We have just spent the night at a lovely hotel called Hotel Mediterraneo on the beach just north of Dar es Salaam. It is very hot down here compared to being up in the hills of Mpwapwa, but we have a day by the pool before flying back to the UK late tonight. I imagine it will be a bit of a shock arriving back to what we hear is a cold UK!
It is good to have some down time reflecting on what we have seen and heard after a very busy week when there has been no space very much for Stephen and myself to talk or relax.
Yesterday we began with a working breakfast at St. Philip’s Theological College meeting the Principle, John Maninda, and chatting with him about CCMP and the role Theological colleges may play in training pastors in the process of transforming communities.
By 9.45am we were on the road to Dar, a 7 hour drive, some along bumpy dirt tracks but predominantly on tarmaced roads, which was a relief after the previous days.
We stopped for lunch in Morogoro, having crossed a bridge under repair that had been washed away in floods a few weeks back – a reminder of the situation at home. But before lunch we went to the cathedral to thank God for the life of Ann Rayner.
Ann, who for many years has worshipped at St. Stephen’s, went out as a missionary with her husband to the Diocese of Morogoro. He was an agriculturalist and died out here from Malaria, and Ann died last week whilst we we here. It was therefore good to remember her in the Diocese where she had served God faithfully and sacrificed so much, and we thanked God that she is now reunited with her husband, but above all is in the presence of God for eternity.
We were then introduced to the Vicar-general, Charles Munga. He is the person responsible for the Diocese in the absence of the Bishop. It was good to chat with him as he had heard of Ann’s death through her son, Mark, who he has kept in touch with, having been good friends with Ann and her husband when they were out here and he was just ordained. In fact he had flown to Nairobi to be in the hospital with them as Ann’s husband died.
William Msaki, who works for CCT (Christian Council of Tanzania) and has been with us throughout, then took us to meet and pray with his mother in law as she had a stroke a couple of years ago and has lost her speech and right hand side of her body. It was a privilege to go to their home and to pray.
We then got back in the truck for the final half of our journey to Dar and arrived at the hotel at about 5.00pm. It was good to be able to invite William, who has worked hard with us over the past week, to stay the night and eat with us, before he set off early today to meet with Tearfund and then drive back to Mpwapwa to work on the final proposal for our partnership. A bit of a treat at the end of a very positive week, and way beyond anything he has experienced before.
He has now gone and we may have a meeting with Tearfund, but you are never quite sure with Tanzanians what will happen although if you go anywhere it is etiquette to meet and be welcomed by the senior people in that village, community, organisation….
And so that concludes our time here and will probably be my final blog, although Stephen is going to write up a report of our time, and we will post this in due course.
Do come on 30th March to the service where the Archbishop and Tearfund will be present to hear more and to be part of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for our partnership with the community of Matongoro.