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Bega Kwa Bega

A partnership of the Saint Paul Area Synod (ELCA) and the Iringa Diocese (ELCT)


At Least Ten More Stand Behind Me

This week's update originally appeared as a blog post from Shepherd of the Valley, Apple Valley. This month Saint Paul Area Synod congregations are asked to make commitments to support secondary students among our companions in Iringa. In doing so, they ignite a 'chain reaction' of caring that positively impacts the lives of tens of thousands.


Our friend Nayman Chavalla, General Secretary of the Iringa Diocese, is fond of telling visiting guests that when we help one student with a scholarship, we are really improving the lives of that student's extended family for years to come. "When you see me here," he remarked last summer, "at least ten more stand behind me."


We've seen that over the years in our own partnership.


The young man (in the photo above, on the right) is one example. Early in our partnership, we provided scholarship support so he could attend university. He was the oldest of six children, all orphans under the care of their uncle, a secondary school teacher with a family of his own. The young man finished college and began to teach mathematics at a highly regarded junior seminary. Later, he was an instructor at a university. Through his young adulthood, he paid the school fees for his younger siblings.

One scholarship, at least six who stand behind him.


A young woman was another early scholarship recipient. She studied business and tourism at a secretarial college in Dar es Salaam, then returned to the Iringa area. For several years she worked in the reception area of a local safari business. During that time, she invited one of our traveler groups to her home for dinner. She was proud to show us that her salary enabled her to live in an area of town where she had running water and electricity. She told us how she was able to pay school fees for her daughter and her young sister and brother. More recently, she developed her own business, an NGO that matches young volunteers from outside the country with teaching and other service positions.

One scholarship, at least three more stand behind her.


Then we have our friend, Pastor John. He was a secondary school scholarship student when Shepherd of the Valley first visited Tanzania in 2002. Since then he has completed college and been ordained as a pastor in the Lutheran church. He supported the three children of his older brother when the brother died, and has provided support for two of his sister's children. As his parents have aged, they have depended on him for the cost of medical care. Now he is married, has a child, and their household includes a young sister and young nephew.

One scholarship, and at least eleven more stand behind him.


It's a bit like the loaves and fishes story, isn't it? One scholarship can create a chain reaction, nurturing so many more lives than first appears possible. . .


Kirsten Levorson

Chair of the Iringa Committee & Head of the Scholarship/Education Working Group


Pastoral Message on Refugees


A Pastoral Message from Bishop Lull concerning refugees and other migrants. In it she shares resources and ways in which we too can faithfully accompany those who find themselves forced to be on the move. Through Bega Kwa Bega we've been welcomed and embraced by our global neighbors in Tanzania; how might extend the same warmth and hospitality to others during challenging days such as these?


Relive and Review the Fall Festival


Did you miss out or simply want to relive the day? A selection of photos have been shared on the BKB Facebook page. For those looking to continue the conversation in your own congregation, resources from our speakers and presenters are being compiled and made available online. Finally, as planning begins for next year's event please send us your feedback by completing this short survey.


Ilula Nursing School Opening


From Dr. Gary Moody, the Rev. Lamont Koerner, and the Shoulder-to-Shoulder/Ilula Health Group: "The first four students of an expected first class of 15 arrived at Ilula Nursing School & Hospital for orientation November 5th. Bwana Yesu Asifiwe!! (Praise the Lord!!) We celebrate together a wonderful milestone in the abiding partnership God has granted us in service to the people of the Kilolo District in the Iringa Area." 


2016 Scholarship Program Announcements


With the 2016 academic year around the corner, it is time to begin making scholarship pledges to support the education of students in Iringa. Throughout the month of November Cluster Leaders will be seeking your pledges. Building on this year's successes, the new year will bring a couple new additions to this project. See the attached summary for more information.


The BKB Book Is Here!

'You Have The Watches, We Have The Time - Faith, Development, and the Relationship Between Lutherans in the Iringa Diocese and Saint Paul Area Synod,' is now available. "Colored by the warm, humorous, and sometimes heartrending stories of the people who have been most closely involved, and based on extensive research in St. Paul and Iringa, this is a book," the publishers promise, "that will leave readers captivated by the promise-and hurdles-in a relationship of faith spanning 9000 miles." Order a copy for yourself on Amazon or through Lutheran University Press.


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