Gratitude: [noun] the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness.
While I'm currently in Chicago attending a meeting at the ELCA Churchwide Offices of the ELCA/ELCT Companion Synod Network, my head and my heart are - quite frankly - back in Saint Paul. I'm still in awe of the spirit of abundance that has characterized our Bega Kwa Bega community for the past couple of weeks. I'm still full of gratitude for all that has occurred and all that we share in our life together.
Specifically, I'm thankful for:
- Invited guests who said 'Yes' - What a joy and an honor it was to host General Secretary Nayman Chavalla, his wife Agnetha Tweve, and Lutheran Center Manager Tuti Mwakalindile for the past week and a half. Their generous hearts and infectious laughter have already left a lasting impression.
- The Bega Kwa Bega Fall Festival - It turns out that being reminded of (and surrounded by) God's hospitable community was just what I needed. Asante sana to all who came and made it such an extraordinary day.
- A Successful Auction/Offering - Thanks to your enthusiastic support and incredible generosity we have covered the costs of hosting our latest delegation and now have seed money set aside to make receiving guests a regular part of who we are and what we do.
- Committed Volunteers - Dozens of people have shared of their time, talent, and treasure over the past couple of weeks. They have served as day and overnight hosts for our guests, worship leaders and hospitality chiefs, event planners and drivers, and an abundance of other roles. Through their efforts we have all been brought closer together.
- Each of You - I'm again reminded of how remarkable this web of relationship truly is. Even as we rally support for scholarship students in our home congregations you have made time to share meals with far-off friends, to dance with one another, and to commit yourselves to creating a more hospitable world.
God is good. Bwana Yesu asifiwe!
The Rev. Peter Harrits, Director of Bega Kwa Bega and Assistant to the Bishop