While 2020 was a year of learning to be together and apart with our global companions in the ELCT Iringa Diocese, 2021 is shaping up to be a year to reconnect in new and exciting ways.
We look forward to placing a new team of coordinators in Iringa to be our hands and feet and equipping them with adequate technology to open up new lines of communication as global travel remains a challenge for so many. We celebrate the growth of God’s church in Tanzania and desire to faithfully accompany all of our companions there. We are grateful for the long history of this relationship and are thrilled about what God has in store for all of us.
The future of BKB is bright. To get there, however, we need a little help now – especially with an extended downturn in travel and the related loss of income for the next fiscal year. Leaning into that challenge, together, we are launching this ‘Reconnecting Appeal’ with the aim of raising $50,000 between now and the end of April 2021.
Gifts of all sizes, from individuals and organizations alike, will enable us first to reconnect in person, then empower us to connect with an ever-growing church, and, finally, ensure our ability to live into our collective future. For more information about the journey ahead and to make a contribution, please see the detailed information below. For a downloadable PDF you can print or share with others, click here.
Mungu awabariki. God bless you all.
The Rev. Peter Harrits, Director of Bega Kwa Bega
To give online, click the button below. Enter the amount of your gift on the ‘BKB Support’ line and include ‘Reconnecting Appeal’ on the memo line. One-time and recurring gifts are both welcome. To give by check, mail to Saint Paul Area Synod, PO Box 64689, St. Paul, MN 55164-0689. Include ‘BKB Reconnecting Appeal’ on the memo line.
#1 - Raising $20,000 will enable us to CONNECT IN PERSON.
Physical presence, walking side-by-side and face-to-face has been a hallmark of this relationship for the past 30 years. Our top priority is ensuring we have adequate financial and technological resources in place for those who will serve in Iringa as our representatives–be our hands and our feet–while global travel remains limited for the foreseeable future.
This amount will cover: mission personnel support for the BKB program coordinators ($11,000), computer and technological upgrades in our Iringa Office to improve digital communications ($5,000) and airfare for BKB ambassadors ($4,000).
#2 - Raising an additional $30,000 will empower us to better CONNECT WITH A GROWING CHURCH.
Even as the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed life as we know it to a crawl, God’s church continues to grow, and the Iringa Diocese is no exception…adding 15 new congregations in 2020 alone! Once we’re back on the ground, our intent is to follow through on our commitment to accompany all of the people of the Iringa Diocese–not just those privileged to have a companion congregation–in their education and development.
This $30,000 will be directed to diocese-wide initiatives that include scholarship equity funding for secondary students from unpartnered congregations ($15,000) and post-secondary scholarships for pastors, teachers, medical professionals, and others pursuing advanced areas of study ($15,000).
#3 - Raising funds beyond $50,000 will enable us to ensure our ability to CONNECT WITH THE FUTURE.
The Bega Kwa Bega Endowment Fund was established in 2018 in order to strengthen and extend God’s mission through collaborative initiatives of the Saint Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Iringa Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT).
Funds from the endowment allow us experiment, innovate and provide direct lines of support to projects and initiatives aligned with the mission, vision, values and future directions of BKB. Already, grants have been used to purchase braille machines for visually impaired students, equip U.S. congregations as they engage in this ministry, and support the work of our affiliated partners. As the endowment grows, so too does our ability to dream and act boldly.