Raise the Roof

Date posted: Friday 25 January 2019

The enthusiasm of the students who the BKB team in Iringa has encountered this week has been beyond description. Making our semi-annual trek across the diocese from the mountains of Lutangilo and the forests of Pommern to the rolling hills of Ipalamwa and the Great Rift Valley near Mtera, we've seen scout troops marching, marveled at acrobats leaping, and joined throngs of students in traditional dancing. Each day has been more astounding than the last.


While these performances are incredible in their own right, what makes them all the more powerful is the dedication and enthusiasm of the students and staff that they reveal. These are kids who take delight in studying hard and playing hard. These are teachers and administrators who devote themselves to the wellbeing and advancement of their pupils. These are people who love their schools and cherish the opportunities for the learning, growing, and dreaming that they provide.


And we are privileged to walk beside them.


During our visit to Lutangilo, Headmaster Sebastian Chaula sat with us in one of the nearly-complete laboratories that we helped to fund. With light reflecting off of the newly-tiled lab tables, he spoke with wonder and gratitude about what we have accomplished together. This is a room where future scientists, doctors, and technicians will be formed... This is only the beginning.


North of Iringa, near the hydroelectric dam that provides power to much of the region, lies Mtera Secondary School. Perhaps the most remote of the Diocese Schools, it is in an environment unlike any of the others. It is hot, dusty, and arid for much of the year. Like the other schools, this is a place where dreams are born. Here, too, we've been invited to join in their dreaming.


This spring, congregations and individuals across the Saint Paul Area Synod are invited to walk, work, dance, and dream beside the students and staff of Mtera as they seek to 'Raise the Roof' on a new multipurpose hall. With a foundation already set and walls already made, we are asked to help raise funds for a roof that will allow the entire student body to finally be able to gather in one place in the shade. Working together, creatively and cooperatively, we believe we can succeed.


How will we do this? We're asking congregations and their youth programs, Sunday Schools, and other groups to help purchase the 1100 Iron Sheets that are needed. With a cost of $15 per sheet (inclusive of labor and other parts) we'll easily be able to raise the $16,000 that is needed. How many sheets can you or your congregation buy? For more information about the school, the building, and fundraising ideas please see the attached project guide.


With excitement and gratitude,



The Rev. Peter Harrits

Director of Bega Kwa Bega and Assistant to the Bishop