A Semester at Matongo

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On Sunday mornings, students and faculty from the boys’ secondary school, the teachers’ training college, and the school of theology gather for the divine service at Matongo. All three schools are on adjacent campuses.

Dear Friends in Christ,

By the grace of God Anita’s health has been stable and we have returned safely to Kenya, where I have begun teaching another semester in the school of theology at Neema Lutheran College at Matongo.  Unlike previous semesters, Anita and the kids are living with me in the faculty housing right here on campus, so all the time I used to spend commuting back and forth to and from Nairobi can now be spent teaching. Praise God for this!

Since our last newsletter we’ve also learned that my Tanzanian work permit has been issued along with my residence permit and several dependent passes, so we are only waiting to acquire a few more student/dependent passes before we are all able to move to Tanzania.  Even if those passes are issued soon, I’m committed to finishing teaching classes at Matongo this fall, so I won’t actually begin teaching in Tanzania until the current semester is over.

I do want to offer a special thanks and note of explanation to all of you who have contributed to the Tanzanian digital books project over the past year.  Thanks be to God, the project is fully funded.  I am, however, going to wait until I actually arrive in Tanzania to begin purchasing tablets and installing books for the students.  The reason is simply that I’ll be able to use the funds much more effectively and responsibly if I, as a classroom teacher, know exactly what books are needed and being used in the classroom, as well as any “bugs” that arise with the technology and need to be worked out.  To all who have made contributions in months past, thank you for your ongoing patience!

At Matongo I’m teaching four courses this semester.  Two of them are in Synoptic Gospels, with one section focusing on Matthew and the other focusing on Luke.  My third course is in the Small Catechism.  Special thanks goes to Rev. Peter Bender and the Lutheran Heritage Foundation for providing two different sets of excellent resources for the students taking this course.  Finally, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone a little by teaching a course entitled Advanced Reading.  Although not a theology course per se, it’s a necessary prerequisite to theological study at Matongo, especially since virtually all our students don’t speak English as their mother tongue.  Our main textbook for that course is Adler and Van Doren’s classic How to Read a Book.

Besides the seminary, classes are also well underway within the Clausing household.  Anita and the kids got off to a late start in their homeschool coursework due to our delayed return, but they’ve been putting in long hours and are well on their way to making up the missed time.  Even though we are in a relatively remote place, the internet here is good enough that Ernie and Ellie have also been able to continue their online courses at Wittenberg Academy and Concordia, Wisconsin, respectively.

Our oldest son Emil continues to do well at Concordia, Chicago and is finding himself quite busy as he spends evenings rehearsing for two plays to be performed on campus this fall.  We were happy to have the opportunity to eat lunch with him on campus on the same day that we later departed from O’Hare airport in Chicago.

Thank you for your ongoing support. It was a joy to visit many of you this summer, but we are also glad to be back where we can live in one place and I can do the work God has called me to do.

Prayer Requests, Praises, and Thanks

Thank God for our safe return to Africa and Anita’s good health.

Pray that all the students at Neema Lutheran College would continue to be shaped by God’s word and equipped to share it as they serve in their parishes.

Pray for the Clausing kids and their teacher, Anita, as they work hard at school to catch up on lessons missed due to our delayed return to Kenya.

Ask God’s blessing upon our son Emil as he studies at Concordia, Chicago.

Ask that God’s will be done with regard to the final papers we need in order to move to Tanzania.

One thought on “A Semester at Matongo

  1. Wonderful news! Thanks for the newsy update! In Him, Kaylyn Schnelle Wehrman – Auntie of Devin Burmeister Lockwood, MO

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