Later that evening we were able to have dinner with Bishop Simon Chiwanga and his wife Gladys who had visited St. Paul's 14 years ago. Bishop Chiwanga still had a prayer book I had given him using regularly the Ash Wednesday litany of penitence on Wednedays and Fridays in his personal time of prayer. Thanks to the generosity of the Nguyens and the Kelemanik/Horgan family we were able to bring him a working laptop.
After some very lively worship we got ourselves together for the trip back to Mpwapwa, about 3 hours on dirt roads. Most of these roads were better than the ones in Haiti, with much less of the "tennis shoe in the dryer" experience. Phillip is standing in front of a home with a mud and grass roof and the stove is a small fire between rocks where the pots are placed.
This was the only kids bike I saw in Tanzania A kind of balance bike.
Phillip has a lot of relatives in Ngumbi who were glad to see him.
After meeting with the youth council and the diocesan leadership, we traveled to Ngumbi, Phillip's home village where his father was from. When I can show a video, you will see the most impressive welcome I've ever received anywhere.
After meeting with the dean at the cathedral of Mpwapwa we met with the youth council. The youth are aged from 18 to 40. Their choirs are one of the main reasons people join their youth programs. Together they have solar projects, pigs, goats, hens and others. They plant maize and sunflowers for selling them.
The slave trade went along this path, adjacent to the current site of the cathedral.
Mr. Stanley left a message to Dr. Livingston on the rock, telling him the local leaders would welcome them and it was a safe place to come.
The cathedral was built on the historic site where missionaries first came, led by Charles Price and others. This site was along the route where Arab slave trader would bring chain the people they captured and march them to Dar es Salaam and ship them to Zanzibar where they would be sold at auction to be shipped all over the world. Since 1876 the cathedral was a place of resistance to the slave trade where slaves would be freed and taken up to the nearby village of Chamhawi, the locale of the Queen Esther girls school in the nearby mountains where they would not be found. The tree and the rock and path are all part of the route. Newly captured slaves were chained to the tree by their captors.
We spent some time meeting with the dean of the cathedral who again reiterated the needs for partnership that help move things forward. He reminded us of a mission in Mpwapwa to serve the whole person: health and education and spiritual formation are all essential elements of ministry. The partnership is about relationships can build and strengthen over time. These relationship often start with one or two and then when people see the trustworthiness of the relationship, it grows. Mutual prayer is important for moving forward along with mutuality in a partnership. The diocese of Mpwapwa is an industrious place where much is happening but certain kinds of shortages are difficult to fill without help. They are happy to help building processes and provide the labor for such work. Their investments of sweat and making their own bricks often increase their own ownership of such efforts. But certain things like medical doctors and skilled nurses, the extra funds needed to finish a project, the ability to hire better teachers and English teachers are important.
They have a strong relationship with the diocese of Rochester, UK that has been ongoing for about 25 years now.
St. Luke's is a highly trusted health center run by the diocese. Because of staffing shortages they are no longer able to provide first term births. New mothers must go to the nearby govt health center which many feel is insufficient. The center needs more skilled people but struggles to be able to pay salaries needed.
What I love about the mothers union is there weekly meeting for prayer, study and support. You don't have to be a mother to join, it's open to all women. But what a great support they are to each other. They said that was their greatest gift. There was no fathers union, though.
In Africa and elsewhere in the Anglican communion an organIzation which supports women in prayer and conversation, study and singing together Is the mothers union. We met with leaders of the mothers union in mpwapwa and went to a place where they were raising funds to support a new dormitory for up to seven guests at a time.
We arrived safely in Mpwapwa and there stayed at the Ark Hotel. The very warm temperatures of Korogwe were now much more temperate in Mwpwapwa. Only a fan ( when it worked ) was needed through the mosquito netting. The schedule for our time was packed. As you can see we spent the next five days meetings, at the diocese, at the health center, the cathedral, with youth, in villages and parishes. What an amazing place.
Africa is a combination of many, many villages and a whole lot of vast, open space! Thankfully auntie was able to help us navigate the roads to Mpwapwa at night!