“Hujambo, Rafiki”-- that’s Swahili for “Hello, friend” and the title of a blogspot maintained by soon-to-be missionaries Tim (VU’08) and Megan (Duckworth, VU ’08) Dooms. As they prepare to depart for a one-year stint with LCMS World Mission in Kisumu, Kenya, the Dooms are busy expanding their vocabulary by studying “Fast Track to Swhaili.” Knowing the language will benefit them considerably as they serve as GEO (Globally Engaged in Outreach) missionaries, assisting Pastor David Chuchu of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya (ELCK).
“Our home church, Advent Lutheran in Zionsville, Indiana, has helped support Pastor Chuchu and his programs for several years,” explains Tim. “When we met with our pastor to discuss our desire to serve God abroad, he directed us to contact Pastor Chuchu to see if our time and talents could be used in Kenya. He responded warmly and eagerly.”
Greenwood, Indiana native Tim, has spent the last three years teaching in an elementary school. Business Administration/Marketing major Megan is employed by ExactTarget, an email software and marketing company in Indianapolis, her hometown. Both are certain their Valpo educations and professional experiences will be put to good use in Kenya. There, Tim will teach at a Lutheran intermediate boarding school for orphans, applying what he learned about literacy and math approaches and how to meet students at their different levels and backgrounds. Megan will work with Pastor Chuchu in the Diakonia Compassionate Ministry office, assisting with program administration and confident that the teamwork and communication skills emphasized in VU’s College of Business Administration will once again serve her well.
According to LCMS World Missions, the Valpo alumni will also work alongside the pastor and deaconesses in making door-to-door home visits, running orphan and widow support programs and children’s Bible clubs, helping with placements of children with disabilities in work places, and assisting in advertising and promotion of ELCK programs and services.
“For some time, I have had the inclination to serve abroad, having always been enamored by the Discovery Channel, learning about other cultures in school, an amazing study abroad experience (Both Megan and Tim studied in VU’s Reutlingen program.), and several short term international mission trips,” says Megan. “I knew I had a calling to serve those in another country for a longer capacity. When I asked Tim if he’d be interested in service together, he easily enough answered ‘Yes’ and has been the one keeping me on track ever since!”
The couple hopes to depart for Kenya in mid-August and is working steadily toward gathering 70% of the funds needed for their year of service.
As August grows closer, Megan confesses on the blogspot, “We feel so many emotions at this time from excitement to nervousness to pain from the dozens of shots we’ve been receiving to sheer gratefulness and awe at the way God has allowed this opportunity to become possible.”
Granted the emotions of worship in Kenya likely won’t compare to the treasured memories of Sunday night candlelight services in the Chapel, but the Dooms are sure to collect many a new ”rafiki, just as they did in their four years at Valpo.