Welcome to the GCS, Pascal Kama, General Secretary of the Lutheran Church of Senegal.
Pascal was recently in the Grand Canyon Synod for a quick tour to share about the ELS and to learn about the GCS. Pascal started his journey in Las Vegas, hosted by Pastor Paul Block of New Song (Henderson). Not only was he able to take in a Cirque du Soleil show, he met with other local pastors. Pascal was pleased to know there are churches in Las Vegas doing the good work of the gospel.
On his way to Northern Arizona, a quick stop was made at the Grand Canyon. Pascal then was hosted by George and Rosemary Kaiser of Sedona. They toured him around that amazing part of the synod and visited with members at Christ (Sedona).
Pascal made his way to Phoenix and reconnected with Julie Gerrish, a former YAGM who spent last year in the same town where Pascal works. While in the city, he worshipped at Lord of Life (Sun City), toured the Beatitudes, visit with students at ASU, visited the preschool at Esperanza (Phoenix), shared about the Lutheran Church in Senegal with congregations of the Capital Conference, and spoke with youth at the new C.A.L.L. ministry (confirmation among local Lutherans). Not only was he excited to spend time with the youth, he also was able to meet a woman who is 105 years old.
Then it was south to Tucson to spend Wednesday evening with campus ministry at U of A. Pastor Ron Rude hosted Pascal and accompanied him to a gathering at Desert Hills (Green Valley). From Tucson, Pascal traveled to Yuma (yes Yuma) and was able to cross over into California, walk on the Imperial Sand Dunes, see the Border Fence, and worship with the saints at Gloria de Cristo and Faith (Yuma). He was even treated to a good old fashioned potluck luncheon.
Yes, Pascal covered a lot of ground in the grand Canyon Synod because that is what we have a lot of! But he also got to spend time meeting people, sharing about the work of his church, and learning about what it means to be Lutheran in our Southwestern environment.
Pascal was surprised to notice how much older the average person at our congregations is compared to the congregations in Senegal. Of course, in Senegal 52% or people are under the age of 20, so this would make sense. He also appreciated the wide variety of food available to him from burgers to tacos to Chinese and even a Senegalese meal, prepared especially for him and served around the bowl (Senegalese-style) at Holy Trinity (Chandler). Pascal was also grateful for this opportunity to meet many different people. He truly appreciated being able to look out over the Grand Canyon and take in its beauty and majesty. But most significant, Pascal desires to deepen our companion church relationship and will be working on many new initiatives to make this happen.
Please continue to hold in prayer the Lutheran Church in Senegal. Pray for Pascal and the other leaders of the church. Pray for Pastor Kristin Engstrom, who supervises six Young Adults in Global Mission serving this year among our Senegalese brothers and sisters. Pray for God to reveal to you how your congregation may get involved in this partnership.
The Global Engagement Team of the Grand Canyon Synod exists to encourage and foster increased involvement by our congregations in ways that connect us globally. This team collects information about what congregations in this synod are doing in these areas; makes resources available to congregation seeking to engage globally in new ways; seeks to identify champions for these areas in each congregation; and strives to strengthen our companion synod relationship in Senegal.
The Lutheran Church of Senegal is the companion partner for the Grand Canyon Synod. Missionary Pastor Kristin Engstrom and 6 Young Adults in Global Mission
serve in Dakar and surrounding areas.
ELCA World Hunger has resources
and opportunities to engage globally
and combat poverty.
Local ELCA congregations in Arizona and Nevada are doing great things. Find out how others are connecting globally.