About The Mother's Union in Tanzania

by The Rev. Trent Pettit

Earlier this spring, we were blessed by a visit from Bishop Given Gaula and his wife, the Rev. Lillian Gaula. Both traveled to Houston from the Diocese of Kondoa, Tanzania. Bishop Gaula preached in the church and spoke with Rector Leigh Spruill and Associate Rector Trent Pettit about our growing relationship with the Diocese of Kondoa, and Mother Lillian shared her story and work with The Daughters of the King. Learn more about the women-led ministry she supports below:

Many African dioceses have a women-led ministry called “The Mother’s Union.” They do all kinds of amazing work, from teaching new mothers how to care for their infant children, to evangelism, and other advocacy initiatives to improve their communities. Since its founding in rural England in the late 19th century, The Mother’s Union has grown into one of the most powerful women’s organizations in global Christianity. The Mother’s Union in Tanzania is one of the largest memberships in the organization. The Rev. Lillian Gaula chairs the Mother’s Union in the Anglican Diocese of Kondoa, a diocese SJD began a partnership with in 2023.

The Mother’s Union in Kondoa seeks to empower women and to bear witness to the Gospel through prayer, worship, and service. They hope to ensure that every woman in the diocese can read and write, seek to end the practice of child marriage and polygamy, and enable parents to nurture their children’s faith and life in the church. The Mother’s Union seeks to empower women to develop small businesses, for which they have a sewing school.

Each year the “Sewing Matters” program aims to sponsor 40 girls to learn how to sew so that they can then return home and have a way to provide for their families in a context where most people live on less than a dollar a day. For each student, the diocese has to raise 800 shillings or $0.31 (tuition, accommodation, and materials) to support them for the 6-month sewing and business course. The Mother’s Union tries to work with government authorities to advocate for families by challenging gender violence to support the voiceless.

The environment, too, is of special interest to the Mother’s Union, especially since Kondoa is a place vulnerable to the effects of climate change. They work hard to encourage people to safeguard the earth for future families by raising awareness about environmental issues and supporting responsible resource-use initiatives. The Mother’s Union is often asked to help families navigate adversity and challenging circumstances, too.

SJD Campus

2450 River Oaks Boulevard, Houston, TX 77019 Map

(713) 622-3600 | infosjdorg