Meeting someone on a plane can be memorable, but rarely does it lead to selling one’s home, moving to Tanzania, helping start a Catholic university, and converting to Catholicism. Yet that’s what happened when Toledo, Ohio’s Don Stiles met Tanzanian Archbishop Paul R. Ruzoka on a flight in 2009.
Stiles and his wife, Gisela, became friendly with the archbishop, and grew to support his mission to build a university in Tabora, Tanzania, so much that they moved there. Though not Catholic themselves, they were so lovingly welcomed by the community they began looking into converting. Several bouts of malaria forced the Stiles to return to Toledo, where they now run a nonprofit that raises money for projects in Tanzania.
One goal is building a sanctuary and providing educations for albino children. Albinos in Tanzania are regularly kidnapped, mutilated and killed for superstitious reasons. “These children need to be protected,” says Mrs. Stiles.
Life is full of unexpected surprises when you put yourself in God’s hands.
The Lord…will keep your life. (Psalm 121:7)
Lord, protect Your most innocent.