A Day at Huruma

Date posted: Thursday 01 March 2018

A life lived bega kwa bega plays out in lots of different ways. Sure, there are the big events like Bishop visits, consecrations, installations, and ordinations. There are official activities like school visits, bank runs, and partnership meetings. But, more often than not, there are ordinary days where this life in Christ that we share between people in Minnesota and Tanzania unfolds in beautifully ordinary ways.
A Saturday morning spent at Huruma Center a couple weeks ago was one such day.
The Huruma Center is a social service ministry of the Iringa Diocese that serves primarily as a home for some three-dozen children from across the region. They also have a day care center as a service to families in the community and a source of revenue for the center. In addition to the diocese, it is supported through the efforts of Lutheran Churches in Germany and Friends of Huruma, a BKB affiliate in Minnesota.
On this particular Saturday a medical team from Shoulder to Shoulder - Ilula Health (another BKB affiliate) was at Huruma offering medical check-ups to the workers there and some follow-up visits with some of the students. Doctors and residents and students from the University of Minnesota served alongside students at the Ilula Nursing School, sharing their skills and some laughs with the children and staff.
As that was going on, one of the Matron's of the Center was helping three boys pack their trunks to go to secondary school. Thanks to the generosity of Saint Paul Area Synod congregations, working through Friends of Huruma, these three boys were getting ready to head off to Image, Lutangilo, and Pommern Secondary Schools. As one might expect, they were filled with both nerves and excitement.
Earlier that morning, Pastor Joyce, director of Huruma Center, received a pile of blankets that were handmade by the people of House of Prayer. As an act of service and devotion, I'm told that the crafters prayed for the blankets' recipients as each knot on these fleece blankets was tied.
Meanwhile, kids being kids, a couple borrowed my camera and recorded their vision of what life at Huruma Center is like. The photos they snapped capture girls playing jump rope and boys striking poses, curiosity about what the doctors were doing and affectionate concern for one another. In them you see reminders of the many other people and communities that are linked to this place - including knit hats from Fish Lake Lutheran and one of many soccer balls that have been brought by visiting groups and put thoroughly to good use.

All of these things (and so many more) are reminders and signposts of this complex web of life that we share. And, based on this one Saturday at Huruma, it is fair to say that life is good.
The Rev. Peter Harrits
Director of Bega Kwa Bega and Assistant to the Bishop