Bega Kwa Bega is a Swahili phrased to describe the Saint Paul Area Synod’s (spas-elca.org) relationship with the Iringa Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT). In English, the phrase means ‘shoulder to shoulder’. The phrase is a way of describing the way we walk with each other in a spirit of accompaniment that includes mutuality, inclusivity, and vulnerability.
(You can learn more about how all the congregations of the Saint Paul Area Synod seek to work together to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to extend Christian hospitality, and to strengthen relationships with one another through the shared practices of prayer, presence, and projects.)
Bega Kwa Bega at Our Saviour’s
As part of the Bega Kwa Bega companion synod relationship Our Saviour’s has been an active participant with our sister congregations of Ilambilole and Ihominyi.
For many years a team from Our Saviour’s visited our sister congregations every two years as a way of building and strengthening the relationship. As a result of our strengthened relationship, Our Saviour’s has:
- sponsored hundreds of students providing funding secondary education,
- sponsored numerous students providing funding for post-secondary education,
- sponsored a seminary student to become a pastor,
- built a kindergarten,
- built and equipped a trade school,
- provided agricultural equipment and supplies,
- provided food supplies during a time of famine,
- assisted with providing solar electricity equipment and installation,
- provided facility improvements for worship facilities,
- provided funding for agricultural training and development in coordination with the University of MN and Iringa University
- provided funding to dig wells and repair water supply to our sister congregations through St. Paul Partners. 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. Looking toward sustainability, recipients of wells are trained in the fundamentals of water, sanitation, and hygiene as well. For more information, visit stpaulpartners.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- provided funding through Iringa Hope to raise the standard of living in rural Tanzania. Working through the Micro-Finance Institute at the University of Iringa Hope provides small loans to farmers and shop- keepers by way of Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS) and Agriculture Marketing Cooperatives (AMCOS). For more information, visit iringahope1.org or contact Dr. Tom Hendrickson
- partnered with Shoulder to Shoulder in contributing funding for the development of Ilula Lutheran Hospital, provided scholarships for training nurses at a new nursing school, provided medical equipment and supplies for the dispensaries in Ilambilole and Ihominyi 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 ilulahealth.org or contact Dr. Ken Olson.