Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends and family! The most heard statement today will probably be “We all have a lot to be thankful for,” except from my beloved and hilarious brother-in-law, who is very thankful but will also have some irreverent things to say about sports, family, and cocktails.
Of course we do all have a lot for which to be thankful, although my list might look a little different this year. Naturally I’m more thankful than ever for my friends, family, and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. I’m thankful for the warm, brilliant visitors who were here from the US this weekend, representing the Episcopal Church of the United States at the Consecration and Installation of the Diocese of Central Tanganyika’s new Bishop (more on this in a minute), I’m grateful for the granola bars and other wonderful tastes of home they brought. I’m grateful for Tanzanians who have so warmly welcomed me and teach me so much every single day, especially my fantastic colleagues at the CK Office. I’m thankful that, thanks to the generosity of our many donors, thousands of Tanzanian children have had and continue to have an opportunity for the education they crave so sincerely. I’m thankful for the new friends I’ve made since I got here. I’m thankful that everything works in my restroom and that I’m only tragically hot about an hour a day.
I bumped into a delightful child, Hudson, who was in Sunday School the day we talked about being thankful for ten things each morning. I’m thankful he told me he is actually doing it! He’s thankful for the usual family and friends but also plants, animals, and rain. I don’t remember to do it every morning. Ok most mornings. But children are like that, aren’t they? They’ll try something if you suggest it the right way, and if it suits, they keep doing it.
The people of DCT are thankful for their new Bishop, Dr. Dickson Chilongani and his wonderful wife, Pendo, which means “love.” He follows Bishop Mdimi Mhogolo, who started the Carpenter’s Kids program and must be one of the most beloved people in Tanzanian history. Sadly, he died in March.
Thousands of people were at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit here in Dodoma for the Consecration and Installation, Sunday and Monday. The services were both very moving and the musical celebrations amazing. Archbishop Jacob presided. I had coincidentally met him the day before and he introduced himself as simply Jacob. The Prime Minister spoke for a good while. The new Bishop delivered a sermon, and while I couldn’t understand it, it was very well received by the Swahili speakers, who laughed and clapped and generally expressed great approval. I have lots of video but unfortunately, my iphone broke so I will send videos, which you will want to see, as soon as I can. DCT has much to be thankful for, as the biggest Anglican Diocese in the world, with over a half a million members, over 30 programs, including schools, hospitals, and of course, Carpenter’s Kids.
So, while it’s just Thursday here, you can be sure there is much to be thankful for all over.