This is Annie- A little over two weeks left at home before I leave for Tanzania (Crazy!). For those of you who do not know, I will be moving Tanzania for a little over two years, where I will be working at establishing an English curriculum at a bible college in the northern region of the country. I will be going through the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America), specifically working with the Maryland and Delaware Synods here in the U.S.
For this first post, I want to reflect on a few themes I find inherently important and crucial to the mission work I will be participating in for the next couple of years. You'll notice the title of this post is called "Bega Kwa Bega", along with it being my subtitle for the blog. Bega Kwa Bega - is Swahili for shoulder to shoulder. This is a great image to how I intend and hope my work can be carried out in Tanzania... shoulder to shoulder. Rather than having one person in front of the other, I will work together with the community in which striving to attain mutuality with those whom I will be spending my time. Rather than having the mentality of -- "You will be better because I know better..." I hope to embody and embrace a mentality of "We will be better because we share in each other's lives."-(more on this below! Robert Lupton)
Along these same lines is one of the ELCA'S core themes- Accompaniment or Acompañamiento- which, the ELCA Global Mission Unit defines as "Walking together in solidarity that practices interdependence and mutuality". Therefore as my background photo (a photo of myself and my dear sister Olivia- from Rwanda..) shows, I will be aiming to work hand in hand with the community which I live to teach learn and grow together!
Please keep in touch over the next two years, your support and prayers are MUCH appreciated.
Peace and God Bless,
If you have time...
Food For Thought: Closing Thoughts/ Quotations I find important:
1- On Culture: "The World in which you were born in is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you. They are unique manifestations of the human spirit." Wade Davis
2) On Service: "Why friends rather than servants? Perhaps it is because He knew that servants could always become lords but that friends could not. Professional servants may operate on the assumption that 'you will be better because I know better,' but friends believe that 'we will be better because we share in each others' lives.' ... Here we are a nation of professional servers, following Christ's mandate to serve. And here He is, at the final moment, getting it backward once again. The final message is not to serve. Rather, He directs us to be friends." [Reference to John 15:15 right before Jesus' death.. "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father, I have made known to you."] - Robert Lupton adapted from John McKnight.