Updates from cAR

By: Bishop Tessa Moon Leiseth

November 8, 2023

Yesterday we arrived safely and were welcomed at the airport by ELCA Regional Representative Willie Langdji and local church leaders. Before making our way to our hotel, we stopped at St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church for a welcome and prayers. We were also greeted along the road by children and staff from St. Timothy’s school. Later we returned to St. Timothy’s for further welcome. We learned the story of the congregation and were well fed. Today, we travel by road to Bouar for the centennial festivities.

Enjoy photos from our trip below! 

1. After our arrival at the airport, we briefly visited a local congregation. Pastor Théophile (left) prayed for our group.

2. St. Timothy's Lutheran Church

3. St. Timothy's Lutheran Church

4. Greetings along the road from St. Timothy's Lutheran School.

5. Greetings from the school children of St. Timothy's Lutheran School. 

6. Generous and good food was shared by the church as they welcomed us. 

7. Waiting to travel to Bouar. 

centennial celebration in car

By: Bishop Tessa Moon Leiseth

November 3, 2023

On November 5th, a cohort of travelers will begin the multi-day journey to the Central African Republic in order to celebrate with our Lutheran siblings their Centennial as a church. The Eastern North Dakota Synod, along with the Western North Dakota Synod and the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, are companions to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Central African Republic (ELC-CAR). As companions, we pray for each other and encourage each other in our ministry. Through our relationship together, we are strengthened in our understanding of God’s mission in the world. 

As companions, we strive to know each other. Distance, language, and even COVID have been challenges to growing in our relationship together. Further, a delegation from ELC-CAR tried to visit last summer but were not able to obtain visas in time. And so, while there is history of partnership and memories in our synod, we do not have current memories to share. As for myself, I have not yet met President Ngoe of the ELC-CAR. And while we were “together” at an event in Minneapolis via Zoom, that is not the same as meeting in person. 

And so, as I pack my bags and mentally prepare for this trip, I am so looking forward to not only meeting our companions but also celebrating with them and learning from and through them. 

If you would like to read more about the history of the formation of the ELC-CAR, click here. As I learn and experience more from our companions, I will continue to share with you. 

Please pray for all who travel and all who prepare to receive us. Also please pray for the ELC-CAR as they finish preparations for their Centennial. It will indeed be a festive time!