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Making the Connections

June 11, 2013

By act

I’m sitting in Pearson International Airport waiting for the first flight (of five!) that will get me to the Diocese of Masasi in Tanzania. That’s a lot of flying. I’ve spent the last few weeks getting ready for this journey. Appointments at the travel clinic, shots, medications, blood work, and””luckily– no more shots. I went to the pharmacy last week and spent about $60 on things I never buy ““ Gravol, Immodium, hand sanitizer, etc. all for this trip.

I’ll admit, it has made me wonder “Is this worth it?” We’ve often heard the question asked, “wouldn’t all the time, energy, and money be best spent just supporting the work of our partners?”

While waiting for my first (delayed!) flight of my journey, I checked my work email. There in my inbox is a greeting from Canon James Almasi – KARIBU SANA! My very limited Swahili tells me this means “you are very welcome”¦”

Upon reading James’ words, I felt excited. James is the Executive Secretary for the Diocese of Masasi. I knew that he would be coming to meet me at the airport when I arrived in Dar es Salaam, but there was something in reading his words of welcome that stirred something in me.

I have never met James. I know of the work that the Diocese does. I’ve met his colleague Geoffrey. I know more specifically about the work that PWRDF supports through hearing Geoffrey speak. But technically James is a stranger to me.

And yet his greeting of welcome felt familiar, as if I knew him. Like we have a connection already.

PWRDF’s model of partnership has created a space that has connected James and I. We are working together ““ even though we haven’t met yet.

There is power in connection. Connection that builds relationships, that does good work, that supports and enables good things to grow.

My last few weeks of getting ready, my many many flights”¦ do make sense. I’m going to Tanzania to make connections. PWRDF is looking at starting an internship program that would send young adults to work with our partners for an extended period of time. My travel in the next two weeks will build connections that will (hopefully) enable this program to happen. These are the types of connections that can’t be done by email, or Skype, or even over the telephone. They are connections that need to be rooted in relationship.

So I will accept James’ wish of welcome to his country. I look forward to being there. Meeting folks. Working at this new endeavour”¦

And I pray that I make all my flight connections!

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