Reunion with Bishop Simon Chiwanga

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.

Phillip outside a traditional dwelling

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.

Slave trade route

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.

The Cathedral, Mpwapwa

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.

Arriving safely in Mpwapwa

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.