In March/April 2007 Christine Lott and Patricia Conway, while working at Goldman Sachs used their vacation time to volunteer in Tanzania. Their job in Tanzania was to help local Masai women design and create jewelry.
They lived with a Wa Arusha Masai family in a manyatta in the foothills of Mt. Meru, without electricity, indoor plumbing having to walk long distances to collect water. Chris and Pat were humbled by these people; their strength and determination.
Chris and Pat work very closely with each other still long after ending their careers at Goldman Sachs.
On Sunday, April 8, 2007 while in the village of Ilkigdinga, Chris felt the need to attend a Catholic Mass; it was Palm Sunday. Living in the conditions that were adherent to them over the past ten days, she felt the need to give thanks. She was never so appreciative to the opportunities she was afforded in life. They walked for what seemed like miles to an old run down school room; it was dark, dank, mildewed and had a strong odor. They turned to each other with the same puzzlement. Both knew in their hearts that this would be an experience of a lifetime. Within thirty minutes hundreds of women, men and children began to arrive. All dressed in their finest clothes, mothers with their babies on their backs, bibles in their hands; all walked miles to be there.
The Mass began with song. Without electricity, the hand made percussion instruments provided the rhythm. The dancing began and the voices filled the room with song. It was the most beautiful faith filled service they have ever been to. These people who live in poverty beyond our wildest dreams have faith and hope like we never witnessed.
After that special Mass, parishioners took them to their plot of land and told them of their plans to build an official church. Without hesitation Chris said ” I promise, I will help you build your church”.
The journey began…