Undertaken together, projects are the third pillar of our relationship with the Iringa Diocese. Working with one another to achieve shared goals is fundamental to building and strengthening relationships between individuals and communities. Through Bega Kwa Bega companion congregations have pursued a variety of initiatives, all with an eye to proclaiming God’s presence in both word and deed.


Projects have played an important role in the growth of the Bega Kwa Bega companion synod relationship and will continue to do so well into the future. From the construction of a university and secondary school student sponsorships to healthcare and economic development, Saint Paul Area Synod congregations have pursued a variety of projects with their companions, all with an eye to proclaiming God’s presence in both word and deed. To help you and your congregation pursue projects we’ve compiled the following list of resources. As always, contact your Cluster Leader or email for advice and guidance prior to starting work.


Saint Paul Area Synod/DIRA Directed Projects

Working in close cooperation, leaders from the Saint Paul Area Synod and Iringa Diocese directly implement a handful of programs that focus on evangelism, education, and the economic development of the Diocese. To learn more about these, email


Church Growth: From 24 congregations in 1988 to 105 in 2019, the Lutheran Church in Iringa is growing. Through parish building projects, theological education, and the acquisition of bicycles and motorbikes, companion congregations are working together to spread the presence of Christ’s church.


Secondary Scholarships: With financial support from Saint Paul congregations and personal support from Iringa congregations, together we support more than 1100 students in secondary school each year.


School Support: The Bega Kwa Bega relationship traces its roots back to the formation of the University of Iringa (formerly Tumaini University – Iringa). Since then, developing the educational infrastructure of the Iringa Diocese has been a priority for both partners. From construction projects at the university and secondary schools to village libraries and teacher training events, congregations have found many ways to collaborate.


The Iringa Lutheran Center: Jointly managed and operated by the Iringa Diocese and Saint Paul Area Synod, the Iringa Lutheran Center was originally built to give Diocese guests a safe and clean place to stay in Iringa. With recent upgrades it is now the guesthouse of choice for many visitors from Saint Paul and other travelers. Profits from the center directly support the operations of the Iringa Diocese.


BKB Affiliates

As the Bega Kwa Bega partnership has matured, a network of organizations has developed along side us. Administratively and fiscally independent, these ‘afffiliated’ organizations are operationally and relationally interdependent, sharing our mission and values, working in collaboration with both the Saint Paul Area Synod and Iringa Diocese to support life, education, health, and economic conditions within the Iringa Region of Tanzania. To learn more about them, see their contact information below.


Day of Grace (Healthcare, Wellness) Through day-long seminars and workshops, Day of Grace teaches pastors, evangelists, leaders, and their spouses about proper health care, wellness, and stress management. For more information, contact Pastor Tom and Beth Hansen.


Iringa Hope (Micro-Finance, Economic Development, Agriculture) Dedicated to raising the standard of living in rural Tanzania, Iringa Hope works through the Micro-Finance Institute at the University of Iringa to loans small amounts of money to farmers and shopkeepers by way of Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS) and Agriculture Marketing Cooperatives (AMCOS). For more information, visit or contact Norm Siekman.


Millions of Trees (Reforestation, Economic Development) “Planting trees is really about planting hope.” By planting millions of trees across the Iringa Region, barren hills are being reforested with a renewable resource that, when harvested, will support the economic well being of our companions for years to come. For more information, contact Pastor Kent Claussen Gubrud.


Radio Furaha (Evangelism, Education) Broadcasting around the clock, Radio Furaha is a self-supporting FM radio station run by the Iringa Diocese. With financial contributions and technical assistance from the United States, they hope to expand their programming of music, evangelism, and education to neighboring parts of Tanzania. The station celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2020; you can read about its history here. For more information, contact Noel Petit.


Shoulder to Shoulder (Healthcare, Education) From the development of Ilula Lutheran Hospital to the construction of village dispensaries and the creation of a new nursing school, Shoulder to Shoulder works with the Medical Team of the Iringa Diocese to upgrade Lutheran medical facilities across the region. For more information, visit or contact Dr. Ken Olson.


St. Paul Partners (Water, Health & Hygiene) To date, St. Paul Partners has worked with companions in Tanzania to dig more than 100 fresh water wells across the Iringa region, improving the health and livelihoods of thousands. With an eye to sustainability, recipients of wells are trained in the fundamentals of water, sanitation, and hygiene as well. For more information, visit or contact


Friends of Huruma (Children, Social Services) The purpose of Friends of Huruma is to care for the children of the Huruma Centre, a Children’s Home operated by the Iringa Diocese, through mutual relationship, prayer, financial support, and programs that enrich the lives of the children and keep supporters of the Centre informed about this important ministry. In partnership with the leadership of the diocese and the Huruma Centre, Friends of Huruma has five goals: sustainable operational support, secondary school, university and vocational training scholarships, essential health care, collaboration with international mission partners, and capital development. For more information, contact Pastor Chris Smith.


Friends of the University of Iringa (University Education) The University of Iringa is owned and governed by the Iringa Diocese. The University was founded and financially supported by churches in the Saint Paul Area Synod in 1993.
The purpose of Friends of the University of Iringa is to provide financial assistance to students and to help the university with other projects or equipment that are identified by the administration. For more information, contact the Rev. Gary Langness.


Additional Resources

Additional organizations that Saint Paul Area Synod congregations and affiliated organizations have collaborated with include:


Do you have an organization that you and your companion have successfully worked with? Email to let us know all about them!


Recommended Reading

Interested in reading about foreign aid and international development? Check out these highly recommended readings. Have a favorite book or resource to recommend? Email with the details.


  • The End of Poverty, Jeffrey Sachs, 2006
  • The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good, William Easterly, 2007.
  • Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa, Dambisa Moyo, 2010.
  • When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . And Yourself, Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert 2014
  • The Bright Continent: Breaking Rules and Making Change In Modern Africa, Dayo Olopade, 2014