Our Friends in Tanzania

August  2010 Pastor’s Monthly Newsletter Article Just 13 months ago, nine of us returned from Tanzania, and a visit with our friends at Selian Lutheran Hospital in the village of Ngaramtoni, 45 kilometers from Arusha (www.selianlh.habari.co.tz). It was an eye-opening trip, as we met with missionaries and health care workers, and learned about the remarkable work they are doing to improve the quality of life for so many people in and around Arusha.

This past June 5th, Saint Peter conducted its second annual 5K Walk / Run to raise funds for Selian Hospital and the Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. We are thrilled to announce that we have recently sent a check in the amount of $12,500 to support the ministries of Dr. Mark Jacobson and our friends there.

Our support for Selian and ALMC is an important aspect of our ministry at Saint Peter. As we live into our mission statement (“Welcomed into God’s love; Sent into God’s world”), it is critical for us to discover those specific, concrete ways that God is sending us into the world, and to be faithful in pursuing them. We believe that God has called us to offer our support to this hospital in Tanzania, and our hope is to do the very best we can in following that call.

The next step in developing our relationship with Dr. Jacobson and Selian is to send a second group to visit these hospitals, and have a first-hand look at the remarkable ministries that are taking place there. We hope that visit can take place in 2011 or 2012. Are you interested to be part of that group? If so, contact me at the church office. I’d love to visit with you about this.

I’d like to share with you a brief letter we recently received from Dr. Jacobson. On June 18, he wrote the following to us:

Dear Friends at Saint Peter Lutheran,

What is possible to say in gratitude for your support of our projects and work here in Arusha? Your recent gifts have made a wonderful difference in our ministries. It is such a joy to join together around great projects. We are especially excited about our work with “Sexual Abuse Care” and the “Rehabilitative Surgery” providing Orthopedic care for disabled and crippled children and for the Plastic Surgery. It was so wonderful and your contribution to these ministries is just so very, very deeply appreciated.

As I love to share, these gifts of support translate immediately and powerfully into improving the lives of women and children who otherwise would suffer lifetimes of misery and dejection. Together we have made a huge difference. Together, we can unbelievably “change the world” for a child or a woman in and around Arusha.

Words are so very insufficient and yet they are the vehicle which carries the cries of despair transformed into shouts of hope which you have made happen. What a blessing to those in need and even more, what a blessing to those of us fortunate to help them.

Blessings,

Mark and Linda Jacobson

Please join us in keeping Dr. Jacobson and these two hospitals in your daily prayers. It is an honor to be associated with them – and we pray that God will continue to bless and strengthen their work.

God’s peace to you all, David J. Risendal, Pastor