From: Jodi and Steve Swanson in Tanzania <>

Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2023 3:36 PM

To: Karen McClain

Subject: Unexpected Gifts amidst Shortages


Follow Up Flag: Follow up

Flag Status: Flagged



Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Christmas 2023                      

Dr. Stephen & Jodi Swanson            

ELCA Global Personnel     


Dear Augustus Lutheran Church,

We have so much to be grateful for in this season! Not least is the opportunity we have had to be together as a family, with all 3 children here. We have had the time to play games, bake cookies, have good conversations over many cups of coffee. It has been wonderful to be together in our home in Tanzania.

We hope that you also have been blessed in this festive season where we celebrate the coming of the Light. Your support over this year in heartfelt conversations with us,  prayers, giving and encouragement in our journey are invaluable to us. We cannot do this work, nor walk this path, alone. 

It has been a year with plenty of challenges that at times have felt without end. The main hospital where Steve has worked for the past 10 years has faced a growing exodus of talented doctors and nurses, chronic shortages of medications and supplies, financial challenges and hospital governance concerns.

Yet here at the end of the year, we see God's provision of strength and vision, and we can look back and give thanks for this past year. Even in the difficult and stressful situations, we have seen unexpected gifts amidst shortages.

We are grateful for... 

  • 10 years of medical service in Tanzania
  • Our 3rd annual Tiny Feet, Big Steps Neonatology Conference: 94 hospitals, 226 attendees, 15 countries, and 40 instructors present.
  • Healing of Caedmon's knee after a very dangerous fall
  • Generous welcome for Jodi to work with two local schools in the development of a Garden and Nutrition Club
  • 200+ malnourished children served through the feeding program at Selian Lutheran Hospital
  • 300 babies treated in a NICU that is still running well
  • 2 Tanzanian doctors (Deborah and Hilda) accepted into pediatric residency programs in Kenya and South African, respectively
  • Children treated every day in clinics, urgent care and on the pediatric wards through doctors trained by Steve
  • Ongoing support of all bed fees for hospitalized children at our sister hospital, Selian Lutheran Hospital
  • Training of doctors and medical students in Global Pediatrics from USA and other countries.

2024 promises change. New work is to begin, which fills us with hope and is needful for children in Tanzania. Stay tuned.

We look forward to your continued to journeying with us.





We had a fun Christmas party with the 6 Pediatric Doctors in Training! Such amazing, committed and capable young Tanzanians for whom we are so grateful.





Christmas cookies took on some interesting twists this year! Mama is happy to have all her chicks in the nest for a time and there have been lots of games, Christmas movies, cappuccinos, and my artists have been busy with paints and lino! Nothing is ever perfect, but it is good. We are thankful to be together. 


With wars and displaced people searching for a place to lay their heads... we look for light. Somewhere. Everywhere.
Praying that the light shines in the darkness.
Praying for peace on earth.
Working for peace on earth. 

May you have peace in your home and in your heart this season of light.

With our love,
             Steve & Jodi





End of year giving

If you are interested in sending a year-end gift for the work we are doing, we would be grateful. Tax-deductible donations support purchases of equipment, supplies and medicine in NICU, as well as feeding for malnourished children, bed fees for pediatric and NICU families without funds, and educational costs of training  doctors and nurses in pediatrics.



Care of hospitalized newborns and children, and training of doctors and nurses, is entirely supported through your donations. 









We are supported through the gifts of churches with the ELCA. Churches and individuals can donate to our support through the ELCA:

Find our names under the drop down tab, Designation: ELCA Missionary Sponsorship



For more information and videos:
Neonatology Africa

Funds are received through Global Health Ministries ( directed in entirety towards clinical pediatric training of doctors and nurses in Tanzania, care of babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), medications, bed fees, and food for malnourished children.


Our mailing address is:
Steve and Jodi Swanson
c/o Michael Swanson
16608 Early Dawn Trail
Lakeville, MN  55044

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Steve and Jodi Swanson c/o Michael Swanson 16608 Early Dawn Trl Lakeville, MN 55044-6063 USA

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