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Stories | Sister Elistaha Mlay

Sister Elistaha Mlay, a Lutheran Deaconness in the ELCT's Northern Diocese, made a short prayer for Mwangaza: "I would ask that Mwangaza's light continue burning. I pray that God would expand Mwangaza and that God continue to bless those Mwangaza donors as they stretch their hands."

teacher MlayShe is one of sixty-three deaconesses charged with serving people with different needs. Some, she clarified, are nursery school teachers, nurses, or secondary school teachers. She completed four years of high school, two years of post-high school study (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology), and then four more years in Kenya, receiving a Bachelor of Education degree in English.

She remembered the first Mwangaza seminar she attended: "I discovered it was a new method. At first, it was so time-consuming, but I tried it out. After one month of practice, I found myself in the Mwangaza experience!" she said, as she smiled. "Then it got easier and easier. I have seen the fruits!" she declared.

What might Mwangaza's donors be saying to those in Tanzania? "Push on on this wheel of education," she proposed.

What would you say to them? "I thank them for their continued new ideas and materials. I will pray for them," she offered.

Then she concluded, "Kiswahili's 'asante sana' (thank you very much) does not bring the meaning I have. I am [of the] Chagga [tribe], and we don't just say 'thank you.' In our language, it's much deeper than that; it shows a deeper appreciation.

I feel thanks much more when I say it in my original language." She touches her heart, and she says it: "Aika mnu."

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