Coming Home 2018: Tanzania Update

By Wendy Steger, Pastor

On July 26, 2018, my daughter, Anna, and I returned home from a life-changing visit to Tanzania. We had been privileged with the honor and responsibility of representing our congregation on a visit with our partners overseas. It was a delightful journey. We sang, danced, prayed, and worshiped with our friends in Tungamalenga, Makifu, and Usolanga.

Anna, Kirsten, and I learned to make bricks, pick cotton, and make baskets. We visited schools to see the new life and hope education brings for the next generation. It was a joy, an adventure, and a trip of a lifetime. Over and over, each village we visited greeted us with the words “karibu sana” which means “you are warmly welcomed.”

Our journey was inspiring and thrilling, but after 17 days away, Anna and I were ready to come home.

What a delight for us, when we were greeted at the airport in Minnesota by previous travelers who know how special it is to be warmly welcomed home after a long journey. “Karibu sana,” they said. “Welcome home.”

Scripture tells of a God who will not rest until all are warmly welcomed home. Jesus told the story of the prodigal son who wandered far away, squandering all he had. But when he came back, far from being vengeful, the father threw his arms around him and kissed him. God is like that loving father. No matter where life has taken us, we are loved and received with open arms by a compassionate and merciful God who celebrates our return.

Wherever your summer has taken you, know that you are warmly welcomed home to a new year of congregational life at SOTV. Amidst the new schedules and daily routines, may you also experience the wide range of possibilities for connecting with God in a new way.

Karibu sana. You are warmly welcomed.

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