News from Rev. Prof. Thomas Aadland serving the Lord in Kenya
Photo(s) or map of the country you are serving in
Swahili 102: • While I was teaching in Shinyanga, Tanzania, I learned there is no Swahili word for joy. The closest word is furaha, “happiness.” Joy is a furaha the world can neither give nor take away, that only Christ can bring us from above. • Karibuni! is plural for “Welcome!” – literally, “Draw near!” For the last eight and a half years, I have been living in Karibuni House, built by Swedish missionaries in 1977. Soon I will be moving into a duplex being built to enable housing also for visiting professors, who we pray will enrich the education of our students. Next Semester: I will teach six courses – two in Romans, one on John, one on Luke, Greek II, and Appreciation of Literature. That will be more than a full load!
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Future Pastors & Deaconesses for East Africa Neema Lutheran College at Matongo is the sole seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya and trains pastors and deaconesses for confessional Lutheran churches in east Africa. It has 11 members on its theological faculty, including 5 Kenyans, of whom 2 have now earned doctorates.
Pictured above along with faculty are many of the students that have come this year to study in Matongo – not only from Kenya but also from South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia. We thank the Lord for every one of them! Colleagues Pastor Charles & Janet Froh stand in front on the left. With me on the right is Georgia Witt, special consultant to Chemnitz Library. I am in the ninth year of service now as theological educator in east Africa. What a thrill and joy to be here!
Students write their examinations during finals week at the end of last semester in the reading room of Chemnitz Library and in the New Lecture Hall. There are ten sections of students – two studying to become deaconesses and eight studying to become pastors, including those who are completing their vicarage assignments. Students speak a variety of languages. Liturgy during chapel is usually in Swahili. However, all preaching and lecturing are done in English. Chemnitz Library has been hailed as the finest Lutheran theological library in all of Africa, with a collection of over 10,000 volumes, excluding bound periodicals. With faculty members that typically have concentrated each on more than one field, Matongo has been put on the map for confessionally Lutheran education.
Students at Makala Training Center in Shinyanga, Tanzania
PRAYER REQUESTS: “Thanks be to God …” • For the faithful support of so many who have enabled this work. • For students and faculty who come from far and wide to study God’s Word in Matongo. “Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer …” • For our students, many of whom struggle to concentrate on their studies, especially when family deal with famine and/or poverty at home. • For strength to fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil, unholy enemies of Christ’s kingdom that would discourage or make the task seem trivial or too difficult. • For peace and unity within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya, for perseverance in the faith and in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ, and for the defeat of those forces which are financing a division within this church, even with some help from the United States.
I spent a week in Tanzania in November, at the invitation of Bishop Emmanuel Makala. He is a remarkable Christian and a true bishop. Last May, he completed his doctorate in philosophy in missiology from Concordia Theological Seminary, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His work is on the Christian view of marriage. During this 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, he has printed a lovely edition of 95 Theses on Marriage in the Swahili language. The South East Lake Victoria Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania is under his careful watch. It is truly one of the bright and happy stories among global Lutheranism. During my classes, 41 students were in attendance – 12 evangelists, 7 diakonia students, and 22 pastoral students. It was so rewarding to see my former students Matrida Sanga and Stella Matary again, who had earned the Certificate in Diakonia from Matongo, now at work in their calling as deaconesses. Matrida is in charge of a new post in all of the ELCT, overseeing all diakonia. Stella is responsible for the care of the Makala Training Center, north of Shinyanga.
God keep you well and faithful!
To support this work financially, you may send a tax-deductible gift to: The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod P.O. Box 66861 St. Louis, MO 63166-6861 Please make checks payable to The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, and mark “Aadland/Kenya” in the memo. Gifts can also be given securely online through the LCMS website, on my online giving page at lcms.org/aadland.
You can also send your gifts to our friends at: Mission Central 40718 Highway E-16 Mapleton, Iowa 51034 or as payable to: The Saint Timothy Society 2355 Fairview Avenue, No. 326 Roseville, MN 55113