Meet Asia Kilelii, a Maasai girl from Mahove.
Asia’s life changed when water came to Mahove seven years ago. Instead of spending many hours a day carrying water for her family, finally water was available just outside her family’s home, and Asia was able to attend school regularly. She excelled, and graduated at the top of her class. Now she attends college – the first girl in her extended family to do so.
Her life was changed first by a water project, and then by a scholarship.
Each year Shepherd of the Valley provides about $45,000 to support secondary and university scholarships for 150 students.Scholarships range from $400 for most secondary students to $3000 for college students. Most of our students have parents who have died, or who are subsistence farmers earning less than a dollar a day.
Your generous support makes a world of difference. Give online at or write checks payable to SOTV with TZ scholarship in the memo line.

A scholarship story

When we visited Mtera Secondary School in July, on our way back to Iringa after the visit to Usolanga, we met a remarkable man. He is the second headmaster at the school, Mr. Tibery Mbossa. He started by thanking us for our visit, saying we can see the love of God in you today; your scholarship support is a very big gift. But you don't just pay the fees, you even come to visit the students. It means a lot.
Then he began to tell us his own scholarship story. 
I anticipated having a life in the village. Without going to school, it is tough. Villagers have nothing to do but work hard, trying to dig by hand hoes, and work to feed their families.
One day I went to the school. I met a certain man who asked me a simple question. Why don't you go to school? I told him, there is no one to pay for me. He asked, do you like the school? I said yes. I want to be a student. I think it is possible.
He is a pastor. He joined me, I think it is possible. He asked me, what do you do at home? I tol…

Greetings from Bishop Gaville

Bishop Blastone Gaville

Just this week we received a letter from Bishop Blastone Gaville of the Iringa Diocese. Greeting Pastor Rick Summy and all friends at Shepherd of the Valley, he recalled his visit to Minnesota a year ago.
Bishop Gaville at SOTV in 2017
He wrote, "It was so great and good news to receive the letter from the Senior Pastor of SOTV and to see a group of the folks in August. Just after receiving the letter, I remembered a good time we had during my stay with you in US."

Bishop Gaville had just been out to visit our partners in Makifu and Tungamalenga Parishes, the letter continued. "I had very busy days in both parishes." In Makifu, he dedicated the new pastor's home, placed a cornerstone at the new chapel in Kisilwa, and visited Ikwavila and Malunde. He baptized 14 people.
The next day he visited Tungamalenga Parish, starting the day with worship and the dedication of the new chapel at Namelok.  Attending a second worship service at the main sta…

Every gift a blessing

At Shepherd of the Valley on August 12, we prayed, we walked, and we gave money to support water projects in Ikwavila and Mpalapande, Tanzania. Every gift of prayer, walking, and funding is a blessing.

Why did people walk three kilometers up hill to fetch a bucket of water on a hot, hot day?  Why, when we have a perfectly good spigot and all the water we could possibly want right within reach?

We walked to remember our friends in Tanzania. The girls and women in villages like Mpalapande and Ikwavila walk every day to collect every drop of water they use for cooking, drinking, washing, and watering their gardens. Girls spend so much time each day collecting water that they often are not able to attend school.
We walked to experience in some small way, the reality of their daily life.

Carrying water is hard work.  A five gallon pail weighs 40 pounds. 

We used the water that was collected to water the gardens around the church property.
Gifts have been collected for this water project s…


The 2018 travelers answered a few questions before their journey and now they're sharing some thoughts since their departure from Tanzania.

Anna with Pastor Petro
Who did you meet on this journey that you will never forget? Petro. He is a Maasai pastor. I  will never forget him because he tried really hard to make me feel welcome.
What surprised you in Tanzania? Everything, but one thing in particular was how happy everyone was that we came to visit them.
Did the trip live up to your expectations? Yes. It was so interesting to see how everything is so different than how we live.
How did things go with the things you worried about before the trip? I wasn't worried about anything, so I guess it was okay!
Where did you see Jesus in Tanzania? Seeing all the donations of food that went to Huruma Center.
Pastor Wendy & Pastor/Doctor Barnabas
Who did you meet on this journey that you will never forget? So many people! Barnabas, Petro, Pastor Helen.... if I had to pick one, I'd say Dr…

Orientation to BKB

I tagged along with a group visiting from Minnesota this morning to hear General Secretary Nayman Chavalla welcome them with an orientation to Bega Kwa Bega. I've heard it before, but not for a couple years. The story never really gets old to me.

Welcome to the Iringa Diocese and to the Head Office where we have many departments and programs. As General Secretary, I am the administrator for the diocese. Today it's my job to tell you about the partnership and its impact.

This partnership is 30 some years old, one of the oldest of all the ELCT partnerships. Ten years ago, together we evaluated the partnership and developed three areas of focus: prayer, presence or visitation, and projects.

Starting with prayer is very important to our relationship. Every congregation here has a special week to pray for their SPAS partners.

I visited your country three times. I remember coming to your house for dinner [said to the leader of the visiting group] and I remember your animals - a llama an…

Getting here and there

One of the first things to know about a trip to Tanzania is that it takes a long time to get here. Once you're here, it still takes a long time to get from one place to another. That's just the way it goes.

We traveled by air from MSP to Amsterdam, then to Dar es Salaam with a short stop at Kilimanjaro. (We arrive at Kilimanjaro after dark, and stay on the plane while some people get off and others get on the plane, so we've never seen Mount Kilimanjaro.) TSA advises international travelers to arrive at the airport three hours before their flight. Some 24 or more hours later, there we are in Dar. Our transit motel met us with a shuttle/ minivan.

The next morning we took a small plane to Iringa. It seats 12 or so. The flight is 90 minutes, which is a nice improvement over the 12 hour drive cross country previous groups have taken. The downside is we miss seeing the countryside, which changes from the tropical feel around Dar, past sisal plantations, through Mikumi National …