Thursday, October 24, 2013

Deconess needs help with sun glasses for Albino children

One of the trips  Deaconess Rhein  and her students made during the two weeks training  was to the albino compound, where 261 albinos, 45 blind, and 39 deaf children live.
These children live in the poorest, starkest conditions, and were so grateful to have visitors. They could not get enough of being touched and hugged.
I've asked my youth group to help me gather 300 pairs of children's sunglasses to take with me when I go back in March, so I can give them all a gift.
If you could send a few dozen sunglasses my way, it would be much appreciated! 

One more thing: witchcraft is very strong in this area of Tanzania. The Gospel is desperately needed to fight against the devil and his hold in this witchcraft and superstition.
This is the reason the albinos must live in a compound is that witchcraft still remains very strong in some area of Tanzania

There is a belief by the witch doctors that Abino’s body parts have  value.  Their body parts and blood  bring good luck, so their lives are in danger in society.
The Good news is this; the Gospel is more powerful than the witchdoctors.  And many  repent and become Christians when they hear  the saving message of the Gospel


Deaconess Sandra Rhein
Emmaus Lutheran Church
929 E. Milton
South Bend, IN 46613

Lutheran Malaria Initiative needs your help

Your help is still needed,  LMI is a partnership of the LCMS and Lutheran World Relief in Baltimore to mobilize U.S. Lutherans in the global fight to end deaths from malaria in Africa.  Will you, your congregation, or school partner with us between today and World Malaria Day 2014,  so we can build mercy capacity among our church partners in Africa, and ultimately aid those who suffer from the devastating effects of malaria? 
Together you and others in the LCMS are making a difference.  The death rate from malaria in Africa has been reduced by half since the inception of LMI and other anti-malaria initiatives. In Tanzania Bed mosquito net usage rose from 55 to 87 percent in program areas.· Through the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania, an LCMS partner church, LMI programming is in place in 60 percent of the country.

Your help is critical.


TZ: Pastoral and Deaconess Program in Tanzania is well received....

The South East of Lake Victoria began a two year training program in August for Pastors and Deaconesses.  Bishop Emmanuel Makala, working in conjunction with the Mid-South District, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod,  and Concordia Seminary Fort Wayne  developed  a 2-yr training program.

Dr. Peter Scaer is coordinating this training that will consist of 16 quarterly courses 2-week intensive residential  sessions.   The Training was conducted in the new  Negezi  Training Center, initially built for an area Mission Training Center but it has now been converted into the diocese Training center. It is located in a rural area outside the city of  Shinyanga

There  are currently  24 men in the pastoral training program  and 7 women enrolled in the deaconess training program from through-out the diocese area. We believe this is the first deaconess training conducted in Tanzania

Dr Peter Scaer  Concordia Fort Wayne   And Deaconess Sandra Rhein,   Emmanus Lutheran Church   South Bend,  taught the classes.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

2014 Mission Trip to Tanzania....come and join us

Mission Outreach in the New South East of Lake Victoria Diocese

Paved roads in the United States are never so appreciated as when we come home to Tennessee. This year we were on paved road for 6 hours out of a 7 day mission trip. The roads we traveled were or gravel and dirt and rutted and bumpy. Twice we had to drive thru a river because a bridge was no longer functioning.

What we did appreciate was the work of the Pastors, Deacons and Evangelists and interpreters in each village.  Despite weather or conditions, they are workers with a heart to serve and bring the good news of  the gospel to the villages.

Each  day the pastors accompanied us in our Land Rover as we drove approximately  45 minutes to  a new village or sub parish.  The American  teams were divided up and matched with  Pastors/interpreters and a local evangelist. After prayer we all went off  led by the local member of the Parish who knew the location of  homes we were to visit.   This is essential since we are traveling in areas with no street addresses , road signs, only a narrow path to a home in a remote location,

Moving  from home to home,  we shared the simple gospel message using the evangecube. Sometimes it was to 1 person or  20 people. Sometimes the people were of another faith such  as Catholic, or Muslim or African Inland Church  but sometimes they were unchurched.    60% of the Sukuma people are not part of an organized religion, but call themselves pagans or traditional believers.  We were welcomed in every home and  they wanted us to tell them the story regardless of their affiliation.

They  were very interested in learning about Jesus . Some hearing about Him for the first time and how He took their sins with him to the cross and died for them making peace between them and God by his precious blood. These pastors, evangelists and interrupters took time from their busy schedules and families  to make our trip as effective.

At the end of the Week, we had many new friends and over a 1000 new brothers and sisters in Christ in the Bariadi district whose  sins had been wash away in their Baptism were welcomed into the Kingdom. 

Come join us in 2014 and see for yourself.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Dr. Collver....Tanzania Trip Segment

This is an interesting blog from Rev. Albert B. Collver, PhD Director of Church Relations-Assistant to the President Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. He travels extensively for the Synod and this is an interesting blog from Tanzania where we will be going again in April. 

We arrived in Mwanza, Tanzania, on 9 February 2013. Mwanza is on Lake Victoria and the second largest city in Tanzania. It is also the headquarters of the East of Lake Victoria Diocese (ELVD) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT). The Mid-South District of the LCMS had a partnership with the ELVD for more than a decade. In fact, Bob Allen of the Mid-South District is a name revered in the ELVD for his tireless work. 
The East of Lake Victoria Diocese (ELVD) has a unique history in the Evangelical Luther Church of Tanzania (ELCT). Unlike the other dioceses which were a product of the various European mission societies, beginning with the Leipzig Mission Society in the 1840s near Mount Kilimanjaro, the ELVD was created by the Tanzania church for the purpose of mission. Only 15% of the population in the region are Christians and most of the people hold to traditional religion.

The tilapia fish in the logo of the ELVD represents not the fish in Lake Victoria, but the deep hard to reach mission areas in Tanzania. This is one of the fastest growing areas in Tanzania in terms of mission outreach.

We visited the ELVD cathedral and headquarters.


The ELVD Cathedral holds about 2000 people with an average attendance of 900 people per service (1800 per Sunday).

The service and liturgy on Sunday is very similar to a Missouri Synod service from Lutheran Service Book (LSB). Both the ELCT and the LCMS drew their liturgy from the same source -- the Leipzig Agenda. The German missionaries brought the Leipzig Agenda to Tanzania and CFW Walther brought the Leipzig Agenda to America. The liturgy is nearly identical and many of the hymns are the same.

Like the Missouri Synod, the ELCT has a mixture of historic and more contemporary or modern music. In the ELCT, the liturgy is used strictly and every congregation uses the same order, even as songs both ancient and modern are interspersed. This seems like a good model that perhaps the LCMS could learn from. (FYI: Worship began at 7 am and lasted three hours. The service starts early so people can go to work if needed. There also were three offerings which roughly corresponded to Witness, Mercy, Life Together -- this is simply what the church does.) 
 Bishop Andrew Gulle with LCMS Pastor and Missionary Shauen Trump in Mwanza, Tanzania,waiting for the ferry across Lake Victoria. Pastor Trump is the only Swahili speaking LCMS missionary.

We took the ferry to cross Lake Victoria so we could reach the newly created diocese -- the South East if Lake Victoria Diocese (SELVD). Bishop Elect Emmanuel Makala, a doctoral student at the Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne and supported by the LCMS Mid-South District, will be installed on 5 May 2013 as Bishop. Bishop Elect Makala was the as
 The cathedral of the SELVD is being constructed now with the hope that it will be finished in time for the installation of Bishop Makala.

Children with the ELCT Hymnal memorizing the Small Catechism on Saturday Confirmation Class. When the children are admitted to Confirmation Class, the children's parents are invited to the front of the church to pledge that their child will learn the Small Catechism. The ELCT hymnal has a rite for the beginning of catechism class that is used for this service. We had the opportunity to witness this on Sunday morning. 
The future headquarters of the SELVD. Not yet completed but hopefully soon.

Dr. Mike Rodewald, Bishop Andrew Gulle, Dr. Albert Collver, and Pastor Shauen Trump at the site of the Old Shinyanga Church, planted by Evangelist Andrew Gulle 20 years ago.

 Pastor Shauen Trump receiving a gift at the site of the SELVD Cathedral.

Bishop Gulle indicated that the greatest assistance the LCMS can be is to walk along side of the Tanzania church and assist with theological education. He also indicated that the Tanzanian Church is carefully watching the decision made by the Evangelical Ethiopian Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) to break fellowship with the ELCA and the Church of Sweden over the issue of same sex marriage and ordination. In 2010, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT) issued the Dedoma Statement which affirms the Biblical teaching on marriage and commits that their church will affirm the Holy Scriptures rather than sociological doctrine from America and Europe.

 Rainbow over Yerusalemu Lutheran Church on Transfiguration Sunday.

The future of Lutheranism may reside in Africa rather than either Europe or America. In Africa today, there are more than 20 million Lutherans (that is, people who attend church nearly every Sunday -- unlike Europe or America). The African Lutheran Churches are showing themselves willing to resist anti-Scriptural ideas imposed upon them by Europe and America. Of course, the African Lutheran Churches have many challenges as well. The day could come when Africa sends missionaries to pagan Europe and America. There would be a certain irony in this as Africa was one of the first places to adopt the Christian faith -- think of the great theologians Athanasius and Augustin, not to mention the Ethiopian Eunuch in the book of Acts who took the Christian faith to Ethiopia.

... On way to Accra Ghana, Africa, for an African Theological Conference sponsored by the LCMS and the Luther Academy.