MARQUETTE–Family and friends gathered at the Messiah Lutheran Church in Marquette this evening, as a companion parish from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania joined to meet others of the same faith and learn about each other’s traditions.

The evening started off with a potluck dinner to introduce everyone, followed by a speaker from the Tanzanian parish. Bertha Somi spoke on her experience in Rwanda as the ambassador from Tanzania during the Rwandan Genocide and Civil War of the early 1990’s. Her powerful message moved everyone in attendance.

“It’s a very powerful story of her personal faith in the midst of tremendous suffering and danger, and also of her congregational involvement in the church in Tanzania,” said Messiah Lutheran Church Pastor, David Van Kley.

The 14 guests from Tanzania are living with host families for two weeks, as they explore the Marquette area and culture, and attend various events.