Partnerships in Iringa, Tanzania

Watch this brief video to learn more about some of Incarnation’s shared projects in Tanzania!

Incarnation is one of many congregations in the Saint Paul Area Synod that partners with a congregations in the Iringa Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. “Bega kwa bega” is Kiswahili for “shoulder to shoulder”–a powerful image to shape our mission partnership with the people of Mkwawa and Kigamboni Lutheran Churches. Working bega kwa bega, side by side, with our brothers and sisters in Iringa, Tanzania makes us equal partners in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We pray for one another, learn from one another and are blessed by one another in Jesus’ name; we strengthen relationships with one another through shared practices of prayer, presence, and projects.

Visiting our Partners – Youth, Family and Adult Mission Trip to Iringa, Tanzania, June 15 – 30, 2019

Travel with others from Incarnation to Iringa, Tanzania to visit and interact with those of our partner congregations Mkwawa and Kigamboni Lutheran Churches, while also building relationships with each other. In addition to considerable time spent with Mkwawa and Kigamboni community members, the Incarnation group will likely visit the following places:

Huruma Center Orphanage to play with children
Lutangilo Secondary School to interact with students, some of whom are sponsored by Incarnation
Ilula Hospital to learn about health care in Iringa
University of Iringa to learn about post-secondary education
Ruaha National Park to experience a safari

These experiences will provide a wealth of opportunities for learning about daily life in Tanzania, which are only available to those who travel as ministry partners, not as tourist.  You are invited to experience the Africa no tourist ever sees on this trip!

12 travelers from the Incarnation community are needed to ensure this trip takes place. In addition, trip participants are expected to participate in bi-monthly pre-trip gatherings. The purpose of these gatherings are to get to know one another, learn about our partners in Tanzania, and learn about the cultural differences between life in Minnesota and life in Tanzania.

Youth who have completed 8th grade at the time of traveling may be a part of this trip without a parent. Minimum age for other children traveling is seven years old, with a parent.

A $500 non-refundable deposit holds your spot. Total cost is anticipated to be approximately $4500 per person. Funding-raising will be possible. For more information about this opportunity, read the trip Quick Facts or contact Kristin Bloxham or Becky Benson. Registration due date is September 24, 2018.

“Our trip to Tanzania included many opportunities to get acquainted with and to connect with church members and leaders. Pastor Frederika and I shared a bus ride ride to see Iringa University, a school founded by Incarnation members Arne and Mary Blomquist. On the trip, I learned about Frederika’s ministry, and she learned about my grand children.” – Candace Gruman, 2016 Incarnation delegation to Tanzania.

Education Sponsorships

Secondary school can cost as much as a year’s average wage in Tanzania so help is needed to provide the opportunity for the youth to attend secondary school. Providing a secondary school education to Mkwawa and Kigamboni Lutheran Church youth opens doors for the student and for the sponsor as students receive an education and sponsors enlarge their families! People of Incarnation currently sponsor over 35 secondary students from our partner congregations. Most are funded by gifts from private individuals or families. $400 is the approximate amount to support a secondary student through a year of education. Read some student thank you letters.

In addition, Incarnation helps to support teacher training and capital projects within secondary schools and post-secondary education of students within the Iringa Diocese through donations that are made by this faith community.

“Just a kid, born from a poor family and living my dreams….all I can say is THANK YOU GOD and my parents, my sponsors from Incarnation and all my friends for always being a part of my life!!” – Samuel Lungo, member of Mkwawa Lutheran Church

To help sponsor secondary students and other educational initiatives, make a secure online donation through Incarnation’s site, drop off a check at the Incarnation Office, or learn more by contacting Becky Benson.

Incarnation’s Companion Congregations

Mkwawa Lutheran Church

Incarnation and Mkwawa have been companion congregations since 2000. Mkwawa’s primary building is on the outskirts of Iringa town. Like Incarnation, Mkwawa is a large “suburban” congregation, and the building has the space for 1,200 people to worship at one service.

In addition to the Mkwawa building, two sites on the outskirts of town are also part of Mkwawa Lutheran Church. An Evangelist, who leads worship and teaches Christian education, staffs each of these locations.

“The old and the new! The African drums played with every anthem and hymn, and a keyboard with (very large speakers) as well.” – Johanna Pokorny, 2016 Incarnation delegation to Tanzania

Kigamboni Lutheran Church

In 2012, Kigamboni Lutheran Church, which had previously been a part of Mkwawa, became a separate congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. This church worships about 200 people each week. Incarnation youth who participated in the 2002 mission trip to Tanzania helped to clear a corn field so the congregation could build this worship space. Like, Mkwawa, Kigamboni Lutheran Church has an additional site called Mawhelewhele. The people of Kigamboni are currently buying property where a building for Mawhelewhele will be located.

“No staid Scandinavians here! There’s clapping, swaying, and even dancing down the aisle to give the offering. Even we staid Scandinavians clapped, swayed, and danced.” – Sue Nelson, 2016 Incarnation delegation to Tanzania

Partnering with the Iringa Diocese

There are a number of ways in which individuals can support the Iringa Diocese through the St Paul Area Synod’s Bega Kwa Bega arm, beyond what’s detailed on this page. Learn more about those additional opportunities on the Saint Paul Area Synod’s Bega Kwa Bega page and here.

Questions about Incarnation’s Tanzania Ministry Partners? Contact Becky Benson.

 

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