Introducing the BKB Program Team

Date posted: Saturday 30 April 2022

It takes quite a team of people tending to the work we call Bega Kwa Bega. In recent weeks several individuals have stepped into new positions. We welcome them with deep gratitude for their contributions to our shared work.


Cluster Leaders

Cluster Leaders support congregational companionships by connecting and communicating with a group of SPAS congregations. Clusters are aligned geographically with the six synod conferences. One additional cluster is comprised of congregations outside the Saint Paul Area Synod. You can find a list of Clusters and Congregations here.


Our Cluster Leaders include:

  • North – The Rev. Dale Stiles
  • North Central – Caryn & Jim Josephson
  • East Central – Jim Wolf
  • City (formerly South Central) – The Rev. Karsten Nelson
  • Southeast – Elizabeth Hendrickson
  • South – Birdie Olson
  • Others – Russ Hilliard & Jo Whiting


Travel Coordinators

Travel Coordinators tend to the details of BKB group travel, including reservations for lodging, safari, and ground transportation. Jan Sower continues in this role. Donna Kekich completed her five-year commitment, leaving an opening for a new volunteer. Travel groups are also supported by the work of synod staff member Leslie Ortiz, who tracks the flow of paperwork for each group.


Financial Coordinator

Financial Coordinator is a new volunteer position who assists congregations and cluster leaders by accessing, understanding, and troubleshooting financial reports. Got a question about the balance on your account, or whether money sent has already been spent? Bo Skillman is available to help; contact him at


Program Coordinators

Program Coordinators Astine and Ryan Bose are our eyes and ears, hands and feet, on the ground in Iringa. They work closely with Scholarship Clerk Frank Mkocha and BKB-DIRA Coordinator Pastor Jiskaka Lwila, managing transactions, facilitating companion communication, and monitoring ongoing projects. Soon, they will also be greeting and assisting travelers upon their arrival in Iringa.


For all the ways these individuals help us walk "bega kwa bega" with our companions in the Iringa Diocese, I am deeply grateful.


Asanteni sana,


Kirsten Levorson
Acting Director of Bega Kwa Bega