Saturday, May 15, 2010

A month in Tanzania....a report from Cliff Herd

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? Here am I
Isaiah 6:8

Cliff and Nancy Herd, members at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Chattanooga, have returned from a 4 week mission trip to the East of Lake Victoria Diocese of the Lutheran church of Tanzania in Mwanza, Tanzania. Cliff is a retired pastor (pastor emeritus) in the Mid-South District taught two courses (New Testament & Church History) to 34 men who were preparing to serve as deacons. This diocese is experiencing tremendous growth and there are only about 80 pastors to serve over 70,000 members.

Lay evangelists received 3 months of training and were commissioned as deacons to serve in Word & Sacrament ministry. Many of them have 4-5 congregations with one serving 8 congregations. Nancy and Cliff were honored to participate in the Palm Sunday service commissioning the deacons. It was a 5 ½ hour long service as the Bishop commissioned each deacon personally. It was most inspiring with 5 different choirs from area churches. Cliff had previously returned to the USA in November, 2009 from Indonesia. There he taught a 4 week intensive course on the Lutheran Confessions (Book of Concord) to 8 pastors who were chosen for their leadership skills and training as future leaders in their church body, Batok Lutheran Church of Indonesia.

Your God given gifts can also be used in Tanzania