Today (21 MAR 2023), I head to Tanzania for a short two-week trip. The main reason for the visit is to be there for the first couple of weeks that newly commissioned Missionary Bruce Naumann will be on site. He's certainly more than capable of getting there on his own and getting acquainted with his new surroundings, Tanzanian co-workers, and duties, but the Board of Missions and I thought it would be a good idea for me to be there to assist with the transition from me to him and to make sure everyone is on the same page moving forward. I also want to introduce him to a couple of people I have met over the years who will be helpful in some of the more practical logistics of getting settled in Arusha. There are also some really good places to eat (and a few to avoid) that I want to introduce him to!
And...I'm excited to share Tanzania with my youngest daughter Lydia. When I first started this call, one of the things that Beth and I were excited about was the opportunity for our homeschooled kids to be able to travel with me. I've been at this for six years now, and unfortunately, it just hasn't worked out to this point. We had plans for Lydia to join me on a trip to Nepal a couple of years ago, but Covid had other plans. She's eager, packed, and excited, and so am I!
We'll fly from St. Louis to Denver to London to Addis Ababa to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. We have a long layover in London, so we'll have the opportunity to get out of the airport and see a little bit of London. I used to fly through London a lot, but it's been several years since I've had a flight that routes through London. So, I am looking forward to spending a few hours showing Lydia some of my favorite sights.
Once we arrive in Tanzania, we have a busy schedule waiting for us. We'll visit the Adonai Children's home, several independent Lutheran congregations/pastors to the West of Arusha who have expressed interest in joining the TZ-CLC, a newly formed TZ-CLC congregation in the Maasai lands near Lake Manyara, and we'll do outreach among the Hadzabe tribal peoples. We'll also have an opportunity to take in a day of sightseeing on a safari to Tarangire National Park. Pastor Jeremia's son Elisha owns a tourist/safari company and has offered to take Lydia, Missionary Naumann, and me on a one-day trip to see the big animals of Africa! It's going to be a busy couple of weeks!
Your prayers for safe and uneventful travels, wisdom and patience, and the Lord's promised blessings on the work He has sent us to do, and for Beth and family back home are requested and much appreciated as we trust in our Savior's love!