Mar 01

Learning empathy through charity – Bishop Eliudi visit 2016

Bishop-E-preachingRecently, our children assembled hygiene kits as a service project. These hygiene kits are given to students that come from far away to attend the International Evangelism Centre in Salika, Tanzania. At the Centre, these students prepare to be church planters and pastors to a number of countries in East Africa. The relatively few supplies—all fitting into a 1 gallon Ziplock bag—are a tremendous blessing to these eager, but often impoverished, students.

This project allows us a wonderful opportunity to discuss in chapel just how richly we are blessed, and that there is always something to be thankful for in the midst of our struggles in life. For many of our children, uprooted from their homes and working through some very difficult issues and matters of relationship, it was a healthy reminder that they, too, have something to give. They could see in a very tangible way that they had been blessed to be a blessing.

In a special chapel attended by Bishop Eliudi, the founder and president of IEC-Salika, the children had an opportunity to connect a little with the culture and language of Tanzania. The youth leadership team from St. Paul’s United Methodist Church led a fun activity that involved making “clothespin giraffes” and running a relay to unscramble words and phrases we had been learning from Swahili.

Our children unscramble the word "Jambo," meaning "Hello!"

Our children unscramble the word “Jambo,” meaning “Hello!”

   “For it is in giving that we receive…” -St. Francis of Assisi

In the Chaplain’s Program at Intermountain, we feel it is important for the children to learn compassion, empathy, and the positive sense of self that comes from giving oneself in service to another. From the spirit and the energy that flowed from our chapel service with Bishop Eliudi, it is hard to argue against the therapeutic power of service and acts of kindness and encouragement. One of the highlights this year was having Bishop Eliudi lead us in singing while playing one of the drums donated by our friends at Absarokee Community Church.

A big thank you goes out to the many Intermountain staff that donated items for the kits we made. I am also thankful for Sami Butler for her help in arranging the visit on campus. A grand total of 29 kits were assembled, each with a special note of encouragement from one of our children to the student that would receive one.

Sami Butler and Bishop Eliudi share about the ministry in Tanzania

Sami Butler and Bishop Eliudi share about the ministry in Tanzania