St. Paul Lutheran Church

Oakland, CA

Parish Connections In Tanzania

St. Paul has been connected with our sister church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) since the mid 1980s. We currently are partnered with four ministries, three of which are located in the Arusha Diocese of the ELCT and one in the city of Dar es Salaam.

A brief description of each follows together with some photos of a parish trip made to Tanzania in February 2014.


The Maasae Girls Lutheran Secondary School (MGLSS)

The enrollment is about 350 girls. Since the mid-'90s, we have supported two ELCA teaching missionaries at the school. They recently retired and a parish visit to MGLSS coincided with their completion of service. Located at Moduli on a coffee plantation about 45 miles outside of Arusha, the school was established to provide education opportunities to young women from the pastoral peoples of Tanzania, primarily the Maasae people but also girls from other tribal groups.

Twelve members of our parish currently provide full financial sponsorship for 12 young women at the school. Sponsorship is $1,000/year for six years. Funds provide housing, uniforms, food and education. Anyone interested in sponsoring a young woman is invited to contact our parish for further information.



Arusha Lutheran Medical Center and Plaster House

Since the mid-1980s we have raised money to support the work of the ELCA medical missionary serving at these two facilities, Dr. Mark Jacobson, in his work with AIDS orphans. We have also supported with donations the construction of the Arusha Lutheran Medical Center which was finally completed and dedicated in 2009. 

One of the parish projects now is to help fund the construction of a new facility to provide care to young children who have been brought to Arusha for surgery and need a place to stay before returning to their homes in distant parts of the country. The current house, called Plaster House (because so many of the children are in casts) is no longer adequate.


Nkoaranga Secondary School

This non-governmental school is located in the foothills of Mount Meru. It affords 325 students the opportunity of attending a secondary school. This school was started in 1987 under a tree. The school is dedicated to improving life by educating and empowering village youth and providing special opportunities for girls to excel. On a parish mission trip in 2002, members renovated the computer lab and currently provide several scholarships to young women at the school. We are currently looking at ways to raise funds for a new dormitory for the girls.

Pr. Sam and Cindy Wolff, members here at St. Paul and former ELCA missionaries serving in Dar es Salaam, were among those who founded this center for street children. It provides lodging, food and education for young children who were living on the streets. Members continue to contribute funds to sponsor the children.

To learn more about grass-roots efforts to help educate children in Tanzania, visit: Operation Bootstrap Africa