The World is About to Turn

Date posted: Wednesday 30 December 2020

My soul cries out with a joyful shout that the God of my heart is great,
And my spirit sings of the wondrous things that you bring to the ones who wait.
You fixed your sight on your servant's plight and my weakness you did not spurn,
So from east to west shall my name be blest, Could the world be about to turn?
My heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the fires of your justice burn.
Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn!
Canticle of the Turning by Rory Cooney

© 1990, GIA Publications, Inc., All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A-737587

Just one year ago Bega Kwa Bega was celebrating the completion of the roof for the multipurpose building at Mtera Secondary School, engineering students and a group of doctors were on their way to Tanzania with a dozen other travel groups planning their trips, and all seemed well in this companionship. We had just spent a year developing a new strategic plan and were eager to implement it.


Then our Tanzanian friends experienced heavy rains, washed out bridges, damaged crops. Then followed a global pandemic, travel restrictions, a nationwide reckoning with racial injustice and a bitterly divisive political season. Cancelled plans, work from home, economic challenges, unbelievable sickness and death.


Has there been another year when we have so longed for its end, and the beginning of the next?


With the approval of vaccines in recent weeks, we have hope that the end is in sight for this pandemic and our time of shelter. Finally, the world is about to turn!


But not quite yet.


As we wait, we maintain our thankfulness for all that is good in this moment. We have been buoyed in spirit by the prayers of our Tanzanian brothers and sisters in Christ throughout this long year. During this time apart, they have sent fervent prayers for our well-being. “May God cover you and hide you from the virus.” “May God build a fortress around you and protect you.”


We have seen individuals offer their time and expertise for this ministry. Our first virtual Fall Festival and worship service were made available because of dozens of people who stepped up for video recording, editing, hosting, and planning tasks.


We have seen congregations and affiliate partners continue their work with partners, sending funding for projects and maintaining pledges for scholarships so that all sponsored students can remain in school in the coming year.


We’ve seen personnel transitions go well. We’re grateful for Program Director April Trout’s three years in Iringa, and her willingness to extend her stay another two months. We’re grateful for an Executive Committee and BKB Director who met twice as often as usual in order to monitor finances, set travel guidelines, and revise plans as needed. We’re grateful for the dedicated professionalism of synod finance officers Greg Triplett and David Roinas. We’re grateful for Bishop Lull’s leadership and engagement on several key issues. We’re grateful for those who have taken on tasks during parental leave for our BKB Director, the Rev. Peter Harrits.


Ryan & Astine BoseNew BKB Program Coordinators

As we look to the world’s turning, and the hope of a healthy new year, where travel and handshakes and hugs will be possible once more, we are delighted to introduce you to Ryan and Astine Bose, our next Program Coordinators. We had hoped to deploy them to our Iringa office in August, and then in October, but have followed the lead of ELCA Global Mission and decided to wait for the vaccines that are now becoming available. Ryan and Astine started working behind the scenes in November, and will play a larger role in the coming months, monitoring transactions and responding to email at


In their own words:

Greetings! Astine and I are honored to fill the role of BKB Program Coordinators in Iringa, Tanzania, and we look forward to continuing the amazing relationship between the Saint Paul Area Synod and the Iringa Diocese. I come having served as one of the first YAGM's in Rwanda between 2014 and 2015 and my wife, Astine, with a Masters Degree in Architecture and professional experience as a project manager. We both grew up near the small town of Kensington, in north central Kansas, and are currently enjoying some much needed time with our families before embarking on this new journey.

Grace and Peace,
Ryan and Astine Bose

Please give Ryan and Astine a warm welcome when you get a chance. And let’s sing once more:

My heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the fires of your justice burn.
Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn!


Heri ya mwaka mpya! Happy New Year!


Kirsten Levorson
Chair, SPAS Iringa Committee