Zoom-Zoom! Communication With Iringa

Date posted: Thursday 03 June 2021

Thanks to your generosity and the successful completion of the Reconnecting Appeal, we’ve been able to upgrade our laptop and improve internet connectivity in the BKB-SPAS and BKB-DIRA offices. Portable hotspots and mobile data service mean that the BKB team in Iringa is better equipped to help you connect with your companions half a world away. While domestic vaccinations and travel are picking up, we suspect that it’ll be some time before global conditions allow us to begin welcoming delegations in the ways that we might wish to. During this in-between time, communication that is both consistent and purposeful continues to be one of the best strategies for making sure this network of relationships remains both vibrant and strong.


With that in mind, here are three resources you can use to increase your communication game:


Communication Tips & Best Practices

Thanks to advances in technology, it is easier than ever to send a note to friends in far places. With more options comes greater complexity, so we’ve created this guide to help your sort out, strategize and expand the ways in which you communicate with your companions. Are the exchanges you are having formal or informal? What are the best channels for each? Is your storytelling a one-way street or two? When does the BKB team need to be cc’d and when doesn’t it? Take a look at the guide and let us know what is helpful and what might be expanded or improved in future editions.


Hosting Zoom Meetings in Iringa

In many of our homes and offices, 2020 was the year of learning to do all sorts of things by Zoom. In 2021, those lessons continue as the BKB team is now equipped to facilitate more videoconferences. For those times when you need to see each other face-to-face and talk in real time, we are here for you. That said, given time zones, schedules, and other logistical concerns, arranging these calls takes a fair amount of coordination and work.


Before reaching out to Ryan and Astine (begakwabega@yahoo.com) to help organize a call, be sure that you’ve done your own homework by answering the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the zoom meeting and topic of conversation?
  • Is this a conversation that needs to be had in real-time and face to face? Can you explore the same topics through the exchange of short video clips, voice recordings, email, or text messages?
  • Who is calling the meeting, setting the agenda, hosting the call, etc.?
  • Who will be present and/or should be invited?
  • Will translators be required?
  • When will the meeting take place and how long will it be? Be mindful of the difference in time zones (mornings in Minnesota are late afternoons in Tanzania) and different national holidays.
  • What travel and lodging arrangements will participants from Iringa need to make? Those with companions outside of Iringa may need to consider an allowance of up to $50/person to help cover round trip travel to town, meals, and lodging in the Lutheran Center or other guest house.
  • What is 'Plan B' in the event of internet connectivity issues?


Ambassador Visits

Beginning in July and continuing through the end of the year, the BKB Team in Iringa expects to be making Ambassador Visits on behalf of U.S. partners who are unable to visit their companions. During these visits, the BKB team takes a day trip to visit your partner parish and shares your letters, pictures, and videos with the pastor(s), partnership committee and other members. In turn, they receive a report from the parish, take pictures, and record videos to send back to you. It is the next best thing to being there yourself. If your congregation would like to be added to the 2021 list, send an email to peter.harrits@spas-elca.org or call him in the synod office at 651-224-4313.


Wondering which synod congregation is paired with which congregations in Iringa? Click here to see!