Last month the BKB team in Iringa traveled to each of the six secondary schools of the Iringa Diocese to meet with students who have been sponsored through the Bega Kwa Bega companion synod relationship. The visits also allowed them to connect with headmasters and other staff members at each school. Like the students, their families, and their home congregations, these leaders also express gratitude for the support that comes from the people of the Saint Paul Area Synod. Here's what the team heard...
Pommern Secondary School:
Welcome! This is the oldest school owned by the Iringa Diocese... We are glad to have students from BKB because we know many families have financial struggles. With scholarships we know we can get fees for these students paid on time...
We are privileged to have BKB students. I tell them to work hard and they are improving. For example, the BKB form six students all represented well. All BKB students in the national exam got division one or two (the highest marks) except for one student with division three. Overall, our school ranked 1st in the district, 1st in the region, and 49th in the nation.
We will celebrate that accomplishment for a while but then continue to work very hard. There are so many challenges but when we get the opportunity we do what we can...
Last year we connected to the national electric grid - it made a very big difference. A donation from Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Maplewood helped make that happen. We will never forget this.
Mtera Secondary School:
On behalf of the administration and staff at Mtera Secondary School, we also convey our gratitude. I know these students - they come from areas where they wouldn't go to school at all except for you. This is the most important thing in their life. We join them in saying 'Thank You.'
[We tell the students,] "these visitors told us they represent others who are praying for you. You can pray for them also. You should mention them in your prayers every day. Also let us work hard to take advantage of this golden chance to prepare you for your future life. The money your sponsors share isn't given from their leftovers, rather it is taken from important things and given to you by love."
Take our thanks to your leaders and to all the congregations in the Saint Paul Area Synod.
Words similar to these were shared at each of the other four schools as well. Overall the message is clear... Scholarships make a difference and there is much to be thankful for. Bwana Yesu Asifiwe! (Lord Jesus be praised!)
The Rev. Peter Harrits
Director of Bega Kwa Bega, Assistant to the Bishop