September 3, 2012
by Elizabeth Locher
6 Comments

The hunt for clothespins

Going shopping is a little different here at Msalato. The biggest change to adjust to has been that there is nothing like the one-stop shopping you can do in the US. Stores here are generally specialized – you can’t buy minor office supplies at the place you buy food, and if you want a printer, your best bet is to hunt down a printer store – not an easy feat! A big part of learning to shop here has simply been getting to know the city of Dodoma and finding all the different specialized stores.

A busy street in Dodoma

Another trick has been learning the names of more obscure items. Ben and I stopped at countless storefronts selling small household supplies and honed our miming skills trying to find someone who sells clothespins. Finally I had the brilliant idea to ask our house mama the Swahili word for clothespins. We are still on the hunt, but at least now we can figure out when someone is not selling them with relative ease!

After we had been into city shops a number of times, we were ready to step it up a notch and go to the city market. We went with our next door neighbor, a native Kenyan who speaks fluent Swahili, and that was a great help. He introduced us to all his go-to vendors for rice, bananas, and all sorts of fresh vegetables. Certain things like butter are extremely expensive here, but vegetables are not, so I think we are going to be eating a lot healthier for the next year!

I spent the night before our trip studying up on Swahili vegetable names and especially numbers, and it really paid off! It was great fun to be able to name most of the items we purchased and understand the prices people told us. Ben and I have been working on our greetings, but adding some marketplace Swahili means I can actually have a conversation of several sentences back and forth with someone. This is even more indispensable at the Saturday market in the village of Msalato A. Ben and I walked there this weekend and business is conducted completely in Swahili or the local language, Chigogo. We navigated the maze of stalls and blankets – still no sign of clothespins! – but my favorite part was that all along the 3 kilometer walk to and from the market we were able to greet our neighbors along the way. I think it made us both feel more a part of our local community to be able to talk and share the common activity of market day.

Navigating the market

The market sells a great variety of foods, from staples like tomatoes, onions, and potatoes to all sorts of spices and these enormous piles of dried fish and prawns. I love seeing all the colorful produced stacked next to each other and I love the sense of abundance when I see huge collections of bananas or pineapples hanging from all the rafters. Ben was on a quest to find hot peppers. We knew the word for peppers – “pilipili”, but we weren’t sure the ones we were offered would really be spicy. We bought a ton of them so we could try different types – an experiment that cost us about one US dollar in total. And they were certainly spicy! Ben drank about three glasses of powdered milk after taking a bite of the most innocent looking variety. Now I am just trying to find a way to cook with them and still be able to eat the result!

August 31, 2012
by Benjamin Locher
0 comments

A day at church

In Tanzania, no one is eager to return home from church for NFL kickoff or a coveted brunch reservation.  Church is the main event, and it is an all-day affair.  Last Sunday, Elizabeth and I accompanied three other American missionaries to Mvumi Makulu, a large, relatively prosperous village about an hour’s drive from campus over bumpy dirt roads.  This was our first real immersion into African Christianity, and it was certainly an exciting experience.  This particular Sunday was a special day, since the parish priest, Father Daniel, was leaving his post to come to Msalato to study for his Bachelor’s Degree.  The service lasted well over four hours.

Before the service, we were welcomed into Fr. Daniel’s home for chapati (a traditional, delicious flat bread) and tea.  Village children were continually peeking in the door trying to get a glimpse of us without us noticing.  When we caught their eyes, they would bolt away giggling.  Later, when we were taking pictures, the children all pushed their way to front trying to get into the picture.  Since mirrors are rare, our digital cameras offered some of them the first glimpses they had ever seen of themselves.

From the very beginning of the service, music and dance took center stage.  Since it was Fr. Daniel’s last day, choirs from all five of the churches in his parish attended.  With so many people, the service had to be held outdoors.  Women’s choirs and youth choirs took turns performing lively song and dance.  Every song told a story, though we didn’t usually understand them.  The service was in Swahili, and much of the music was in Chigogo, the language of the local tribe, the Wagago.  Almost everyone in attendance participated with some form of music or dance.

The service featured a liturgy of the Word, three infant baptisms, a sermon, and an hour-long going away ceremony for Fr. Daniel.  Parishioners brought forward gifts for the journey, including sugar, flour, colorful cloths, and a half-filled bottle of cologne – whatever each person could afford.  Groups danced their way forward, greeting Fr. Daniel and his wife, some of them several times. The western missionaries weren’t exempt!  It was a joyous and celebratory occasion.   Afterward, we were welcomed as the guests-of-honor for a meal of beef stew and rice.

For the next year, we will be attending parish churches with our students.  It seems we have a lot to look forward to!

Most photos of the church service are by Magi Griffin, a missionary from Atlanta working for the Diocese of Central Tanganyika.  Thank you, Magi!


 

August 31, 2012
by Benjamin Locher
2 Comments

Welcome to Our New Home

The most common question that our friends and families have asked us since we arrived is where we live. We’ve been extremely generously welcomed into many of the homes of fellow missionaries, some who arrived on campus just a week before us and some who arrived as many as seven years ago. Now we want to welcome you into ours – virtually for now but we hope in person for many of you. We have plenty of space to house visitors in our new home – two whole guest bedrooms! Msalato Theological College (and Tanzania) is such a breathtakingly beautiful place filled with friendly and generous people. Welcome to our new home!

Video of Our Home

This video is taken from a camera phone, so please excuse the unsteadiness.

Pictures of Our Home

 

Picture of Our Campus and Surrounding Area

August 25, 2012
by Elizabeth Locher
9 Comments

First Impressions

Egypt - our first view of Africa. It was too dark to take a picture of Tanzania. Click on the images to enlarge

It was Wednesday evening after dark when we flew into Tanzania and saw the country for the first time. And the first thing we noticed was that it was very dark! Unlike flying into US cities where dense grids of orange lights sprawl around the airport at night, lights in Tanzania were more spread out, fewer innumber, and generally whiter.

The guesthouse where we stayed the first night

It meant we didn’t get a good view of downtown Dar es Salaam when we arrived, but we did have an incredible view of stars – a view that is even more spectacular out at Msalato Theological College’s campus. But south of the equator all the stars are different, and it was a strange sensation to find that even the sky was unfamiliar in our new home!

The bus stop in Dar es Salaam, ready for the long journey to Dodoma

We spent our first night at a Roman Catholic guest house and the accommodations were quite nice. We had our own room and Western-style bathroom. Sleeping under mosquito netting is kind of fun. It feels a little like being in one of the forts we made out of sheets as children – like indoor camping! Or like fulfilling childhood dreams of having a bed with a canopy.

An open-air market including refrigerators, beds, and other furniture

The next day, Thursday, we had our epic and beautiful eight hour bus ride from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma. We took about 500 pictures in total, and so we will be putting together a bigger photo gallery very soon.

Shops along the roadside between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, the halfway point to Dodoma

One thing that immediately struck me was how much business and activity takes place outside. We drove past an open-air furniture store and I was baffled. I first thought, “But what happens to the sofas when it rains?” But when the dry season is eight months long and has an average rainfall of 0 inches, that’s not a concern. We saw all sorts of open air stores, selling everything from furniture to mattresses to household appliances!

A view from Morogoro, the stopping point between Dar es Salaam and Dodoma)

As we rode west we watched the landscape change from green coastlands to open grasslands to dramatic mountain ranges. We came into the Dodoma region as the sun was setting behind mountains and plains dotted with Baobab trees. It was once again fully dark when we arrived in Dodoma, so you will have to check back on our next post to see the city and our new home by the light of day!

Elizabeth returning from her first non-Western toilet (Choo in Swahili)

A Baobab tree as the sun sets in the Dodoma region

 

August 18, 2012
by Benjamin Locher
2 Comments

Thank you!

Photo: The road to Msalato Theological College from Dodoma

We have reached our fundraising goal, and are ready to fly to Tanzania this Tuesday, August 21!! We want to thank all of our exceptionally generous donors whose gifts will allow us to teach and serve in Tanzania!  We have been struck by just how much support we received not only financially but also in offers of counsel, prayers, and encouragement.  Thank you!

Supporting Parishes and Schools

Bruton Parish Episcopal Church Williamsburg, VA
Christ Episcopal Church Luray, VA
Grace Episcopal Church Alexandria, VA
St. Clement’s By The Sea Episcopal Church San Clemente, CA
St. David’s Episcopal Church Glenview, IL
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Alexandria, VA
St. Paul’s Parish (Episcopal) K Street, Washington, DC
Virginia Theological Seminary Alexandria, VA

 

Donations

Anonymous Arlington, VA
Anonymous Arlington, VA
Anonymous Alexandria, VA
Anonymous Ashburn, VA
Anonymous Alexandria, VA
Anonymous Richmond, VA
Anonymous Arlington, VA
Anonymous Annandale, VA
Lucky Ajueyitsi Washington, DC
Robert Armidon Falls Church, VA
Charles Bauer Williamsburg, VA
Lowell and Karen Baughan Luray, VA
Paul Bellantoni Springfield, VA
Barbara Blakistone Chantilly, VA
Bookout Family Foundation Houston, TX
Ralph and Catherine Braun Washington, DC
Nevin Brown Washington, DC
Canterbury Student Ministry, Bruton Parish Church Williamsburg, VA
Roy and Pat Byrd Alexandria, VA
Freewill Offering, Christ Episcopal Church Luray, VA
Michelle Cox Alexandria, VA
Tommy Crabtree Alexandria, VA
Fr. Patrick Crerar San Clemente, CA
John Cunningham Odenton, MD
Louise Curry Glenview, IL
Fr. Lane Davenport Washington, DC
Edie Davis College Park, MD
Tyler Doherty Alexandria, VA
Jospeh L and Claudine G Donovan Alexandria, VA
Robert and Katherine Eikel Alexandria, VA
Tom and Bridget Frank Glenview, IL
Richard and Miriam Frick Waukegan, IL
Charlotte Gillespie Accokeek, MD
Mission Committee, Grace Episcopal Church Alexandria, VA
Susan Granum Washington, DC
Gary Greene Hagerstown, MD
Barbara  Hicks Fairfax, VA
Nicholas Hoelker Richmond, VA
Graham and Susan Jackson Northfield, IL
Dick and Louise Johnson Glenview, IL
Jane Johnson Wilmington, NC
John and Lyle Jorgenson Prospect Heights, IL
Connie Karagas Des Plaines, IL
Pattie Kindsvater Falls Church, VA
Ann Korky Alexandria, VA
Julia Kriz Bethesda, MD
Phillip Kronstein Bethesda, MD
Matt Leddicotte Washington, DC
James and Carol Locher McMurray, PA
Marilyn and Bill Locher Johnstown, PA
Debbie and John Lowe Glenview, IL
Helen Lowe Columbia, IL
Nancy Macklin Alexandria, VA
Florence Mallett Washington, DC
David and Meg McDonald Glenview, IL
Meg McDonald Glenview, IL
Paul McKee Washington, DC
Kay McKelvey Johnstown, PA
Chris Mixter and Linna Barnes Chevy Chase, MD
Calvin Morrow Washington, DC
Lonn and Jan Myers Glenview, IL
Dcn. Kyle Oliver Alexandria, VA
David Parker McLean, VA
Allen Payne Arlington, VA
Melissa Pedersen Glenview, IL
Gayle and Diane Pennel Wheeling, IL
Fr. Peter Pham Washington, DC
Mark Pierzhcala and Leslie Cross Rockville, MD
Raymond Plante Washington, DC
Eleanor Reed Arlington, VA
Jean and Lucy-Lee Reed Arlington, VA
Sylvia Rortvedt Arlington, VA
Karen and Paul Rosensteel Duncansville, PA
Bill and Liz Ryon Springfield, VA
David and Ann Schnorrenberg Chevy Chase, MD
Art and Jan Sherman Northbrook, IL
Mary Anne and Matt Simon McMurray, PA
Fr. Graham Smith Jerusalem, Israel
Freewill Offering, St. David’s Episcopal Church Glenview, IL
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Alexandria, VA
Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, St. Paul’s Parish Washington, DC
Outreach Endowment, St. Paul’s Parish Washington, DC
Marcia Stanford Washington, DC
Svantje Swider Washington, DC
Colin and Karin Tooze Arlington, VA
John Uhrig Washington, DC
Freewill Offering, Virginia Theological Seminary Alexandria, VA
Virginia Theological Seminary Alexandria, VA
Janet Wamsley Arlington, VA
Tom and Amy Wattley Glenview, IL
Constance Watts Falls Church, VA
Penelope Wilhelm Fairfax, VA
Linda Wilkinson Centreville, VA
Jim Winget Bentonville, VA
Victoria Winn Alexandria, VA
C.B. Wooldridge Washington, DC
Nancy Work Bethesda, MD
Sarah Zygmunt Washington, DC

 

Ugali, Coconut Beans, and other Tanzanian Food

August 6, 2012
by Benjamin Locher
2 Comments

First Taste of Tanzanian Food

Ugali, Coconut Beans, and other Tanzanian Food

Ugali, coconut beans, and other Tanzanian Food cooked by the Steffensens

Elizabeth and I recently enjoyed our first taste of traditional Tanzanian food.  And we loved it!

Deacon Leslie Steffensen, her husband Kirk, and their children, Greg, Henry, and Charlotte invited us to dinner in their Virginia home to tell us about their experiences at Msalato Theological College.  They lived there during the 2006-07 school year, doing similar work to what Elizabeth and I expect to do there this year.

The Steffensens served us a traditional Tanzanian meal.  The staple food, ugali – consists of cornmeal boiled to a thick consistency and served like mashed potatoes.  To eat ugali, you mold it into the shape of a bowl and scoop up sauces, stews, or meat with it.  (Though Tanzanians usually eat with their hands, we opted for fork and knife for now).  Leslie cooked a bean sauce featuring fresh coconut that she carved using a traditional Tanzanian coconut carver.  She also served chicken, bananas, okra, and other traditional foods.

After dinner the Steffensens showed us a slideshow of their adventures in Tanzania, and gave us many pointers.  Deacon Leslie taught many of the same classes Elizabeth will be teaching, and Kirk set up the computer network that Ben will help maintain.

After dining with the Steffensen’s we are more excited than ever to travel to Tanzania!

Visit the Steffensens’ blog at http://www.steffensenfamily.com/.

June 23, 2012
by Elizabeth Locher
0 comments

Finding Jesus

Sermon for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi
Sunday June 10, 2012 | St. Paul’s Parish, K Street, Washington D.C.
Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 1 Corinthians 10:1-4, 16-17, John 6:47-58

Click here for sermon audio recording

“For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.”

Today we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi, when we give thanks and praise to God for the gift of the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Jesus Christ’s own Body and Blood. Where, under the visible forms of bread and wine, we encounter the living presence of Jesus Christ Himself.

I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up. Isaiah 6:1

It is an astonishing gift. It is astonishing to take seriously Jesus’ declaration that this apparent bread and wine is His own Body and Blood. And it is a great joy and delight to know, then, that Christ is present in the Sacrament just as He was present in His human form at the Incarnation.

Many of us here may have had moments when we felt this presence profoundly. This may be why many of us are here this morning in this particular place, this community that speaks with such conviction of the encounter we have with our God in the Sacrament.

And when we discern Christ’s presence in the Sacrament of His Body, then we receive a second blessing – we discover that Christ must then be present in each member of the Church gathered at the Eucharist.

We may look to our God on the altar in adoration. And as we receive communion and God enters within us and makes His dwelling in our hearts, we may adore Him there. And then we also may adore Christ as we watch each of our brothers and sisters return from the altar – we may adore Him dwelling in each one of their hearts as well.

For myself, these two aspects of Christ’s presence in the Sacrament and in each of us were conveyed most powerfully to me together in one single moment, when I was a junior is college:

I had long believed in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist – that I encountered my God in the Sacrament as I would encounter Jesus Christ in His human body when he was born on earth.

But faith, I believe, has

a cyclical rhythm, an ebb and flow, and I was in a dry place when I came back to college from Christmas break my junior year.

I had been active in the Episcopal campus ministry at my school and often served as an acolyte at the Sunday evening mass we celebrated, and on that particular day we had many new freshman acolytes, and so I was asked for the first time to bear the chalice during communion.

It did not seem to be the right moment. I was feeling shaky and uncertain in my faith, and I was greatly dismayed by the thought of being a chalice bearer for the first time in such a spiritual state. But I was needed, and no one else was ready or willing to be trained so I agreed to do it. And I approached the altar without the deep conviction that I had previously experienced and would have wanted at such a moment.

And I received Jesus Christ Himself, in the Blessed Sacrament, and the chalice was placed in my hands, but God, whose presence is often subtle, seemed so distant.

And I walked from person to person, and I said, “The Blood of Christ”, and I wondered what it was that I was doing, and thought how very unworthy I was to be doing it, in such a moment of confusion.

And then, as I moved along the altar rail, something shifted.

“The Blood of Christ,” I said, “The Blood of Christ”. And suddenly I was overcome, with an utterly overwhelming sense of the presence of God. It pressed upon me and left me trembling. The fog of my confusion and my uncertainty, was flung back and I was filled with this deep sense of conviction, of faith. I knew that what I held in my hand was God Himself. I knew that what I was helping share with the people was God Himself.

And I realized that each person walked away from that altar rail, flaws and all, replete, filled with the presence God. He had pervaded us all, and we were immersed in Him. And it was trembling and speechless that I returned from the altar that day, with God enfleshed all around me. And I couldn’t fully separate God present in the Eucharist from God present in His people – these two truths were joined.

Sometimes discerning the presence of Christ is that overwhelmingly clear. But not too often. We worship a God whose presence is often subtle. But He has made known to us where His presence may be found. And so as we seek and celebrate our Lord present and encountered in the Sacrament we receive week after week, we must also seek and celebrate Him dwelling in our hearts, and dwelling in the hearts of every brother and sister who comes to the altar.

And we must also seek and celebrate Christ’s presence hidden in the heart of every single man and woman – all – for whom He died.

This is a Mystery as great as the Mystery of Christ present in His Sacrifice on the altar – that Jesus is also present in each human being made in His image. He tells us plainly that this is particularly true of those of his brothers and sisters who are poor, sick, hungry, suffering, and alone. And just as we are drawn to worship and adore Him here in this place, we must go and seek Him out and adore Him in all those human beings in need – as all human beings are, at one time or another. We are called to seek and serve Christ in all people, as we promise at our baptisms.

And I think this often sounds easier than it actually is. I think we all find ourselves at times moved with compassion for suffering people. And we may, if we look, find it quite possible to glimpse our crucified savior in them. But this is usually a lot more romantic in theory than in practice.

Among the weak, the poor, and the suffering we can find the same flaws and sin we discover in our own hearts – the same selfish drives, the same lack of empathy or concern for others, the same resistance to taking responsibility for the things we have done. And these discordant sins do not feel like the crucified and glorified Christ we are trying to discern in these our brothers and sisters.

And yet, for all the ways we humans work so hard to hide the image and presence of our God within us, Christ declares that He is there. And just as we carry the Sacrament from this building to share Him with the sick, the homebound, and the lonely, we also carry Him present within ourselves to all those we encounter, and we find Him there in them as well. God is enfleshed all around us.

Frank Weston (1871-1924), Bishop of Zanzibar

This truth was beautifully stated by Frank Weston, Bishop of Zanzibar in 1923, to the Anglo-Catholic Congress that year. He declared:

“If you are prepared to fight for the right of adoring Jesus in his Blessed Sacrament, then you have got to come out from before your Tabernacle and walk, with Christ mystically present in you, out into the streets of this country, and find the same Jesus in the people of your cities and your villages. You cannot claim to worship Jesus in the Tabernacle, if you do not pity Jesus in the slum.”

And so, on this day as we celebrate the Body of Christ truly present to us in the astounding gift of the Blessed Sacrament, and as we worship and adore Him there, let us recommit ourselves also to seeking out and worshipping Christ present in all those in need – be they hungry, or homeless, or sick, or poor, or uneducated, or unemployed, or outcast, or lonely. Let us recommit ourselves to seeking and serving Christ in all those near to us – in the persons of fellow parishioners, family, coworkers, and all our neighbors. And let us seek His presence in those far from us – across the country and across the world.

My husband Ben and I are going to follow the path of Bishop Weston himself, and travel to what is now the country of Tanzania, to seek and serve Christ among the people of that country who are preparing for lay and ordained leadership in the Church. It is a poor country, where education is scarce, and we go to offer our service as teachers of theology, Scripture, and computer use. It is a country in need of trained people to help lead the ministry of the Church, which is the only access to the Gospel, and also to health care, education, and aid that many Tanzanians ever experience, and so we will be teaching at a seminary and serving at local parishes, and after this service we will be speaking about some of the ways that you can join us in this mission and help love and serve Christ among his brothers and sisters across the world.

But the need is great in this community as well, and as the doors here say, the mission field begins at the very threshold of this building (or even within its walls!) and Christ is present beside us in the subway, on the street, in classrooms and offices and hospitals and prisons and in our own homes. So as we find Jesus Christ here at the altar today, let us love Him. And then let us go seek out and love Him in the heart of every beloved child of God whose path crosses ours.

Amen.

Photographs: Corpus Christi Procession 2012, St. Paul’s K Street

Photos by Janet Wamsley

Receiving the Bible

June 23, 2012
by Elizabeth Locher
2 Comments

Elizabeth’s Ordination (With Photos)

On Saturday, June 2nd, I was ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons. Throughout the service there was a phrase that stuck in my mind. It came from the bishop’s examination: “In the name of Jesus Christ, you are to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely.”

When a person is made a deacon they are, in a particularly intense way, conformed to the servant nature of Jesus. In the waters of baptism every Christian is shaped into the form of Christ, and this includes his form as a servant. But servanthood is the distinguishing characteristic of deacons – they are given away, to serve all those who are in need.

I remember sitting in the on-call room during my summer as a hospital chaplain and realizing how radically available I was to the people of the hospital. I might read, or watch TV, or lie down and go to sleep, but if my pager went off, even at 3 o’clock in the morning, I could not even stop to consider going back to sleep. I would get up and go to wherever I was called. I was entirely at the service of others.

Deacons live as a sign of the servanthood, the radical availability of Jesus. And thus they are a sign of what every Christian is called to. The vows the person preparing to be ordained is asked to make mirror the vows of every Christian at baptism: “Will you look for Christ in all others, being ready to help and serve those in need?” “Will you in all things seek not your glory but the glory of the Lord Christ?” I pray that we all find in Christ and his Church the model of how to live in such a way.

Pictures from the Ordination

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Burke VA:
Saturday, June 2 2012, 10 a.m.

 

Elizabeth expects to be ordained as a priest next December or January in Tanzania.

May 6, 2012
by Benjamin Locher
1 Comment

A Photo and Video Tour of Msalato College

Even though Elizabeth and I have not been to Tanzania yet (or anywhere in Africa, for that matter!), we still want to showcase where we hope to live and work. Once we arrive in Tanzania, we will be sure to chronicle our journey with regular photo gallery updates. In the mean time, please enjoy these photos we have borrowed from others who have lived at the seminary. Please click on an image to enlarge the picture and view the caption.

 

The following video was developed to promote the Footsteps in Faith (website) endowment campaign for Msalato Theological College (website). It is about 13 minutes long, but it gives a good overview of the numerous ministries at Msalato Theological College as well as daily life there.

Msalato Theological College Introduction Video

 

  Thanks for watching!

The Holy Name of Jesus

May 1, 2012
by Elizabeth Locher
0 comments

One Holy Name She Blesses

Missionary work is kind of a crazy thing to do. Leaving family and friends, home and career to travel halfway across the world and try to find a place in a foreign culture. Plus, there are scary snakes.

And today, Christians exist in every country, even when they are a small minority. In some ways it makes the most sense to stay where you are, and reach out in service and love to those who share a common culture and language with you. To people who are bound to you by common life experiences and common ways of viewing the world. Isn’t that the best way to come to deep understanding of another person, or to be able share with them the importance of God in your life? Such concepts are hard enough to express even among people who share the same language.

But one great beauty of international mission is the way that it can point to the amazing unity of the Church. Despite all the differences of language and lifestyle and worldview, there is something that binds us all to each other. There is one Lord, one God whom we serve. One name, the holy name of Jesus Christ, that binds all of us who claim the name of “Christian”. And that is a unity that means more to me than country or culture or language.

When Ben and I get to Tanzania, we will find the Church there alive and vibrant. We will find Christians of deep faith and conviction and courage. So when we seek to live our lives in Tanzania as examples of Jesus’ love for the world, we will not be bringing something that wasn’t there before. Christians in Tanzania live every day as a witness to the light of Jesus Christ in the world, just as Christians in America do. But by traveling to join our brothers and sisters in Tanzania, we can be a sign and a reminder that we share a common faith and a common life. We can be a link that binds the Church ever closer in the bonds of love that stretch over all the world.

And as fellow Christians, it is right for us to live and serve and learn side by side, whatever our differences may be. And such unity is a truth and a miracle for all the world to see.