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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The "Good" Church - A Visit Between the Lutheran Church East Africa and LCMS

Bishop Jesse Angowi of the Lutheran Church of East Africa (LCEA) requests closer ties to the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS) near Moshi, Tanzania. The Lutheran Church of East Africa was formed in the shadow of Kilimanjaro in 1999.

In the car ride between churches, a discussion of "Missouri" emerged. "Missouri" to a Swahili speaker sounds like "Mzuri" / "Nzuri" which means "good." Bishop Angowi said, "When we hear Missouri Synod, we hear 'good' church." He said the Missouri Synod is a good church because it holds the Bible and the Lutheran Confessions. He also said Missouri Synod is a good church because it does not support the liberal agenda other churches support.

Dr. Collver presents Bishop Angowi with the Book of Concord in Swahili.

Bishop Angowi distributes The Book of Concord to his pastors. The pastors noted that they had used a different version of the Book of Concord in Swahili before receiving their own copy recently published by Lutheran Heritage Foundation. Apparently, the Germans previously ha translated it. The pastors were very pleased to receive a copy.

Later in the day, a gift was presented to President Harrison, "African Cake." Bishop Angowi said we needed to decide what to do with the gift. We could wrap it up and take it to President Harrison if we wished. After a brief consultation, we decided that TSA and US Customs would not allow us to return with a roasted goat, so we suggested that we all enjoy the "African Cake" together.

Bishop Angowi served Rev. Shauen Trump the "African Cake."

The women who prepared the food sent greetings to the women of the Missouri Synod.

As we traveled to different churches, we stopped at a mine, where volcanic rocks are quarried with mâchés. At the mine, we discovered an orphanage for children.

The pastors of the Lutheran Church in East Africa prayed with the children. We also saw a turtle that was able to entertain the children. We asked if the turtle was food for the children. With a somewhat puzzled, then amused face, the pastor replied, "No. We do not eat turtle -- the Chinese do." Recently, many Chinese have entered Tanzania to build roads for Chinese companies to more easily export natural resources. The Chinese road crews live in Chinese camps and have little interaction with the Tanzanians. A positive contribution has been greatly improved roads. A negative is that none of this has created new jobs for Tanzanians, as the Chinese companies import all their workers from China. Because the Chinese live in self-contained camps, there has not been opportunity for the churches in Tanzania to evangelize the Chinese workers.

On the wall of the mine, a miner had carved in Swahili, "Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life."

At the mine a worker carries volcanic rock.

Bishop Angowi said without the mine for volcanic rock, his churches could not afford to build churches because cement blocks are too expensive.

The back of the church.

We also visited St Peter Theological Seminary. Today and tomorrow we visit parishes in the shadow of and on the slope of Kilimanjaro.

- Posted 15 August 2012 by Rev. Dr. Albert Collver.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Moshi, Tanzania

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