By Bernie Lee

What a blessing it was to welcome Pastor Naibu Nyambo as guest preacher this past January at St. David’s Lutheran Church, West Columbia, SC! Pastor Nyambo is the pastor of the Lutheran Church in Matamba, Tanzania, of the Southwest Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania, and is St. David’s companion congregation. Nicknamed Pastor “Nemo,” his visit was unique and historic because it was the first time a pastor from a companion congregation in Tanzania has visited a sister church in the United States. Though the purpose of Pastor Nemo’s trip was to study at the Lutheran Southern Seminary in Columbia SC, he is grateful for the relationship that has developed between the churches of the two synods, so he came to St. David’s bearing gifts of thanks. In turn, the St. David’s We Care Team provided a quilt they made that is symbolic of their support of Lutheran World Relief.

St. David’s has also been actively supporting Safe Water projects in Tanzania for several years. Late last year a member of Pastor Nemo’s congregation was struck blind by illness and became homeless, so St. David’s contributed towards building him a cottage. Rev. James Laurence is planning to join several others from the SC Synod Global Mission Team on a trip to Tanzania in August as we continue to grow our relationship with the Matamba Congregation and the Southwest Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania with additional Safe Water, education and housing projects. Drought and famine are new problems facing our brothers and sisters this year in addition to their many other needs. God indeed is using our hands to reach our community, including all the way around the world.

Bernie Lee is a “Synod Communicator.” Synod Communicators share stories from local congregations with the larger Church and larger Church stories within the congregation. To find out more email

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