Local partnership helps raise the roof for church in Tanzania PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Friday, 17 May 2013 09:08
A new Lutheran church building in Mpwapwa, Tanzania, awaits the construction of a roof partially funded by a local partnership. (Photo courtesy of Grace Lutheran Church, Elmore)
ELMORE - The Lutheran congregation at Mpwapwa, Tanzania, had a problem. It was growing so quickly that the community could no longer fit into its building. A new building was designed and constructed by the members using locally made mud brick. It was precisely what the expanding parish needed with one exception: there was no roof.
Roofing materials would need to be purchased rather than made on site. And for the people of Mpwapwa, that was a barrier. Thankfully, the growing congregation had two partners willing and able to step in.
The Mpwapwa church is part of the Dodoma Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, a diocese that is partnered with the Northwestern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. And the Mpwapwa congregation itself is a partner with Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church of Elmore. The people at Mpwapwa pledged to raise half of the money needed for the roof; Grace and the Northwestern Ohio Synod agreed to provide the other half.
The good news? All the needed funding is now in place and the building which currently sits open will soon be covered, providing much needed space for Mpwapwa's worship.
"It's been the privilege of our congregation to help our sister parish in Tanzania as they've sought funding to roof a new church building. We'd like to share that good news with others in our community," said Pastor David Nevergall of the Elmore church.
Several members of the parish are currently in the area, visiting their local partners and attending the annual assembly of the Northwestern Ohio Synod.
The successful partnership will be acknowledged as part of the assembly's gathering on Saturday. The Rev. Stanley Tabulu, pastor at Mpwapwa, will be visiting at Grace/Elmore on May 26, to express his thanks and to share in the celebration of this project.
Grace and Mpwapwa have been partners for nearly 10 years, with several members of the local congregation having visited in Tanzania. Grace hosted Rev. Amon Kinyunyu, formerly pastor at Mpwapwa and now Bishop of the Dodoma Diocese, for several days in 2011.
The congregations regularly pray for each other and share news of their work for the sake of the Gospel, and look forward to continuing their partnership.
Grace is located at 19225 W. Witty Road, at Ohio Route 51, just north of Elmore.

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