Last week, our hosts at Our Redeemer Lutheran served pie and set out additional chairs for the BKB community members who showed up on an unseasonably warm March evening to hear the news from Iringa and BKB affiliate organizations.

Pastor Lusungu Msigwa, Bega Kwa Bega Coordinator for the Iringa Diocese, sent us greetings by video. He painted a picture of the lush green environment in Iringa during this rainy season. He noted that on a recent Sunday all the diocese parishes prayed for companions, giving thanks that travel has resumed, and he encouraged the practice of Zoom meetings for communication between visits.

Scholarship and education updates celebrated that 1,000 students received scholarships this year, with 60 awarded to students in new parishes that don’t yet have companions. Additional highlights included feedback from the teacher training seminar attended by science teachers from diocese schools, and the news that the science lab classrooms at Lutangilo Secondary School are nearly complete.

Equity for new parishes in the diocese continues to be a focus of our BKB SPAS work, and five additional motorbikes were distributed last week. We’ve given a total of 19 piki pikis, with a current goal of 31. (We expect that goal to increase as additional new parishes are inaugurated this year.) Praise God for the evangelism being done by the diocese!

Iringa Committee Chair Caryn Josephson reported on recent updates to our financial policies and procedures. While the local economy 20 years ago was largely cash only, we have been able to update to online transfers for many transactions.

Affiliate Updates:
  • Day of Grace is now Days of Grace, moving from a one day wellness retreat for pastors and their spouses to a multiple day event.
  • Dignity for Daughters has expanded services to several government schools as well as diocese schools.
  • Friends of Huruma is supporting almost 100 children, including residents and secondary students. The Centre will celebrate its 30-year history later this year.
  • Friends of the University of Iringa recently ensured that 70+ students in their final year of study could sit for exams and graduate, by funding their remaining balances due.
  • Iringa Hope President Norm Siekman spent nearly two months in Iringa, working with new staff members and collecting success stories about microfinance and farming cooperative efforts.
  • Radio Furaha continues to broadcast a variety of news, music and evangelism programming.
  • Shoulder to Shoulder held a successful continuing education conference for healthcare professionals in the Iringa Region. Its current projects include installing a waste water system and constructing a maternal and child health building.
  • St Paul Partners hosted a well-attended event with University of Minnesota students from the College of Science and Engineering presenting project proposals for water systems in Makungu, Mahenge, and Masisiwe as part of their January course, Design for Life.
  • Tanzania Million Trees Project reported this year’s distributions: 30,000 pine trees, 18,000 eucalyptus, 1,170 avocado, 160 papaya and 30 mango trees.

Learn more about our Affiliate Organizations.

There’s a lot going on in Iringa! The next time we hold a gathering like the one last week, we will feature activity in our congregational companionships – chapel construction, healthcare in the rural dispensaries and more. If you have a story to share, send it my way!

Asante sana,

Kirsten Levorson
Director of Bega Kwa Bega