While I have many stories to tell about my work with the schools in Tanzania, this one teaches us about trusting in God and believing in ourselves. Kidia Secondary School is a poor school run by the Evangelical Lutheran Church Tanzania. The Kidia Lutheran Church, with three huge bells given to them by the Germans, sits up the path from the school on Mount Kilimanjaro. German missionaries came first to this part of Tanzania in 1893. The ELCT is now the fastest growing Lutheran Church in the world with over six million members.
During a visit to Kidia in 2011, Headmaster Makyara had a girl join us as we took photos of the eight sponsored orphans. Elizabeth Macha was able to go to school at that time because the teachers financially supported her believing she was a strong student who would succeed. We went into a classroom to hand out letters, pencils, pens, erasers, and notebooks to the students. I turned around and Elizabeth was sitting in a dark corner. I invited her to join us but she refused. Elizabeth did not feel worthy to be in the group. I was moved by this. So, in 2012 and 2013 she received a scholarship. Elizabeth had sent me an email in the summer of 2014 asking for financial help but I was not able to fulfill her request. In 2015, Elizabeth came into the small office of the headmaster and asked again for financial support to go to a teachers college. After some thought, I agreed. A memorandum of understanding was written in which she would receive a scholarship and after her diploma in Primary School English Teacher, she would teach in one of the church schools, possibly at Karansi.
This February, our team visited Elizabeth at the Moshi Teachers’ College in Bomang’ombe. Elizabeth was thrilled to see us and treated us as honored guests much like other schools when we visit. Felix, the college director informed me that Elizabeth was doing well in her studies and was a good thinker.
Elizabeth is one of many orphans living in the Kilimanjaro region that faces hardships that most of us cannot imagine. The youth want to succeed. Giving a scholarship is very gratifying. This year, 140 orphans were sponsored. A scholarship is $450. The academic year begins in January.
To learn more about this project visit Tom & Linda Gapp in the Great Hall the weekends of November 5 & 6 and 12 & 13. Brochures are available in the OneSent Market or visit the website to learn more.
Written by Linda Gapp