Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Help Complete a Multi-Purpose Center in Tanzania

As you might imagine, the life of a missionary is an incredibly demanding one. Learning languages foreign to one’s own; adapting to completely new ways of doing even every day tasks; sometimes living in what can be described as sparse living conditions … each of these enable missionaries to be at home with the people and cultures in which they find themselves. For those who have not received the call to be a missionary — such changes can hardly be understood much less embraced. But I can honestly say that among those who have spent their lives as missionaries — I have never met anyone who regretted making that decision.


Dear John,

As you might imagine, the life of a missionary is an incredibly demanding one. Learning languages foreign to one’s own; adapting to completely new ways of doing even every day tasks; sometimes living in what can be described as sparse living conditions … each of these enable missionaries to be at home with the people and cultures in which they find themselves. For those who have not received the call to be a missionary — such changes can hardly be understood much less embraced. But I can honestly say that among those who have spent their lives as missionaries — I have never met anyone who regretted making that decision.

Rather, long after they would have retired if they had been working here in the U.S., they are still spending most of their waking hours looking for ways to continue helping the poor and those in need. Missionaries like Fr. Bernard Baudon is one of those individuals.

Recently, I received a letter from Fr. Bernard — a Missionary of Africa priest who lives and works in Kabanga parish near the small town of Kasulu, Tanzania — in East Africa. For more than 31 years, Fr. Bernard has served at Kabanga near Lake Tanganyika. And while he may be considered a “senior” confrere by his fellow missionaries, Fr. Bernard has no intention of leaving his mission or retiring.

“We have a school here that was closed a number of years ago . . . ,” Fr. Bernard wrote in his recent letter to me. “It needed a lot of repair work, so I contacted my friends and family and asked them if they could send money to help raise money for the repair work that was needed. Thanks to the kindness of many individuals, the school has now been completely repaired and we have started to use it again.”

“Not long ago, our local bishop heard about the reopening of the school and asked if — in addition to it being used as an education center — it could also be a place where other missionaries could be trained as well as have family programs there since there are no other buildings like this in the region.”

“There are so many things that can still be done here if we had the financial means to do so,” he continues. “If people come here for training, they will need a place to sleep (since the area is so remote). We need to purchase beds, mattresses, bedding and linens, as well as build and equip a proper kitchen. We will also need to expand our library — there is so much to be done.”

“Is there some way you can help us?”

As I read Fr. Bernard’s letter, I could not help but think of how much he loves and cares for the people of Kabanga. No doubt, he has been there long enough to see hundreds of children grow up, get married and even have families of their own. And without a doubt, he is probably considered to be “like family” to scores of men, women and children in the region.

It is no wonder that — as long as he has breath in his lungs — Fr. Bernard wants to continue working in Kabanga and serving the poor and those in need. How could I turn away from his appeal for help?

My friend, I am hoping that we can raise at least $35,000 to help Fr. Bernard’s mission in Tanzania as well as some of our other missions throughout East Africa. These funds will be used to purchase the beds that Fr. Bernard wrote about, as well as kitchen supplies and equipment and whatever else is most needed throughout the missions. Please, is there some amount — any amount — you can send to help the people of Kabanga?

You have been so kind and generous to our missionaries — especially when they have needed you most. As many of these good men get older — how great it would be if the missions in which they had spent so many years had the financial help they needed to keep vital programs going! God bless you for your kindness and continued generosity.