A Labor of Love

Linda Jacobson visiting a local market. Source: Living Lutheran

After 38 years of faithful service, the American Lutheran Church’s (ELCA) longest serving overseas missionaries are returning home.

Linda and Mark Jacobson moved to rural Arusha, Tanzania in 1985, three years after they got married. Mark, a doctor, works with the local Maasai community supporting health workers in six small primary-care clinics spread through the region.

During his tenure, he has helped expand the scope of the local clinic’s areas of practice and helped reorganize one clinic into a full service hospital in partnership with the Arusha Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT). The hospital, Selian Hospital, provides orthopedic, fistula, and hospice care.

Later he and his team expanded their work to open the Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, which offers a program to train medical officers, nurses, and healthcare workers at its post-surgical rehabilitation center for children.

Simultaneously, while Mark worked to improve the physical health of villagers in local communities, Linda worked coordinating volunteers, offering hospitality and arranging housing for visiting medical students and interns. 

Additionally, Linda got involved at the local Arusha Community Church where her talents for music ministry and working with children were greatly appreciated by scores of youth and their parents looking for spiritual formation opportunities for their children in a healthy safe environment.

As the Jacobson’s return home to Minnesota, they are looking forward to spending time with their children, resting, and sharing their experiences overseas serving the Lord.

Source: Living Lutheran