pastor emmanuel and pastor deborah
I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19
If you know Rev. Emmanuel Kaghondi and Rev. Deborah Lyanga and their children, Mercy and Abner, you know that God has been up to amazing things, preparing a way where it seemed like there was no way.
Our Savior's was blessed to get to know Emmanuel during his first visit to Our Savior's in 2014, and then when he returned during in 2016 to complete the first year of his PhD program in music education at the University of Minnesota.
When his degree is complete, he will be the first person in the entire country of Tanzania to have a PhD in music.
But the whole time Emmanuel was here, his wife, Deborah, and two sons, Abner and Mercy, were still in Tanzania. While finishing a theology degree in Tanzania herself, Deborah, also an ordained pastor, was busy studying and raising their two sons on her own during the year.
Once her degree was complete, members from Our Savior's were determined to bring Deborah, Mercy and Abner to the United States for the rest of Emmanuel's studies.
At every turn, God has provided a way when there seemed to be no way for this family. When Emmanuel needed a place to stay when he first arrived, Phil and Kim Williams graciously opened their home.
When Deborah and the boys needed to obtain a visa for the family to come here, and Deborah and Emmanuel meticulously prepared documents to apply, it was quickly and easily granted.
When Deborah and Emmanuel and the boys needed a space of their own to live, this congregation stepped up by inviting them to rent the parish house, and then filled the house with furnishings.
When Mercy needed serious medical attention for one leg that is shorter than the other, Shriner's hospital accepted his case. Even as I write this, the hospital is making special shoes and preparing to do surgery to scar the growth plate on his longer leg so that by the time he is 16, his legs will be even in length.
God is doing a new thing, do you perceive it?
God is working in big ways with this family and we have the opportunity to be part of it!
The Social Ministry Committee can attest to God's work, and has had a front row seat to see the ways God is making a way for this family again and again. This is why Social Ministry is making them a focus of ministry support while they are here.
Together, we all have the opportunity to make an impact in the lives of this family. I encourage you to get to know Deborah, Emmanuel and their boys.
Perhaps you, too will see what amazing things God is doing through our relationship together!