The Gift of Presence
For nearly two weeks, those of us in the Saint Paul Area Synod have been blessed by the presence of ou[...]
This week, 60 (mostly) young adults met with the seven-member Post-Secondary Scholarship Review board to talk about the ambitions that drive them to pursue further studies and the challenges they face along the way. Representing 47 parishes and institutions from across the Iringa Diocese, they sought to pursue advanced education (diplomas through master's) in fields ranging from education and clinical medicine to information technology and hydrology.
Over the course of two days, the review board sat and listened and then, thanks to the generosity of congregations and individuals across the Saint Paul Area Synod, we were able to award $26,000 in scholarship support this year. Using the Diocese’s mission to “transform communities spiritually, mentally, and physically with the Gospel of Jesus Christ” as a guide, awards were made as followed:
Among the new students receiving support through BKB, seven are women and six are men. With the Iringa Diocese anticipating a need for more staff in its network of dispensaries, medical studies were a high priority area this year. Half of all new students receiving awards are studying nursing with others seeking training as counselors, clinical officers, and medical doctors. Still others are pursuing engi-neering, community development, and business administration. Most will go to school in the Iringa Region or Dar es Salaam. When they complete their studies in one to three years, these are individuals who, through their different vocations, promise to bring new life, healing, and hope to the communities and country that they call home. It is a privilege to walk beside them – Bwana Yesu Asifiwe! Lord Jesus, Be Praised!
While grateful for the opportunity to assist as many as we have, there is an opportunity to do more. The review board has identified an additional 10 students who merit immediate assistance; with just $7,000 in additional contributions, they, too, could continue in school. These six women and four men intend to be educators, medical practitioners, and technical experts. Each has exhibited persistence in the face of challenges and a tenacious desire to transform the world around them. Each warrants prayer and consideration as they wonder “what next” or “how.” Each would welcome the gracious gift of our support.
And so, we ask you to consider digging deep...to review your scholarship account balances and the interior of your heart...to see if there’s some way we can rally together and set these leaders up for success when their new school year begins on October 1. Mungu akipenda… If God pleases, of course.
Congregations and individuals who are so moved can contribute to this stretch goal by contacting Greg Triplett in the Saint Paul Area Synod Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) before the end of September. Transfers from existing scholarship accounts, new gifts, and online contributions are all welcome and should be designated ‘Post-Secondary Stretch Goal.’ On behalf of the review board and all of the students we met with, thank you for your prayerful consideration.
With joy and gratitude,
The Rev. Peter Harrits
Director of Bega Kwa Bega and Assistant to the Bishop