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Arlington Hills Lutheran Church - A Community Beacon of Hope!

1115 Greenbrier Street St. Paul, MN, 55106         Tel: 651-771-5501
COMPANION CONGREGATION - Idegenda, Tanzania, Africa

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.

Tanzania Map

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:
  • DeeAnne Nelson
  • Bob Nelson
  • Jon Helgason
  • Karen Helgason
  • Katie Helgason

    In March of 2004 two members from our congregation visited our companion congregation in Idegenda, Tanzania, Africa.

    Members of the March 2004 Trip

    • Carol Hansen
    • Don Gritzmaker


    In October of 2009 five members from our congregation, plus one friend,  visited our companion congregation in Idegenda, Tanzania, Africa.

    Members of the October 2009 Trip

    • Pastor Roger Allmendinger
    • Diane Allmendinger
    • Stephanie LaSalle
    • Roxanne Larsen
    • JoAnn Jones

    Arlington Hills Lutheran Church sponsors the 14 Tanzanian students pictured below. Click on the photos below to see a larger picture of the student.

    photo of Agano Kisoma photo of Aladi Kasuga
     photo of Anaino Kisoma  photo of Besta Ngeta
     photo of Faila Kikoti  photo of Furahini Msuva
     photo of Itwa Nyamba  photo of Levina Kifyasi
     photo of Nikolaus Kasuga  photo of Onesko Kifyasi
     photo of Onjeni Kifyasi  photo of Oscar Nzogela
     photo of Sikieni Katindasa  photo of Tembea Ngeta




    Arlington Hills Lutheran Church