Pastor Peter Friberg has been to a lot of places. From Omaha, Blue Hill and Wausa, Nebraska, to Spring Valley and the town Gilman, Friberg has been across the map of the United States. But soon, he'll be back where he grew up: Tanzania.
"It was the most wonderful place to grow up," Friberg said.
Friberg has been a pastor for almost 37 years now, and he is retiring on Aug. 31. He works currently as a pastor for both Gilman Lutheran and Spring Lake Lutheran churches near Spring Valley.
When he goes back to visit Tanzania, he will be accompanied by his wife Marilyn, who also grew up there. He's excited to visit where he grew up and see some of his family.
Friberg's father was born in China where Friberg's grandfather lived as a doctor, and Friberg's mother was born in India, where Friberg's other grandfather was a pastor.
His father, a pastor, and his mother, a nurse, met in Africa. Their union produced Peter and five other children.
Friberg has been in the United States since he graduated high school. During that time, he's picked up on a few differences.
"People are so much more isolated from one another," Friberg said.
Friberg has watched as the traditional American Sunday has changed over his 37 years as a pastor, 16 of those at Gilman and Spring Lake.
Friberg and his wife have a daughter named Sarah who graduated from Spring Valley High School and is now employed in Eau Claire.
After retirement, Friberg and his wife will live in Menomonie with their three horses.
Friberg has been a pastor throughout the Midwest for a long time, and it has been a long time since he saw the place where he grew up; it will be a welcome sight for him.
As for his congregations at Gilman and Spring Lake, Friberg speaks highly of the church's involvement in multiple charitable causes such as the Spring Valley and Elmwood food pantries, the Spring Valley Cancer Run, GracePlace homeless shelter in New Richmond and WestCap food distribution. He also works closely with St. John's Lutheran in Spring Valley along with many other local congregations.
From someone who grew up out of the country, Friberg has done a lot to help people in this country, and he is thankful for the relationships he has built at all of the churches he has served.
"I've just settled into the life of a typical American pastor," Friberg said. "I've just had really good [relationships] at the four different churches I've been a part of."