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Greenwich Group Visits Masai School in Tanzania

Greenwich group from Christ Church visits Tanzania including the Olduvai Gorge, one of the "cradle" sites of humanity as well as a Masai school.

 

A group from Christ Church Greenwich, recently visited Tanzania.  The group was organised & lead by Cheryl Kyle, formerly of Greenwich, and Karen Royce, who together founded the Endoputo School for Masai children.  The group visited the Olduvai Gorge & went on safari but the highlight of the trip was without doubt the visit to Endoputo and the amazing welcome from both the school children and indeed the entire Masai village.

The Rev'd Dr. James Lemler, rector of Christ Church, said this about the trip, "What an amazing experience… what a wonderful journey I recently returned from a sojourn to Tanzania, East Africa, with fellow Christ Church Greenwich parishioners and friends.  It was truly remarkable.  We had a chance to interact with our brothers and sisters in faith and to engage with institutions that are making a great difference, including a Christ Church-generated school in Maasailand and a Lutheran hospital that is at the very foundation of health care in that country.

We also experienced the creation in a way that is uniquely provided by the African
environment.  Glorious terrain, breath-taking skies, striking and beautiful animals and birds… And we met human beings who have such a vibrant culture, rejoice in their families and communities, and meet many challenges of their lives with faith and courage. 

At one point we went to one of the “cradle” sites of our common humanity.  Olduvai Gorge is the place where famous archeologists in the mid 20th century discovered the footprints of humanoids from 3.6 million years ago.  We celebrated Holy Communion in that place, and I was struck that we were sitting in a natural crevice on which our ancestors probably sat millions of years ago.  The sense of continuity was powerful.

In that special place, we read words of the 139th Psalm… “Lord, you have
searched me out and known me; you know my sitting down and my rising up; you discern my thoughts from afar.  You trace my journeys and my resting places and are acquainted with all my ways…”  There was special meaning in those words as they express the intimate presence of God and how God is always with us at all times in all places, in all our journeys and all our resting places.  To sit there in a place where the ancestors of the human race had walked so very, very long ago made me aware of the ages and ages of creation, care, and love that God has given to humanity, and how those gifts are still being given to me, to us, to the world now.

One of the greatest gifts of my whole experience of our Tanzania travel was that of perspective.  I found that I gained perspective in Olduvai Gorge about the flow of human life and history.  I gained perspective in the whole wonder of creation offered by African flora and fauna.  Indeed, I gained perspective in meeting wonderful human beings who face many struggles in their lives and don’t begin to have the material possessions that I enjoy as they witnessed to joy, community, and relationship. 

My heavens, I hope I don’t lose that perspective.  It is far too easy to do so.  I get caught up in things that are fleeting and of the moment.  I get stuck in issues and matters that are of secondary importance and not of the essence of life.  I fail to notice the creation, the love, and the human beings around me.  I miss God’s creative and loving hand and intimacy.  I act as if everything has to happen today and be done by me rather than remembering the vast and great flow of human history and future."

 

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