to Iringa and were hosted at The Lutheran Center by Pastor Jiskaka Lwila, Bega Kwa Bega Coordinator for the Iringa Diocese, and by Astine and Ryan Bose, Bega Kwa Bega Coordinators for the Saint Paul Area Synod. We are grateful to all involved for arranging their schedules to accommodate the eight hour time difference and language differences.

Makifu Parish sent its two pastors, Petro Shangalima and Karimu Mkini, along with the partnership committee chair Hosea Visima and secretary Joseph Kingiliyepi. Together we rejoiced that two more chapels have been completed over the past year, at Malunde and Kisilwa. In the next months, roofing is the task for chapels at Ikwavila and Misufi. In the coming year, work will begin on a new parish office building and the chapel at Isanga. Makifu Parish is comprised of nine village congregations.

We received effusive thanks for gifts that supported projects last year, as well as gifts of goats, bikes, and especially scholarships for 32 students attending secondary schools and universities.

Tungamalenga Parish was represented by Pastor Rahai Mgeveke, Pastor/Doctor Barnabas Kahwage, treasurer Lukimbililo Mkuye, and chair Noeli Kalulu. Thanks were given for financial support that enabled the parish to begin to renovate the parsonage and to provide adaptive bikes for individuals with mobility challenges. In the coming year, priorities include completing the renovations of the parsonage and renovating the church offices.

Dr. Barnabas discussed the goal of expanding the rural clinic and upgrading it to hospital status. The next step in that expansion will be to construct a separate building for the laboratory. Discussions on that project will continue this month with the involvement of supervisors from the diocese head office.

Pastor Paulo Massinga is supervising the primary school at Mpalapande, which now offers classes for the first three grades. Graduates of the primary school are performing at the top of their class as they continue in neighboring villages.

Usolanga Parish was represented by Pastor Patrick Chaula and members Nuhu and Alfred Chotomasege. They provided updates on parish projects at Iguluba and Ihumbiliza village chapels, and introduced us to the newly established village congregation at Bamalang’ombe. They described their priorities for the coming year: a water project, adding musical instruments for their evangelizing choir, and expanding their bee keeping project.

Together, we gave thanks for 20 years of partnership, made possible by the grace of God who has helped us in all things together.

Tungamalenga Parish (pictured left to right): Noeli Kalulu, Pastor Rahai Mgeveke, Pastor/Doctor Barnabas Kahwage, Pastor Jiskaka Lwila, Lukimbililo Mkuye
Makifu Parish (pictured left to right): Hosea Visima, Pastor Petro Shangalima, Pastor Karimu Mkini, Pastor Jiskaka Lwila, Joseph Kingiliyepi