Monday, October 08, 2007

A School in Central Tanganyika

It sounds like there's quite a bit of enthusiasm regarding Harry's charge, given to him by our Presiding Bishop, that we build a school in Central Tanganyika. It seems to me that it is appropriate for us to learn a bit about this part of the world, while we await word from Harry regarding more of the particulars of this project.

The Diocese of Central Tanganyika "covers Dodoma Urban and Rural with a population of over 1.2 million people, with a membership of over 500,000 Anglicans."

Regarding the educational needs of the diocese:

As Dodoma rural and urban districts are some of the least developed in the country and that government secondary schools are very few in the area, in order to be holistic in our ministry, the diocese is engaged in the promotion of education, from kindergarten through to primary and secondary education. We aim at offering the best education that the poorest can also afford. We have primary and secondary schools situated both in rural and urban areas to cater for the needs of all. The ratio of boys and girls is even, although we have paid special attention for the advancement of girls by building dormitories for them. Our schools are Canon Andrea Mwaka Primary and Secondary schools, Holy Trinity and Bishop Stanway Primary Schools, Buigiri School for the Blind and Mvumi Secondary School.
The Rt. Rev. Mdimi Mhogolo, Bishop of the Diocese of Central Tanganyika, met with our Presiding Bishop just before the Primates meeting in Dar es Salaam last February 14. Here is part of a report of the shared mission work going on in Central Tanganyika:

Collaboration between the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Tanzania -- including missionary work in the dioceses of Dar es Salaam and Central Tanganyika -- was underscored as area missionaries shared perspectives with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Bishop Mdimi Mhogolo.

On the eve of the February 15-19 Primates' Meeting near Dar es Salaam, Jefferts Schori and Mhogolo of Central Tanganyika met with seven Episcopal missionaries to hear about their commitment to global mission and in support of their work throughout the East African province...
Kelly Tesh is working in Tanzania as part of a mission partnership established between the Diocese of Atlanta and the Diocese of Central Tanganyika. Here is an excerpt from one of her recent blog entries:

...Awww…that girl is so cute. My other colleague, Willy, the man in charge of organizing the shoes for distributions, gives her a new jumper and a shirt and shoes. The bishop’s wife just gave us a few boxes of clothes and shoes that came in on a container.

There are always people in the office. Priests coming to chat, mama lishes coming in to collect their money to make breakfasts for the kids, others coming in from the villages to write their bi-monthy email to their link parish in New York. There are always people coming and going. I smile and greet them, stand up to shake their hand, but I never really know what’s happening. They talk too fast for me most of the time...

...I come back from lunch and see the little girl and her mother, (actually her aunt) in the hall again. I greet them and tell the girl in my broken Swahili that she looks nice in her new dress. She hides behind her mother’s leg.

I get to the office. Mmoti pulls me into the other room.
She is HIV positive.

The little six year old girl in the new grey jumper.

He showed me the small white paper with light blue ink. For just under 3 dollars she received her HIV test. It came back:


Monday we will go together to the hospital for additional screening.

Please keep Mina* (name changed for privacy) in your prayers. She has already lost both her parents.

This weekend, be mindful of all those who have lost their parents...and all those who have lost a circumstances that can be prevented or at least improved, with some help, education, and energy.
The Diocese of New York has also established a partnership with the Diocese of Central Tanganyika through the Carpenters Kids Program.

Some of you may be interested in Bishop Mdimi Mhogolo's January Epiphany letter. Here's part of it:

...The way we do God's mission is to strategize our mission and then look for resources for the mission. The recruitment of people, both within and outside the country becomes part of our efforts in realising God's mission. The material funding for God's mission impacts our goal to see God's mission is well resourced. ECUSA with its relief and development agencies is only a small part of our funding and partnership organizations.

The issue of homosexuality with its various understandings is not only an ECUSA issue, but involves all of our development and mission partners. If one is realistic, the issue of homosexuality and their money affects all our partner organisations, Churches, missionary agencies, governments and secular organisations. We then ask ourselves, why should we single out ECUSA and treat it differently?

We know that a substantial amount of money and funding that governments, Churches, and missionary societies receive, comes from gay and lesbian people.

We live in our cultural context where gay and lesbians are regarded as criminals punishable by long term imprisonments. We also live in a country where gay and lesbians are violently persecuted, mistreated, hated and ostracised. We as Black Africans know the hurts and permanent damage caused by our past experiences which still linger on to the present. We have gone through all that and we know how it hurts. Once we were regarded like animals to be shot at, less than humans, to be turned into slaves and without God, to be taught the Western Christian gods. We have gone through that and we don't want to go that way again.

We hold the Gospel of grace and love where all people are welcomed, loved, cared for and treated with dignity. We preach a Gospel of restoration, reconciliation, love, peace, grace and healing. Many people are already feeling bad, hurt, disoriented, frustrated and bitter. We do not want to make life worse for them; instead we provide spaces for grace, love, and care to grow, and healing to take place for all.

For this reason, we will continue to welcome all our true brothers and sisters, children and adults, adolescents and mature, black and white, African American and White Americans to work and have fellowship with us; in the same way we also welcome all Christians from the rest of the Christian world, both Anglicans and non-Anglicans; Christians and non-Christians.

If Episcopalians visit us, we ask them to honor and respect our Faith, our cultures, our traditions and our way of life in Jesus Christ. People or mission partners do not come to change us. They come to appreciate, share and learn of our faith, our Christian culture we have developed and our way of life as we work together for the kingdom of God on earth.

We are not a closed Church where we reject some and welcome others. We are an open Church where even our enemies can find food, love, care and shelter. We always try to become like Jesus Christ our master, to everyone who comes into our home...
It looks like there is already a healthy relationship established between Central Tanganyika and the Episcopal Church. Building a diocesan school sounds like a real possibility.

I also noted that it appears that "visitors" from partner dioceses are regularly hosted. Anyone interested in a trip to Africa in the near future?

So, what information have you come up with?


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