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This month we are highlighting the Tanzanian Sewing Center, a Mission grant of $25,000. This grant is one of 22 Mission Grants approved at convention. Funds will be disbursed for this project when the allocated amount of Mite money has been received.

Tanzanian Sewing Center

In a remote area of Tanzania, southeast of Lake Victoria, is an extremely arid region of 19,601 square miles. Many girls live here in small villages who do not go to school or work. They are at the mercy of their villages for assistance. Many of the girls end up getting married at a very young age just to have someone to take care of them. Some end up as slaves as a result of human trafficking. Many become prostitutes and end up with AIDS. These girls have no skills to rely on for their own support. Their lives are filled with despair and desperation.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania—South-East Lake Victoria Diocese (ELCT-SELVD) is aware of their situation and wants to help. At the new Missional Sewing Center, women will be taught to sew, to help them physically. They will make items for others that can be purchased. The churches in the district are very compassionate and caring, showing their support by purchasing the items the girls make. Thanks to the church leaders, there are also markets where these goods can be sold. The women will also be taught about Jesus, to sustain them spiritually in the Good News of Jesus and baptism. Once these girls know of our Savior’s love and sacrifice for our sins, they can share it with their families and friends.

This center will be a school and a place to live, housing fifty students. All the supplies, including sewing machines, sewing supplies, furniture and instruction will be provided with this Mission Grant. This center will help the ELCT-SELVD fulfill their mission of connecting with all their people, even those living in the remote bush areas, bringing them the Gospel and the hope of eternal life with Jesus. One of their primary purposes is “to serve all people spiritually, mentally and physically through Jesus Name.”

After a year, each girl will:

  1. have her own pocket money;
  2. be able to feed herself for one year;
  3. have enough money to buy her own sewing machine; and
  4. have enough money to buy her materials for projects to sell for the next year.

All of this is in response to Matthew 25:36–40, “I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me … And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” The leaders of the ELCT-SELVD believe they can make a difference in the lives of these girls, teaching them about Jesus, showing them the love of Jesus and showing them a future with hope and the knowledge of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML) is the official women’s auxiliary of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Since 1942, the LWML has focused on affirming each woman’s relationship with Christ, encouraging and equipping women to live out their Christian lives in active mission ministries and by supporting global missions. Saint John’s Mission Guild (LWML) meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM in Room 301. All ladies of the congregation are invited to attend.