„Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, coming in human likeness; and found in human appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!“ Phil 2:6-11
This is the second reading of Palm Sunday. In a few but very powerful words Paul summarizes the mystery of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Last Sunday the crowd celebrated Jesus and greeted him with palms. In the following (Holy) Week Jesus shares the Pessach meal with his disciples, he is giving himself in the meal, he is washing their feet. Shortly afterwards he is imprisoned and sentenced to death for blasphemy. Today we are celebrating His Resurrection. The mystery of the Resurrection is too great to be grasped and to be celebrated for only one day. After suffering and death comes the joy of Easter in which we may live – to the glory of God!
I would like to add a report on the children and the building process of St. Nicholaus to this Easter greeting.
Anthony (8), Joseph (9), Magdalena (8), Stefan (8) and Maria (14) are still living with their caretakers on the premises of Kagondo Hospital about 6 miles away from Kemondo. Joseph and Magadalena are now in second grade. Anthony and Stefan still attend kindergarten. Maria is not (yet) going to school because there is no special school for her at this point. Unfortunately, Maria is not doing well health wise. Her epilepsy is difficult to control and she can barely walk.
Aisha and Anita (both are 3 and half) are going to pre-school which they enjoy very much. Already they can read and write some numbers and letters.
On March 18th Daniel joined our family. He was in the same orphanage like Aisha and Anita. He turned 3 this month but he is slow in his development. He is able to walk and most of the time he is in a good mood. By now he has adjusted well. Aisha and Anita take their little brother into their midst or just drag him behind. Together with the two puppies there is never a dull moment in our house. The other five children from Kagondo are taking turns to visit us every weekend.
The building of St. Nicholaus Children’s Center was going very well until Christmas. The week after Christmas people from the city’s office for land and building visited the site. They informed us that laws had changed. Kemondo is no longer considered a village but has become a township and therefore there are different regulations. The city office did not recognize the building plan that was done in Germany. A Tanzanian architect had to redraw the plans. Bukoba Catholic Diocese who owns the property had to bring more documents showing their ownership. Consequently, we were told to stop building until all those issues were resolved. It took two and half months to clear everything and finally on Ash Wednesday we got the go ahead to resume building. The Diocese supported us in this matter very much.
As of today, half of the building has a roof, is plastered inside and outside, doors and windows are in, floor and ceiling board are done, plumbing and electrical installments are underway. The second half of the center has been built in the past weeks and we can soon put a roof on that half as well.
During the building stop we were not idle. We formed a board and applied for the registration of the center which are important steps towards operating the center. The contractor used the time to do his driver’s license. Many people here do not have a license and I used to do all the driving for getting the building materials. Now I can share this work with the contractor which is a big help to me.
I do not dare to give a prediction anymore as to when we will be able to move into St. Nicholaus. But the building will be ready in about three months and we are doing everything to get the registration through in this time.
Below I have added some recent pictures.
We wish you God’s Blessings and the Joy of His Resurrection,
Stefanie and the children and caretakers of St. Nicholaus