God's Pothole Brigade
Spring Ministerium 2023 St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church Philippians 1:1-11 Grace and peace[...]
Date posted: Thursday 02 February 2023
Last week, the Bega Kwa Bega team of Ryan and Astine Bose, Pastor Lusungu Msigwa, Scholarship Clerk Frank Mkocha, and I bounced over rural roads to visit the six diocese secondary schools and the students we collectively sponsor. We visited Mtera on a Friday, Lutangilo on Tuesday, Ipalamwa and Image on Wednesday, and finished with Bomalang’ombe and Pommern on Friday.
They were tiring and satisfying days. Counting the bumps in the road as steps, my fitness app logged about four miles each day, and as many as 82 flights of stairs one day. We were all grateful for four-wheel drive and that the roads were not excessively muddy.
The payoff for the rough ride comes when you arrive at the school and the students greet you with singing and dancing, sometimes gymnastics, always with enthusiasm and a warm welcome. At Bomalang’ombe, the hood of our vehicle was covered with flowers and the welcome song mentioned us by name.
At each visit, Pastor Msigwa encourages the students to study hard and use this gift of education wisely. He reminds them of a bright future before them. One student representing sponsored students said, “Through your support we can see our bright future because it is only education which will make us reach our future goals, including serving God in church and working in various sectors in the government or in the private sector.”
I’ve been coming to Tanzania for 20 years, and one of my greatest joys is meeting former students and hearing how they have used the gift of education to create lives of meaning and purpose. I love to hear how they have built careers, helped their extended families, contributed to the church and to their communities. In just the past few weeks, I’ve reconnected with a young man I met on my first visit in 2002 and who now chairs a department at the university. He leads a business innovations project that creates 100 jobs a year. At one of the school visits, the newly hired bursar introduced herself as a graduate of the BKB scholarship program. And there are hundreds more, each with a story of lives changed because God is working through this companionship.
As the students like to chant,
God is good!
All the time
All the time
God is good and that’s his nature! Woo!
Director of Bega Kwa Bega
Be sure to follow BKB on Facebook to see photos from school visits and other activities taking place with our partnership!