Report from DOWAMA's Missionary in Tanzania
Katie Wilcoxson writes to Bishop Basil:
Master, bless! Furaha na Amani (Joy and Peace). I greet you and the Clergy Brotherhood of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America from Bukoba, Tanzania, where I now reside. I wanted to let you know that, recently, the Clergy Brotherhood of the Archdiocese of Mwanza gathered for their own retreat. The priests travelled on buses' (sardine-packed vans) and motorcycles to get to Bukoba. They were here for a weekend. His Eminence Jeronymos invited two instructors from the seminary in Nairobi, Kenya, where many of the priests in the diocese studied. Some of the topics were chanting the troparia for the different Feasts , the worsening economy, and a report from the annual synod meeting.
Since arriving in Tanzania in July of 2010, I have had an interesting and exciting and hair-raising time. Nothing in life turns out quite as we expect, and mission work is a perfect example. As you know, I had surgery in Dar es Salaam, and that was a growing experience, but learning to live in a developing country has been, in many ways, an even more challenging experience. Our team has been studying the Tanzanian language, culture and building relationships with the local people, but this sort of education will not stop even after our first term here in Tanzania. There has been a delay in our team’s official medical work because the hospital is closed due to government regulations. But we’ve been able to provide lots of informal health care to the people here, and when Christ Jesus wants us to start our official mission work, we will. Until then we are living, learning, listening, laughing, crying, and praying here in the mission house that’s located right between the Twelve Apostles Orthodox Church and Lina's Bar and Dance Club (zoning in Tanzania is interesting, to say the least).
Your Grace, I want to thank you, the Clergy Brotherhood, and all the parishes for your prayers, financial support, and encouraging letters and e-mails. I am especially thankful for the letters and e-mails.
Asante Shukuru (I am beyond grateful for your generosity and love), Katie"
Katie Wilcoxson is the daughter of Fr. Aidan and Kh. Cynthia Wilcoxson of St. John the Forerunner Church in Cedar Park, Texas.