by Pastor Lisa Kipp
This month a team of six from Zumbro will set forth on our congregation’s annual pilgrimage to visit our mission partners at Iambi Lutheran Hospital in central Tanzania. Each member of this group was a part of our visiting team last year and will be returning with specific roles to fill in our partnership. Of course, we never really know exactly how our time will be spent until we arrive, but we do anticipate that each of us will take part in some important work this year.
Tim Daly works in radiology as a medical physics assistant. His background and work in the United States has been invaluable to Iambi as they have been preparing for a new x-ray machine. Last year, Tim helped to prepare the x-ray suite. In November, a brand new x-ray machine was installed at Iambi. As we visit this year, Tim will spend his time checking that the machine is running efficiently and safely, and providing training for Iambi’s staff.
Bob Jenkins has been the key member of Zumbro’s Tanzania Ministry Team shepherding the delivery and installation of Iambi’s new x-ray machine. Working in close partnership with Global Health Ministries and Samaritan’s Purse, Bob has ensured that the best machine to fit Iambi’s needs was purchased, prepared, delivered and installed. He will continue to be involved in this process as we visit again this month. Bob has become our resident expert on the Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission’s rules and regulations (a role I suspect he never imagined!).
Sue Jenkins finds great joy in walking alongside our partners at Iambi. While her expertise as a psychiatrist has been useful for our team on countless occasions, it is her experience in operating her own clinic here in Rochester that tends to be most valuable within our partnership. Sue is able to share experiences from the joys and challenges she has faced in managing staff and finances of her own clinic in a way that both mentors and supports the leadership of Iambi. Sue also has an excellent handle on the medical supplies that the hospital both possesses and needs in order to best serve their patients.
Gaspar Kitange has been traveling with the Zumbro teams since our first visit in 2012. While Gaspar now resides in Rochester and works in one of Mayo’s laboratories, his roots and training as an MD in Tanzania provide immeasurable insight to our Tanzania Ministry Team. Gaspar constantly translates cultural differences and Swahili for our group as we travel, in addition to providing helpful information about Tanzania’s government and healthcare systems. He maintains relationships with the staff throughout the year, and is loved and trusted by the people of Iambi.
Ann Leland makes friends everywhere we go in Tanzania. As a DNP and supervisor in trauma and general surgery, her nursing background is especially loved by the students and teachers of Iambi’s nursing school. In the past she has taught in their classrooms and accompanied the students as they began their practicum work in the villages. Ann also goes on several home visits with Iambi’s palliative care team. She regularly provides advice on pain management and wound care. Her insight regarding medical expertise and equipment that could benefit Iambi has been a great addition to our team.
I tend to participate in a lot of meetings with Iambi’s leadership team while I’m in Tanzania. One of the greatest benefits of regular visits to Iambi is that the trust between us deepens each year, and we are able to more effectively partner with one another. I often help lead worship or preach in the village and hospital chapel (sometimes in Swahili!). I am considering a short return trip to the Central Diocese’s seminary to help pastors-in-training process their internship experiences and follow up on the teaching that I did there while on sabbatical this summer.