Thank you for your interest and support of the Companion Congregation Program.
Arlington Hills Lutheran Church has a companion congregation in Tanzania, Africa - Idegenda Lutheran Church.
The Idegenda Lutheran Parish (or church) is located on mountain peaks in the southwestern part of the Iringa Diocese
which is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT). In November 2001, Arlington Hills Lutheran Church
began partnering with Idegenda Parish in the Iringa Diocese of Tanzania.|
The area of Idegenda is reached by traveling on poorly maintained dirt roads and has no electricity or indoor plumbing. Most of the church's members are farmers raising maize (corn), peas, beans, pears and cabbage. The pastor of Idegenda Lutheran Church is Peter Kikoti. He works with three evangelists (Aleny Mtenga, Apollo Kahise, and Estony Kisoma), who each manage a preaching point (Isanga, Idegenda, and Kisutumbi) when the pastor is not there. Each preaching point has a recently constructed church building. The buildings are made of bricks which are made by the members and covered with a tin roof. The preaching points are about 3-4 miles apart or one hour walking distance apart.
Jon Helgason and DeeAnne Nelson co-chair the Companion Congregation Program subcommittee of Outreach, Community and Mission. In December 2002, the subcommittee decided a personal visit would help them understand the our companion congregation better. Five members of the subcommittee visited the congregation in late February thru March 2003. They returned, convinced that the Lutheran Church in Tanzania and in America are strong in Faith, supportive and nurturing of one another. "Bega Kwa Bega" or Shoulder to Shoulder is the basis for this ELCA-ELCT program. It is appropriate and it works. We are different people from extremely different cultures, living on two distinct continents. We are one people in our Christian faith. We are, "One in the Spirit." Also, please visit the links below to other related information about and to the companion congregation program.
Members of the Winter 2003 Trip:
Arlington Hills Lutheran Church