KARAGWE DIOCESE MOURN DR. DON BARNES

Sad news reached Karagwe Diocese late hours on 17th May 2017. A great friend of the diocese, Mel Breed reported the passing of Dr. Donald Barnes (Famously known as Dr. Don). It sent shock and grief to many friends scattered all over the diocese.

He came to Karagwe late 1999 accompanying Rev. Benson Bagonza (now a bishop) who was appointed in absentia to be the diocesan General Secretary. He was a doctoral student in the US and had to come home for handing over. Dr. Don who was partly a member of McFarland Lutheran Church in Wisconsin, volunteered to come to Karagwe to undertake a diocesan assessment need. Mcfarland Lutheran church and several others had agreed to support the new General Secretary in initiating efficiency and enhancement program in the then ailing diocese.

Since then, Dr. Don established many connections that has created a network of partnerships in the diocese. Imani English Medium Primary School campus was initiated and funded by St. John Lutheran church in Eau Claire where Dr. Don tirelessly fundraised for years. St. John then became a hub of connections where other Lutheran churches in and around Eau Claire supported Karagwe Diocese. "He was asked to do an administrative evaluation of the Lutheran Diocese in Tanzania, Africa. This led to an interest in building an Elementary School in Kaisho, Tanzania. His idea was brought back to St. Johnís Lutheran Church, Eau Claire, where they funded the construction" reported the Leader-Telegram magazine on 22 May 2017.

A scholarship fund for girls in secondary school was launched and through it tens of girls have benefited.


Other connections emerged and contacted Dr. Don for guidance and introduction. St. Thomas university students in science made a trip to Karagwe and through that, Prof. Jan Hansen and Steve Hansen were touched by the diocesan vision of community work. They founded Educate Tanzania Inc based in Minnesota and partnered with Karagwe Diocese to establish Karagwe University (KARUCO). It is will certainly open in October 2017.

Through all these years, Dr. Don and his wife Gloria remained focused with partnership in Karagwe and opened their home and their hearts for the people of Karagwe. A special morning devotion was held at the diocesan headquarters to remember Dr. Don. Imani school in Kaisho will dedicate a special day for when the funeral day is known.

May Almighty God, comfort and help the family in grief.

May we live to leave a legacy that lives -Amen
Text: Axsa Gabagambi