610-588-2023 Fax:610-588-8904 404 Broadway, Bangor,PA 18013 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
REV. LARRY D. LAINE, PASTOR
MRS. BETHANN KRATZER, PIANIST
MRS. KAY F. MOOSCH, PARISH SECRETARY
MRS. BARBARA HALLET, TREASURER
Website: www. tlcbangor.com
Pastor’s Cell Phone # 757-613-7126
Pastor Laine’s e-mail – email@example.com
Church Office – 610-588-2023 Fax. No. – 610-588-8904
Huruma is Coming!
Huruma (pronounced “who-room-a”) is an orphanage in Tanzania. It is supported and funded through the ELCA under the supervision of the Lutheran Church in Tanzania. Beginning this Sunday School year, we are supporting this orphanage through “Coins for Kids.” Once a month the children will collect “coins” to send to Huruma to support and give life to these needy children. Save your “coins” as we begin this meaningful and much needed ministry. I know about Huruma through Rev. Gary Langness and Rev. Christopher Smith, both from Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Our contact is Rev. Smith. Following is some information, sent to us from Rev. Smith, about the orphanage and a plea for your help in this ministry:
There is now a total of 75 children in the care of the Huruma Centre. When I started the non-profit just under three years ago, there were under 40 children. The big change that has supported the expansion of the mission is the work we have done in the past two years to have the legal charter of the Centre expanded. The government approved this last March finally, so now, instead of a charter that limits the Centre’s work to only 40 kids, ages 4 to 14, now the charter allows care for children 0 to 17 and up to 60 in residence at the Centre itself.
The children arrive in the care of the Huruma Centre for a variety of reasons. The minority are there because both parents have died and no other relatives will care for them (this is the case with Tumlaki and Ombi, for example). But most children are there because of other reasons. For example, three siblings at the Centre, Cristina, Stanley, and Amani, are there because they have genetic malformations in their hands and feet, and their families decided not to keep them for that reason (there are cultural currents at work in Tanzania that we do not understand but we cannot afford to judge – just keep loving the children). Parents also abandon their children for a variety of reasons. There are two sisters at the Centre, for example, whose mother died and whose father chose not to keep them and care for them – Nelesia and Nesta. Two years ago, I worked with one of the matrons to treat and heal Nelesia’s chronic ear infection, and last year Nesta developed a nasty skin condition. Working with local care providers, we funded her care and now she is doing great. Other times, one parent is dead and the other an alcoholic or in prison. Or, sometimes authorities just find children at the local bus terminal and they bring them to the Centre, and we will never know why their parents left them there. By far the most tragic and awful reason the kids come to the Centre – and these are mostly girls – is that they have been sexually abused and raped, sometimes as young as 6 or 7. In these cases, they cannot stay in their communities because the children will be blamed for the crime. The adult virtually always gets away with it. And, in some cases, extended family members will seek to silence the child. There are currently two girls in the care of the Centre whose names I never record and whom I never photograph lest the image appear publicly anywhere because their families are hunting for them. This is also why I share only the first names of children. At night the dorm matrons stay in the dormitories for extra security. The Centre compound is surrounded by a wall 8 feet high topped with glass shards, and there are guards at the main gate 24/7. After working with the children for three years, it has become clear: if not for the mission of the Centre, children who are nurtured there would otherwise have three potential fates: First, they would scramble to get by on the streets as homeless children; they could not do this for long; second, they would be trafficked; and third, they would he dead. Our support of this ministry is a matter of life and death for these children. Our command from the words of Jesus is abundantly clear. “We are to love God and we are to love others.” I would like to add: “To love others is to love God.” Thank you for your prayers for these children, your support and your “coins.”May peace and justice reign in our lives and in the lives of others and especially in the lives of these children.