- Written by Kimberly Pepmiller Kimberly Pepmiller
- Created: 16 June 2019 16 June 2019
The Mercy Medical Team to Tanzania arrived safely in Moshi Saturday evening. The last piece of luggage was delivered to the hotel Sunday, and we are all safe and sound. We checked in at the Keys Lodge and then enjoyed a dinner out in Moshi town Saturday night before we all retired for a much needed night of sleep.
Sunday morning we had the pleasure of worshipping with our fellow brothers and sisters in Kahe, about a one-hour drive away from Moshi. This is the village where the medical clinics will be held this week. Upon our arrival, we had morning tea with the local pastors prior to church. It was like coffee hour but prior to the service.
This week we will be serving alongside the Lutheran Church of East Africa (LCEA). They are not yet in official fellowship with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS). However, the theology and beliefs are very similar. In fact, archbishop Angowi assisted to start the Lutheran Church of East Africa (LCEA) after attending seminary in the United States and realizing that his beliefs did not fully align with the ELCA teaching that was being preached at the Lutheran churches in Tanzania. Since beginning the LCEA within the last forty years, the church body has grown to about 5,000 parishioners in Tanzania.
Pre-service worship music was provided by congregation members singing traditional African worship music. Our missionary hosts prepared the order of service and hymns for us so we could follow along with the Swahili and understand the content. The service included songs from a hymnal that congregation members brought with them, liturgy readings and a sermon that was translated into English for us. Following the service, the host church members prepared a traditional lunch for us of rice, spaghetti, meat with sauce, avocados and bananas. We enjoyed fellowship time together following the service.
In the evening, we spent time preparing for the clinic week ahead and enjoyed dinner here at the hotel. Tomorrow we begin our week of service with our local partners through the medical clinics.
“Hesed” is a Hebrew word that means “kindness,” “mercy,” “loyalty,” “loving-kindness” or “steadfastness.” It’s the way God intends us to live together—a “love your neighbor as yourself,” active, selfless, sacrificial, caring-for-one-another brand of living contradictory to our fallen natures. The “Heseders” are continually looking to work together to share some small measure of God’s extraordinary love. Won’t you join us?