A delegation of Iowans has just returned from a three-week trip to the east African nation of Tanzania. Reverend Mike Kroona, of Trinity Lutheran Church in Webster City, says he and several other adults escorted nine high school students from across western Iowa.
“In some ways, it was a mission trip,” Reverent Kroona says. “We did a couple of projects while we were there but predominantly it was to get the kids immersed into a different culture and to walk alongside their brothers and sisters in Christ and see how that works in a different setting.”
Kroona says the group was involved in planting trees, but not the type we’d see in Iowa. The church’s western Iowa synod has five joint ministries with the Lutheran church in Tanzania. The goal was to visit all five and one of them was home to the Center for Agricultural Development, which is where they helped plant a small grove of avacado trees.
Kroona and his wife, Shelby, worked with Iowa State University in creating a program in far-away Tanzania that’s familiar to thousands of Iowa farm kids. “Another partner besides the church is ISU, so they’re bringing 4H to teenagers of Tanzania in a partnership,” Shelby Kroona says.
Some of the Iowa students are 4-H members and they enjoyed sharing experiences with the 4-H members they encountered at a Tanzanian school. The Iowa delegation worked to refurbish a school cafeteria, converting it to an entertainment center. Kroona says they also worked at health centers in the rural parts of the nation.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City