In our travels throughout the Pare Diocese we saw God’s Word spreading in gracious and generous ways.
Written by, Pastor Cathy Daharsh, Gilbert Lutheran Church
I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity I had to travel to the Pare Diocese in Tanzania. The vision trip was a transformative experience, and since returning home it has continued to shape who I am. Through connecting with people from the Pare Diocese I was able to step into a new rhythm, and find a deeper understanding of who God is. As we traveled around the Pare Diocese learning about their ministries, I began to develop connections and relationships and my eyes were opened to how Gilbert Lutheran Church might partner in this ministry. I also opened myself to the Spirit’s work in my life and the lives of those that I met along the way.
All of my senses were engaged and energized as I experienced the extraordinary rhythm of hospitality in Tanzania: the colors of red soil, bright clothing, dancing, and beautiful smiles drew me in and warmed my heart. The sound of rhythmic instruments, singing, clapping and Swahili greetings flowing through the air made me want to dance free of the pressure of time. The hugs and handshakes promised new friendships. We gathered around the table to taste food in the breaking of bread, which always served as a reminder that Christ is with us.
In our travels throughout the Pare Diocese we saw God’s Word spreading in gracious and generous ways. We traveled from mountains to lowlands, and to the remote places where the Massai people live. I was inspired by the stories of local ministries and amazing hospitality. I was reminded of the importance of building relationships with our brothers and sisters throughout the world.
We live in a world with many aches and pains, troubles and turmoil. By taking time to sit and experience each other’s world, we begin to understand each other in deeper and more thoughtful ways. In learning about others we have an opportunity to learn about Christ and to be strengthened in our faith.
As we developed a relationship of mutual ministry with the people of Tanzania, we formed new music together and set the foundation of future rhythms to explore. I feel blessed by the many stories and moments that fed my soul and strengthened my faith. Thanks to my time in Tanzania, I also walk with a new rhythm in my heart.
My heart is full of the love shared by the Tanzanian people. My mind is full of new information gained from my experiences on the trip. I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to share stories and memories from my time with the people of Tanzania. In Christ, there is room for much more as we move forward in discovering ways to connect and build new relationships. My hope and prayer for Gilbert Lutheran Church and our Synod is that we are inspired to continue to explore new and creative ways to accompany our brothers and sisters in Tanzania.