NEW ULM - A local delegation of seven Our Savior's Lutheran Church members are among 18 people leaving on a mission trip to Tanzania on Oct. 30.
New Ulmite Bill Koeckeritz, who is leading the group, said $8,000 needs to be raised to complete a $30,000 well project in the village of Kikatiti.
The mission that supports Kikatiti Secondary School began in 1999 at the urging of former New Ulm business owners Doug and Linda Dybsetter, who sold their businesses and became church missionaries.
From left, Nancy Thomas, Dr. Stephen Akre and Carol Koeckeritz sit near an auto refractor, an instrument that aids in eye examinations. Akre will provide free use of the machine to do eye exams for high school students in Tanzania by a Minnesota delegation leaving for Africa next week.
The entourage including six members from Christ Lutheran Church, Cottonwood; two Washington, D.C. nurses, Jim Thomas, Bill Koeckeritz, Anna Koeckeritz, Chana Schaffer and Kristin Schweiss, a Twin Cities Laboratory Technician, will do eye exams and provide free glasses to those in need. An auto refractor provided by Dr. Steve Akre of Akre & Clark in New Ulm will be used to do the eye exams.
Efforts will continue to finalize a plan to drill a deep water well to provide safe drinking water at the school. Water must now be piped about five miles from the top of Mount Meru to the village. Sometimes, the water supply is very limited, and the school is forced to close.
Bill Koeckeritz and Jim Thomas will be making their fourth trip to the school since 2000.