That people can meet in person, even across borders of continents, experienced the evangelical communities of Erbach, Söflingen, Wiblingen now for 40 years and the community of Dornstadt since 30 years. The initial contact was in 1981. With reciprocal letters initially, a spirited partnership came on its way. So, in 1986 we were invited to Tukuyu for our first visit.
Tukuyu is a community of the Moravian Church of Tanzania, in Germany called the Herrnhuter Brüdergemeinde (“The Herrnhuter Brethren”). It is situated on the south-west highland of Tanzania in the north of lake Malawi or lake Nyassa.
Since 1986 we meet reciprocally every two years. Both parties experience every day life with the hosts. Attending church services in the communities we celebrate God. We are invited into the community groups and circles. We always set a subject to work on jointly during a weekend or a single day. Examples are preservation of creation, peaceful respect between religions, the importance of our youth for our communities. Many other subjects were considered in a face to face debate. Every time we draw a balance of the last two years, and we look forward to the next years till we meet again. In this way we decided to create a joint web site on our concerted weekend 2013 in our recreation center in Söflingen, called “Little Castle” Schlössle.v
Whenever we are guests in Tukuyu, we are richly rewarded at the end. Not only with spiritual insight but with drapery, mats, carvings and other objects of art. So, when we are back in our communities, we can design our teaching in a lively, spirited, colorful way during our service for children, for our candidates for confirmation, our adult education and the religious instruction in our schools.
When we are in Tukuyu, we see the many projects of the community. We were informed about a guest house, operated by the women. During one visit we saw about 2.000 bricks for the guest house, laid in front of the church to dry. We were deeply impressed of the engagement of the women for the orphans. We financially supported these projects of the community of Tukuyu.
During Corona pandemic, we exchanged information via WhatsApp in a lively way. We are thankful for the empathic signs of sympathy for our situation in the pandemic. Our friends from Tukuyu wrote: „We pray for you, that God will help and guide you through this pandemic.”
Now we expect again a visitor group of 8 guests in the next year, if the situation allows it. They will stay for two weeks here in the environment of Ulm. We plan, that more people of the younger generation meet in future. So, we hope that starting with 2022 regular visits will be possible again. We wish that we can, once again, stand on the impressive crater lake Ngozi, looking deep and wide.
„A house for the guests is a house of blessing.” This Tanzanian wisdom is a bridge, that allowed us to come together during these many years and that links us together in the future.
Brigitte Kalin, Eckhart Hauff, Walter Süß