What's next? Water!

For the past year and a half, most of the posts here have revolved around the construction of Mpalapande Primary School. Finally, the school is completed, and the first class of sixty students are attending school in their own village, without the hours of walking to the next closest school, some 6-8 kilometers away.

Bwana Yesu Asifiwe!  Praise the Lord Jesus!

So what's next?

Well, now it's time to address some issues of water.

Mpalapande Village receives its water from a pipeline that starts in the hills around Mapogoro, follows the roadside, then continues to Mpalapande and Kitisi. The pipeline has been in place for thirty some years and was designed to provide villagers with water at 16 public spigots.

Over time, individuals have tapped into the pipeline to bring water closer to their own homes. I've been told there are now some 60 places where the public water is connected for private use.  That, of course, has an effect on the amount of water available for those 16 pu…

Ready for classes

December was a busy month for our friends in Mpalapande, as they prepared for the January opening of the new primary school.

They held a planning meeting, with diocese leaders including General Secretary Nayman Chavalla, District Pastor Ambrose Mwakikoti, and with BKB Coordinator April Trout all driving out from Iringa to discuss what still needed to be done.

At the meeting in early December, they listed the things that needed to be done: hire a teacher, get desks, set the opening day.  They decided to start the school with one class of kindergartners, and add another class each year.  The local parish was tasked with finding a teacher, and the folks from Iringa would get estimates for the desks. Shepherd of the Valley sent the funds that were needed.

On Tuesday, December 26, BKB Coordinator April Trout and Mr Frank Mkocha from the Diocese Head Office helped deliver 60 desks and benches for the students, and a teacher's desk and chair. The desks were constructed in Iringa and car…

Travel plans

Thinking of traveling with Shepherd of the Valley to visit our partners next July?
The deadline for joining the group has been extended to January 15. Travel information is available here:
Pastor Wendy Steger and Kirsten Levorson will make the journey for sure, probably with these revised travel dates:  July 9 -25.
Other individuals who have been considering the trip have decided to go in 2019.  It sounds like that year might be a large group of travelers, so if you want a more intimate experience, consider the 2018 trip.
Contact if you have questions.

Funding scholarships and education

Since 2001, Shepherd of the Valley has provided scholarship support for Tanzanian students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend secondary school or college. One of the great joys of this partnership is meeting students who have put that opportunity to good use, growing in skills and confidence, preparing for lives of service in their communities. ·Shubi, a young woman from the Maasai tribe and the village of Isanga, was the first girl in her family to attend school. She did well in primary school, graduated at the top of her class in secondary school, and started college in October, attending the University of Iringa. Her pastor congratulated her and her mother, saying, “It is so hard for the Maasai to send girls to school, but you see she is confident and will go far.” ·Mfaume graduated from college several years ago and now works in Mbeya as a community development officer. During our visit, his home congregation proudly announced that he had contributed two thirds …

More stories

Here's one of our most important stories from the July trip.

But Mpalapande is not the only story from our trip. If you'd like to hear more, please join us at Sunday Forum, 9:45 AM Sunday, September 17 in the Chapel at Shepherd of the Valley.

A sign of our love

July 17, 2017

During our visit to Makifu Parish, we were routinely given small harvest gifts at every village. A parent would come forward with a bag of rice, a tin of maize, some sugar cane, or ground nuts. We've told the story before, of how we learned that we all have gifts to share. One year SOTV travelers decided to purchase some rice from our partners and delivered it to Huruma Center, the diocese orphanage. As our parish partners learned more about the diocese orphanage (some didn't know it existed), many individuals began to give us gifts to carry back to the Center.
Parents of scholarship students used to give us personal gifts for the sponsors - a cross necklace of Maasai beads, or a kitange. But when they learned of Huruma and its work, they began to give us gifts of food, understanding that the gifts would be delivered to feed the children.
It has become a beautiful circle of giving.

We arrived at Makambalala in the early afternoon, got out of our vehicles along th…

Visiting Makifu

July 15, 2017

We began our tour of Makifu Parish at the main station with Pastor Nejabel Madembo welcoming us with his warm smile.

While waiting for everyone to arrive, we got a tour of the newly roofed parsonage and had a chance to share photos with friends. Then it was on to Kisilwa.

There was a lot of joy here as the congregation proudly showed us the finished roof on this chapel that has been waiting several years since the walls went up. Even more impressive is the fact that two sons of the congregation contributed most of the money to buy iron sheets for the roof. Funds from SOTV were used to buy lumber, nails, and other supplies.
Next, the group from the game park rejoined us at Misufi. This is a newer preaching point, still renting a house to use as a worship space. It's a two room structure, so it's kind of awkward for a gathering.

Evangelist Lazaro Mlunza explained that there is a new primary school in Misufi and this day was a day for parents to work at the new sit…