August 29, 2020

My report from tanzania

Dear friends of Wesley College,


I’m writing to you from Tanzania, where I’ve been for more than three weeks. I’m spending a total of five weeks here, as I transition from Wesley College Principal to Executive Director of our US Foundation.


As you can imagine, being here during the time of COVID-19 changes things. The usual warm hugs and handshakes are gone, and fewer people are using public transportation. Nearly everyone I’ve spoken with knows people who have been infected and who have died.


But right now the general consensus is that COVID-19 cases are diminishing. However, since the Tanzanian government stopped tracking and reporting data at the end of April, the only information available is anecdotal. We are all praying that this is true.

Amidst all of this, I’ve also had the great pleasure to sit down with students and graduates and catch up on their lives.

One of them is Jackson, a recent graduate from our Theology program. Then, just as he secured an amazing opportunity as the first Tanzanian accepted into UMC Global Ministries’ Global Mission Fellow program, the pandemic hit.  All his plans changed, with international travel halted.


You can read my account of my conversation with Jackson here, and learn how his faith has grown through this disappointment.


Perhaps the best thing about my trip so far has been spending time with Noel Chomola, our new Principal. What I most want to tell you is that our hopes and dreams for this transition are coming true. We have a Tanzanian leader now, carrying forward the original mission and vision for Wesley College.


When I asked Noel what he would want to tell you – our US friends and family – this is what he said:


“I’d like to tell all of our supporters ‘thanks so much’ for your kindness and your prayers for Wesley College. Your hard work and concern are helping Wesley College grow. When I look to the future, I see Wesley College becoming a big institution. I hope to contribute my leadership skills and build the right team, serving for as long as God will allow.”


In closing, I need to tell you that it’s a joy to watch Noel start to put his fingerprints on the college and on our vision for its future.  He, college staff, myself, and all of you --  are building on God’s original promises to Wesley College, delivered over these first four years. Thanks for your ongoing support.


Eric Soard

Executive Director, Wesley College Foundation

Read more Wesley College news here.