US investor hands over 1 billion church buildings to Serengeti villagers
The church building was constructed in Natta-Mbiso village in the wildlife-rich Serengeti district earlier this year.
Bishop Michael Msongazila led a special church service to bless and inaugurate the church last Friday after a day, after the investor handed over the church to him.
“The church building was handed over to me yesterday (Thursday evening) and we bless it today to officially make it our place of worship,” Bishop RC said.
He thanked the American investor for funding the construction of the church for Catholics in the village and for continuing to support local development projects in villages bordering wildlife conservation areas in the western Serengeti.
“Even having a place of worship is social development. I thank God for the investor of Grumeti Reserves ”, remarked Bishop Msonganzila who was accompanied by several priests and elders of the local church.
The new church has the capacity to accommodate between 400 and 500 worshipers at a time, according to local church elders.
Bishop Msonganzila said the church will put the investor on the list of those who deserve the prayers and blessings of the faithful.
Grumeti Reserves representative Noel Mbise said that in addition to investing heavily in wildlife conservation, the investor’s presence in Tanzania has continued to transform lives in many ways, including supporting scholarships. studies for needy but bright students through the Grumeti Fund.
“Sustainable conservation of wildlife cannot be possible without the participation of the community. The investor not only supports the conservation of the wildlife, but also the community, ”said Mbise, who is also general manager of research and community unit at Grumeti.
He said the church building will continue to strengthen the good relationship that exists between the investor who is also a Catholic and the local communities.
Grumeti Reserves operates several world-class lodges in Tanzania, including Sasakwa, and the company has also invested heavily in conservation and community development in the western Serengeti, through the Grumeti Fund.
The parish priest of the region, Fr. Jeremia Musira, asked thousands of the church’s faithful to clap their hands for the investor as a thank you, during the grand opening ceremony of the modern church, colored by a special mass led by Bishop Msonganzila.
Construction work on the church was carried out by Grumeti Construction, a sister company of Grumeti Reserves, after the investor donated US $ 450,000 to support the project in recent months.
“The money came directly from the investor to build the church,” Martha Baare, a senior official with Grumeti Reserves, said earlier this year as construction of the church was underway.
She said the American investor very often attended religious services organized by the Roman Catholic Church in the village of Natta-Mbiso whenever he visited Tanzania.
“There has been a long term relationship between our investor and the church. And many of our workers will worship in the same church, ”she said.