Welcome Rev. Dr. Robert M. Mbinda...
This week we are very excited to have Rev. Dr. Robert M. Mbinda as our guest speaker to tell us all about the Good Samaritan Orphanage in Mbeya, Tanzania
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Mbinda, Director of the Good Samaritan Orphanage, is a priest of the Anglican Church in Tanzania. He earned a Masters of Divinity in 1986 from Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, and a Doctor of Ministry degree in 1993 through UNISA. He has ministered to parishes in both rural and urban areas of Tanzania, and taught New Testament and Homiletics at seminaries in Tanzania and Botswana. Robert also ran a development project for World Vision in Tanzania.
Challenged by the devastation of the AIDS pandemic on Tanzania, and moved by faith, love and Christian commitment to make a difference, Robert and his wife, Mariam, a nurse midwife, determined to change the lives of children who have been orphaned by AIDS. They began Good Samaritan Orphanage in 1996 by taking eight children into their home, raising them along side their own four children. In 2000, they acquired a parcel of land south of Mbeya and worked to expand the number of children who could benefit from a safe, healthy and loving home, support for education, spiritual and emotional guidance, and hope for a better future. By 2006, there were 79 children onsite and a dedicated team of staff and local volunteers. Since that time, with the financial support of congregations and committed individuals, GSO has grown to serve 200 children between the ages of 6-18 years of age. They have developed a welcoming and effective home environment that will eventually become a good source of learning and training.
The overall goal of GSO is to nurture future leaders for their community; young people who will grow to self-sufficiency, just as the leaders of GSO seek to be wise and self sufficient. The children raise much of their own food and they care for one another as siblings of a much larger family. In recent years, a deep well, water storage, electricity, dormitories, and classrooms for trade education have been added to the site. A soap making business has begun. Over 40 acres of land has been planted to grow timber for long term financial support and crops for short term sustainability. The current goal is to develop basic facilities for a teaching college which would serve the community and provide ongoing income to GSO.
The local community recognizes the positive difference Robert and GSO are making for the children and the community itself. Local leaders are working with hand in hand with Robert. The most pressing current need is support to the education and health of the local village primary and secondary schools, as well as future development of professional and trade education for students from GSO and those living in the surrounding community.
What began as a vision to change the lives of children is truly changing the lives of an entire village in Tanzania.
Father Robert Mbinda: firstname.lastname@example.org
410 458-7796 cell phone in US through Nov. 2014
Karen Heist, US Coordinator: Karen.email@example.com 410 799-8888
St. John Lutheran Church, 6004 Waterloo Rd., Columbia, MD 21045