When our SPAS congregations and Iringa Diocese parishes enter into a covenant relationship, we make promises to one another about the nature of our relationship, and about the commitments we will keep.

One of those key commitments is about sharing our gifts with one another. The covenant includes this language:

We acknowledge that relationships require support. Therefore, we pledge to make annual contributions of time, talent, and treasure to the betterment of this relationship and the common mission that we share.

From time to time, I’m asked, “What’s the base level of financial support required to become a companion?” BKB’s suggestion is that congregations commit to an annual gift of $1,000 to support their companion’s strategic plan.

As companions get to know one another, as we get familiar with each other’s needs and capacity, that amount may be adjusted. Some congregations continue to give that amount for their companion to use in whatever way they prioritize. Other congregations may fund a particular project they’ve discussed together. Some congregations note that same amount was the suggestion 20 years ago when they first became companions. Some have adjusted for inflation. Some congregations will take on a larger project with companions every few years, then returning to previous levels of giving.

Whatever you decide with your companions, your gifts have made a difference. Slow, steady, annual gifts add up over time. Village chapels get roofed, floors are plastered, walls are painted. We see the evidence of bega kwa bega in action.

What’s the bottom line? What’s the best practice around gifts to our companions? Healthy companionships can proceed in a variety of ways, but here’s what they have in common around financial contributions:

At our best, we listen to what our companions need, and we hear their hopes and dreams. We consider the resources available on each side. We communicate clearly what we can give and when funds will be available so they can plan, access, and use our gifts. We express gratitude for donors. We celebrate what we can do together.

And we do it all to the glory of God.


Kirsten Levorson
Director of Bega Kwa Bega

Wondering which congregations in our synod have companion partners in Tanzania? See the list here!