Visitors are always welcome at Faraja! There’s nothing like being at the school to really understand what Faraja is all about. Faraja recently welcomed The Rev. Clint Roberts, Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest (IL). We are grateful to Pastor Clint for sharing some thoughts on his experience with us. You can also find Pastor Clint’s recent sermon about his visit here.
Reflections on Faraja
I recently was afforded the opportunity to visit Tanzania and Faraja Primary School as the guest of Dave Tolmie, President of the Faraja Foundation. The experience changed me. As his pastor and a pilgrim in this world, the experience of Tanzania and Faraja Primary School was an affirmation of what we believe in and seek to do as followers of Christ.
Tanzania is a beautiful land of aching contradictions. In some ways it resembles a terrestrial paradise, teeming with magnificent life across its mountains, forests and plains. Its citizens are energized and connected in ways that are far less evident in more developed nations like mine where technology, wealth and possessions can serve to isolate people from each other. But there is great privation and suffering in Tanzania, where extreme poverty, poor healthcare and the lack of economic opportunity has taken a heavy toll.
Nowhere is the need more evident than in the plight of children who live with disabilities. Often born with them, these children may never find the opportunity to learn, grow and share the fruits of living communally. Faraja Primary School addresses all these needs: education, healthcare and intentional Christian community—in transforming and inspiring ways.
For my part, visiting the school, meeting the staff and hanging out with these children has been joyfully transforming for me. There is an innate goodness at work at Faraja that is more than the sum of its parts. As people—from the students all the way to the Board—undertake to serve one another in these life-giving ways, something more is happening here. Like a glimpse of the heights of Mt. Kilimanjaro revealed high above, Faraja Primary School can be seen as an outpost of the kingdom of heaven here on earth, where every child of God is cherished for who they are and who they are becoming, including all those who seek to serve, comfort and support these beautiful children in faithfulness.