Friday, October 15, 2010

Celebration in DWT

I just got back from another great trip to the Diocese of Western Tanganyika (Kasulu, Tanzania). DWT, the Diocese of Gloucester in England, and my home diocese, El Camino Real, are part of a 3-way companion diocese relationship. The relationship began two years ago, and has involved visits, projects, study of scripture, and mutual prayer. Every person who has been involved in the partnership has been changed by it. It is a beautiful example of our common love and unity in Christ.

I got to visit DWT twice last year, for the initial partnership visit, and to help with a solar cooking workshop. The visit last weekend was for the installation of the new bishop of Western Tanganika, Bishop Sadock Makaya.

The celebration took place in the Cathedral in Kasulu, full past bursting point with at least 2,000 people in attendance. Eight choirs performed songs composed for the occasion. It was an epic six-hour event, an outpouring of celebration for the beginning of a new ministry. Bishop Sadock is a deeply spiritual, humble, and joy-filled servant of God and leader of his people. It was a great honor to be there for the event, and to represent our partnership, along with Archdeacon Robert from the Diocese of Gloucester (photo above).

I have been a lot of places for short and long term mission work, but my visits to DWT stand out in my mind and heart as some of the most special. The nature of our partnership, it’s basis in hospitality, conversation, trust, and friendship, and it’s commitment to equality in partnership, continue to inspire and amaze me. The fruit of this partnership is the stretching of each of us beyond our paradigms, not only to engage but to love deeply those who differ from us. It’s not about fixing anybody or changing anybody, it’s about journeying together as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Bwana Asifiwe!! (Praise the Lord!)

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