Here are excerpts from two blog posts from the Revs. JMe and Bob Lowden, ELCA missionaries serving in Arusha, Tanzania. The Lowdens are back in the U.S. for home-assignment meetings and visits with sponsors.
From the 22 June (8:26 a.m.) post, “Lowdens on Home Assignment #1”
From Chicago, we flew to Omaha, Nebraska for a weekend full of excitement. On Saturday, May 22, we attended the wedding of our friends Brenda Meier and Kakasii Kimaro. We have known Brenda since she came to Baltimore to work with Lutheran World Relief some years ago. Kakasii was our Tanzanian driver during our first trip to Africa in 2003. The event was a wonderful mix of American and Tanzanian culture and music. JMe enjoyed dancing with members of Kakasii’s family as the women wrapped Brenda’s mother in colorful Kangas during a traditional dance of celebration.
From the 22 June (7:34 a.m.) post, “We’re Back!”
Before we begin the next series of entries telling about our home assignment, we have some important news to share. We have made a difficult but necessary decision. Because of a variety of reasons, the most significant being personal, we have decided to end our service in Tanzania after two years. We will return to Africa after a brief European vacation (move over, Chevy Chase!) in August and pack up all our possessions. Our goal is to move back to Maryland in late September. There are a lot of details to work out (such as where we will live when we return); however, we know that this is the right thing for us to do at this time.
We ‘ve had an incredible experience during our two years serving in Africa. It was a chance of a lifetime, and we feel both honored and blessed to have had the opportunity to serve the church and our Lord in this way. Although we have shared some of our stories with you, there are many more that could be written. What wonderful memories we will have to treasure!
[I’ve had the privilege of working with the wonderful Brenda Meier, so learning of her marriage is happy news. I have the privilege of working with the wonderful JMe and Bob Lowden, so learning of their decision to leave missionary service is sad news. Please join me with prayers of thanksgiving for Brenda, JMe and Bob, and with prayers for God’s abundant blessings during their life transitions. Sponsors, in the near future you will receive a letter about the Lowden’s ending service. In the meantime, feel free to contact me with your sponsorship questions. Blessings, Sue Edison-Swift, assoc. director Global Mission Support.]