Moravian Church in North America

In Essentials, Unity; In Nonessentials, Liberty; In All Things, Love.

Moravian Church in North America
North: Bethlehem, Pa.
South: Winston-Salem, N.C.

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In Tanzania, a community completes their church and joins Adopt-a-Village

032015tanzaniaintroKavale is a small village in rural Tanzania. Located ten miles south of Sikonge and over a mile from the nearest major road, it is relatively isolated from other segments of the Namwezi tribe to which these people belong. Nearly all of the 300 inhabitants are Moravians.

The people of Kavale built their first church 20 years ago, using the traditional materials of sticks, mud and grass. In spite of their efforts to maintain it, the structure collapsed during the rainy season in 2010. Undeterred, the congregation began a new and larger building, this time using more modern components such as burned bricks.

Because of the large size of the congregation and a change in regulations governing public buildings, by the fall of 2012 it was clear that the congregation would need both financial and technical assistance to complete their new church.

Following a late afternoon Sunday service attended by the parish pastor and the entire congregation, representatives from Central Moravian Church in Pennsylvania were asked to join their effort in church construction.

The members at Kavale also expressed interest in participating in the Adopt-a-Village orphan program. Surrounding villages had been included several years earlier, but the paths to Kavale were deemed too dangerous for the orphan caregivers to travel alone. During the last two years, however, authorities have corrected the situation and Mama Kimwaga, who manages the Adopt-a-Village orphan program in Sikonge, agreed to extend the program under the auspices of the neighboring village of Chabutwa.

032015Completed Kavale Moravian ChruchOver the next several months, daily travel between Chabutwa and Kavale proved to be problematic because of the distances involved. After assessing the situation, Mama Kimwaga decided to make Kavale an independent orphan center. Kavale church elders were asked to choose two women to run the program in the village, and Mama Kimwaga promised to provide them with the necessary instruction and materials.

By the beginning of the rainy season in 2013, the new church had been roofed and was in use each Sunday. Febe and Anastasia, the women chosen by the elders to assist with the orphan program, had already enrolled all the orphans in Kavale and had extended the program to the neighboring villages of Mtale and Mitwigu. By early 2014 the two mamas had added 60 orphans to the program.

Through the partnership established between Moravians in North America and Western Tanzania, the new church has now been completed. Each week Anastasia uses the building for the 35 Sunday school students before the worship service for 80 adults begins. The congregation is planning to plant flowering shrubs at the base of the walls during the current rainy season.

Their new building is a structure of which Moravians on both continents can be justifiably proud. ■

Drs. Bill and Peg Hoffman send periodic reports of the work going on in Tanzania through the Adopt-a-Village program.

Moravian Daily Texts

04/27/2017

Thursday, April 27 — Psalm 55:9–15

Job 32,33; 1 Corinthians 7:17–24

Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:18–19

Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree.” Luke 13:19

Through the gift of the amazing variety of seeds on earth, you feed our hunger, give us shelter and clothing, help us to wisely use our soil and give us beauty and pleasure. Through these gifts, you give us the ability to live, to grow, and to serve and be served by others. Give all people in this world, we pray, the seeds of hope and nourishment, and help us to do our part in serving others. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

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