A New Semester, A Trip Home, And a New Country

IMG_1626 copy
My Spring 2018 New Testament Survey Class at Matongo
FullSizeRender-3 copy
Distributing the Sacrament on Transfiguration Sunday at Uhuru Highway Lutheran Church
2018-01-05 13.31.02 copy
Eileen is proud to wear her matching skirt and headscarf that Anita made out of a gift of fabric from Tanzanian friends.
IMG_0463 copy
Last weekend we were excited to have guests from the U.S. at our house. Pastor Peter Bender and his wife Beth stayed for the weekend before proceeding to Matongo, where Pastor Bender is currently teaching a two-week intensive course on catechesis.

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

Lenten greetings to you in the name of Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. This month there are three distinct sections to our news, corresponding to the three parts of the year ahead.

First, the new semester at Matongo is well underway. Once again I’m teaching two classes: Catholic Epistles (a repeat from last year) and New Testament Survey (new this term). My students are again a truly international group, coming from Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania. Because of its diverse student body, Matongo continues to be a positive influence on the church in the whole region. In addition to my regular teaching responsibilities, I’m also taking a week off next week to travel to northern Uganda to teach in a refugee camp. I hope to give more news on that in next month’s newsletter.

Second, I am in the midst of scheduling many church visits during our time in the U.S. this summer (May 20 – Aug 19). All my Sundays are booked, but I am still filling in the weekdays. If you’d like us to visit your congregation, just put me in touch with your pastor. We’d love to see you!

Third, our biggest piece of news is that the Office of International Mission has approved my family to relocate to northern Tanzania to teach full time at St. Peters seminary of the LCEA. It’s not a certainty, as the move is contingent upon my ability to receive a Tanzanian work permit, but we’re hoping the transition might take place this fall. We’re no strangers to Tanzania or the LCEA, as I taught at St. Peters for six weeks last year. The great advantage of this move would be that at last I would cease the constant commuting I’ve been doing in order to live in the same community as my students and the local church. Of course, this also means that our family would essentially be making two international moves in the same year – not a stress-free undertaking! Nevertheless, our lives are in the hand of God, and we trust in His gracious provision, not the least of which comes through you, our supporters. Thank you!


Prayer Requests, Praises, and Thanks

Ask God’s blessing upon the students and faculty at Matongo during our spring semester.

Pray for safety and a joyful homecoming as our family returns to the U.S. for three months this summer.

Pray for a smooth and successful transition to Tanzania, particularly that I would be able to acquire a work permit from the Tanzanian government.

Thank God that a complex paperwork issue regarding our van in Kenya has been resolved – the result being that our family can continue to drive it.

Pray for our son Emil as he prepares for college.