As this week's BKB Companion News Update lands in your inbox, three of our companions from the Iringa Diocese (DIRA) will be taking off at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam. Some 24 hours later they will land here, at MSP, for two weeks of teaching, learning, and sharing life together.
The delegation from the Iringa Diocese includes General Secretary Nayman Chavalla and his wife, Agnetha. With a laugh that is familiar to many who have traveled to Iringa and been greeted by him there, General Secretary Chavalla sits near the top of the DIRA org chart. His portfolio includes administrative oversight of all of the activities of the diocese and management of its secondary schools, health care system, and other service ministries. He and Agnetha have two children, Zion and Rose.
Another familiar face that will be with us is Tuti Mwakalindile, Manager of the Iringa Lutheran Center. This will be her first visit to the United States and we look forward to sharing with her the same kind of love and care that she expresses so freely to all who have had the privilege of staying at the Lutheran Center. In addition to her role there, Tuti also serves on DIRA's Companion Synod Committee. She and her husband, Isaya, have three grown sons, Bahati, Jeremiah, and Daniel.
The three are traveling to Minnesota at the invitation of the Iringa Committee. We believe that the practice of presence
is at its best when it is reciprocal. Their being here among us is a first step in our re-commitment to regularly invite and receive guests from Iringa. During their stay, they will travel the length and breadth of the Saint Paul Area Synod. From a dinner/craft/bake sale on election night at Fish Lake Lutheran
near Harris to preparing meals and joining in worship with Shobi's Table
on St. Paul's East Side, our guests will experience the diversity of our extended community of faith.
While their schedule is largely spoken for, there are a couple of public events that all are invited to. Please spread the word so that we can share a warm Minnesota welcome:
Bega Kwa Bega Fall Festival | Saturday, Nov 12th: 8:30am-12:30pm
This year's Great-BKB-Get-Together will be at Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church
. Tuti will share with us about hospitality from a Tanzanian perspective and General Secretary Chavalla will give a 'State of the Partnership' address on behalf of DIRA. In between sessions they will also be available for meeting and greeting.
| Monday, Nov 14th: Gather at 5:30pm; Meal at 6:00pm
Nothing says 'hospitality' in Minnesota quite like a potluck. Open to the whole BKB community, we'll celebrate our guests' last night with us and hear stories from their visit over food and fellowship at St. Mark's in North Saint Paul
. Bring a dish, dessert, or beverage to pass.
Finally, a word about funding: At this year's Fall Festival, the funds collected during the Offering/'Auction' will be used to cover the costs of this year's delegation and as seed money for future guests. We understand this act of presence to be an investment in the future of this partnership. The gift of travel enables leaders from Iringa to learn more about us and, just as important, it gives individuals and communities here that might never travel to Tanzania the opportunity to meet our global companions face-to-face. If the history of BKB teaches us anything it is that whenever two or more are gathered in Christ's name, amazing things happen...
And for all of this, we give thanks.
The Rev. Peter Harrits, Director of Bega Kwa Bega and Assistant to the Bishop