Special Announcement: Coordinator Transition Plans in Iringa

Date posted: Friday 18 September 2020

Dear Members of the BKB Community,

Following a meeting of the Iringa Executive Committee on Monday, September 14, I'm writing with some news concerning upcoming transitions in the BKB-SPAS office in Iringa:


Deacon April Trout will be completing her service with BKB and the Saint Paul Area Synod in late October. Her last day processing new requests in the office will be October 15. This will allow her two weeks to wrap things up and say her personal goodbyes.


From Iringa, April plans to return home to Pennsylvania. Building on what she has learned during her time with us, it is her intent to help strengthen the partnership between the Lower Susquehanna Synod of the ELCA and their companions in the Konde Diocese of the ELCT – several hours southwest of Iringa, near Mbeya. Look for opportunities to celebrate and give thanks for April’s three years of service with us throughout the month of October.


New Program Coordinators have been identified. After a national search, a married couple has been selected to jointly serve in this role. Together they bring a variety of skills and experiences to the table that will strengthen this companionship, including previous global service in Rwanda and professional experience as a project manager. They currently reside in Kansas and are eager to begin service with BKB.


Because of ongoing COVID-19 concerns, the plan for them to travel to Iringa in October has been postponed. After consulting with ELCA Global Mission, the Iringa Executive Committee and Bishop Lull believe it is best to delay their travel until January 2021 at the earliest. We’ll share more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, please hold the couple in your prayers as they anxiously await the start of their next chapter.


Due to this delayed transition, the BKB-SPAS office in Iringa will be closed effective October 15. SPAS Congregations, BKB Affiliates, and counterparts in Tanzania are encouraged to ensure that all pending projects and financial transactions in Tanzania are completed before then. While communication channels will remain open, our operations and presence will be limited during this interim period. We expect to reopen in January 2021. The Executive Committee recognizes the challenges this may pose, apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause, and appreciates your understanding during these challenging times.


As always, I give thanks for the gift of this relationship and the many ways in which we are all called to navigate life’s uncertain pathways together. If you have any immediate questions or concerns about any of the above, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 651-224-4313 (ext 1012) or peter.harrits@spas-elca.org.


With gratitude and grace,



The Rev. Peter Harrits
Director of Bega Kwa Bega and Assistant to the Bishop