by Jim Josephson

When Caryn and I travelled to Tanzania in September, we once again were honored and so grateful to represent Prince of Peace.  It was a unique experience this time since we were the lone ambassadors to our partners of Bomalang’ombe and Vikongwa.. We missed the benefits of being part of a larger group but were still so energized by Prince of Peace’s amazing support and generosity as we were sent on our way.

While there were so many highlights from our adventure, I share a couple snapshots of “God’s Work. Our hands” moments for me.  Since this was to be the first visit to Vikongwa as a full-fledged parish, we wanted to bring an official copy of the covenant for them to consider for signing.  In addition, we wanted to propose renewing our 20+ year relationship with Bomalang’ombe.  It seemed so timely since it had been over 4 years since our last visit and the first visit post-COVID.  Without much deliberation or discussion, both parishes’ partnership committees unanimously approved!  Certainly, “God’s work.  Our hands.”

I encourage you to read these new covenants in frames on the wall across from the church office

The funds received in August before our journey were immediately put to good use with our partners:

  • Books for children and youth at all preaching points
  • African Bible Commentaries for all evangelists and pastors
  • Motorbike (“Pikipiki”) for Vikongwa Parish
  • 300 meters of piping to bring water to the pastor’s house at Vikongwa
  • 150 kg rice for Huruma Children’s center
  • Financial gifts to Huruma Children’s center and Bomalang’ombe Secondary School
  • Funds to help Bomalang’ombe purchase property for church expansion
  • 15 soccer balls for parish preaching points and schools

The last item listed is one I want to close with.  It is a tradition for us to purchase soccer balls in Iringa and bring them out to the villages.  They become evangelism tools for the young people as “football” is popular.  The last preaching point of Muhu is extremely remote and very challenging to drive to.  It was so touching when we presented the gifts there and we were told that the soccer ball may be the first real one they had seen.  And the evening prior to our drive to Vikongwa, I was visiting with one of the long-time staff members at The Lutheran Center where we lodge in Iringa.  He shared that he coaches a young men’s soccer team.  He proceeded to express disappointment that he couldn’t look forward to his upcoming Sunday with his team because his soccer ball was broken.  He had the right person listening to his story because I had a brand new spare soccer ball to solve his problem!  Bwana Asifiwe! (Praise the Lord)

Covenant signings and footballs…..  the extraordinary and the ordinary, both serve a role in “God’s work.  Our hands.”  Thanks be to God for these partnerships!