Central Moravian Church Mission in Tanzania
In 1990 Eliah Kategile, a Tanzanian pastor studying at the Moravian seminary in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, approached Doug Caldwell, the senior pastor of Central Moravian Church, to discuss a partnership between Central and his own small but growing parish in the village of Sikonge. From those initial discussions, relationships, programs, and projects have been developed that have touched the lives of nearly seventy- five thousand Tanzanians.
After several exploratory visits by Pastor Caldwell and members of the congregation, the Board of World Mission asked Central Moravian Church to send two physicians to evaluate the needs of the Sikonge Moravian Hospital. Based on that visit Central began assisting MCWT in the development of a comprehensive AIDS program consisting of three parts: prevention, treatment, and orphan care.
Using grants provided by USAID, the prevention arm was extended to every Moravian Dispensary in the western province by 2005, and all dispensaries located in the Sikonge district by 2008. At the end of that year over 60,000 people had undergone voluntary counseling and testing for HIV, and all HIV positive woman attending the antenatal clinic were offered free Viramune to prevent newborns from acquiring the infection.
Routine treatment with antiretroviral medications began in 2008 .Utilizing a grant from the CDC, a new out-patient clinic, and a laboratory with state of the art equipment were provided to the Sikonge Moravian Hospital, enabling clinicians to use the same drugs and monitoring protocols available in the United States.
During 2009 the medical aspects of the AIDS program were turned over to the Sikonge Moravian Hospital working in partnership with the Tanzanian government. Central Moravian Church, however, has continued its commitment to AIDS prevention. In cooperation with MCWT, youth conferences lasting three days were organized to educate participants about both their church and the epidemic. The first was held in August 2007 in Tabora at the Milumbani Moravian church.
Additional conferences were subsequently conducted at Moravian churches in the villages of Sikonge, Ipole, and Chabutwa. At each conference AIDS education elicited major participation and interest.
The third component of the AIDs program, orphan care, was begun in 2002. It provides assistance to any orphan regardless of cause. Nearly 2,900 children are currently receiving school supplies and uniform, free medical care, food, clothing, and personal items such as soap and sleeping mats. During the past two years, both primary and secondary school have become free; additional education, however, has not. Since 2009 the program has provided scholarships for any orphan pursuing studies in either vocational schools or the university.
Community development has been a major focus of the partnership. Much of this has involved assistance with education and health care. Three dormitories, five class rooms, and a dining center have been constructed at schools in the Sikonge district. A class room at the Moravian compound in Tabora was renovated to serve as both a kindergarten and a Sunday school. A conference room has been added to the Sikonge Moravian hospital, as well as office and clinical space for the AIDS prevention program. A total of eight new buildings have been added to Moravian dispensaries affiliated with the hospital and six additional medical facilities have undergone major revisions.
There are now orphan centers located in the city of Tabora and four villages in the Sikonge district. These are used for storage and distribution of supplies as well as offices for the Moravian ladies who administer the program.
The partnership has been particularly active in church construction. Moravian churches have been erected in Sikonge and fifteen other villages, most recently in Mazinge. A Moravian church begun in the Sukuma mission field of Mwasavanga, supported by the Society for Promoting the Gospel, is currently under consideration.
While thirty one structures have been completed since 2003, this number does not include multiple projects that have improved the lives of the people in these villages. When electricity reached Sikonge but stopped at the hospital, Central Moravian provided the funds to extend the service to the two Moravian churches, the Moravian secondary school, Lusangi Bible and high school, the leprosy hospital and camp, and the vocational school. Two retired pastors and a clergy’s widow have received assistance with the construction of their retirement homes. Multiple government schools have received desks, books, and other teaching materials. Moravian churches have been given benches for both the main sanctuary and the Sunday school, as well as Bibles, hymn books, and age appropriate Bible story books.
The partnership’s current interest is bringing members of the Sukuma tribe to Christ. This work, which is being done in conjunction with the Society for Promoting the Gospel, is located in a remote area 15 miles to the northwest of Sikonge. In Igulula 11 adults and 17 children routinely attend the Sunday service, which is now held in a tent. The congregation at Mwasavanga, located on the west side of Igulula where they are worshipping under tarps, currently number 27 adults and 30 children. This major mission field is ripe for a bountiful harvest.
New Construction Under the Auspices of Central Moravian Church
Girl’s Dorm, Sikonge Moravian Secondary School
Sarah Bollman Orphan Girls’ Dorm, Youth New Fashion
Sarah Bollman Orphan Boys’ Dorm, Youth New Fashion
Forrest Huron Dining Center, Youth New Fashion
Vangie Sweitzer Classroom Building, Youth New Fashion
Moravian Kindergarten, Moravian Church Headquarters, Tabora (7th)
PMTCT Office Building, Sikonge Moravian Hospital
Extension, Tabora Moravian Dispensary
Two Additions, Imalampaka Moravian Dispensary
MCH Building, Ugowola Moravian Dispensary
MCH Building, Nzubuka Moravian Dispensary
Addition, AMEC Dispensary, Tutuo
MCH Division, SDA Dispensary, Tutuo
Chemistry/Hematology/Serology Wing, Sikonge Moravian Hospital
Care and Treatment Clinic, Sikonge Moravian Hospital
MCH Building, Kamata 3 Moravian Dispensary (12th)
Sikonge Moravian Church
Mlogolo Moravian Church
Udongo Moravian Church
Chabutwa Moravian Church
Mabangwe Moravian Church
Kiloleli Moravian Church
Magereza Moravian Church
Kavale Moravian Church
Iyombakuzova Moravian Church
Nkeki Moravian Church
Msuva Moravian Church
Mkolye Moravian Church (12)
Mtakuja Moravian Church
Ipuli Moravian Church
Kabanga Moravian Church
Mazinge Moravian Church (16th)
Mkolye X 2
Sikonge Special Needs/Primary Schools
Usipilo A (16th) (12th from Woodbridge funds)
Tabora Orphan Center
Dale Smith Orphan Center, Tutuo
Sarah Bollman Orphan Center, Ipole
Orphan Center, Imalampaka
Sarah Bollman Orphan Center, Sikonge
Renovations Under the Auspices of Central Moravian Church
PMTCT Lab and Counseling Offices, Sikonge Moravian Hospital
MCH Building, Ipole Government Dispensary
MCH Building, Igigwa Government Dispensary
Ussoke Moravian Dispensary
Ichemba Moravian Dispensary
Kitunda Moravian Dispensary
Classroom, Sikonge Moravian Hospital (7th)
Non Medical Facilities
Widow Christina’s House (2nd)
Mchg. Kasegezya’s retirement house
Evangelist House, Sikonge (7th)