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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 Dee Nelson co-chair the Companion Congregation Program subcommittee of Outreach, Community and Mission. This past December, 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. We've 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." Please share in their experiences by reading their journals to be posted here soon! Also, please visit the links below to other related information about and to the companion congregation program.
Members of the Winter 2003 Trip
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.
Agano Kisoma Aladi Kasuga Anaino Kisoma Besta Ngeta Faila Kikoti Furahini Msuva Itwa Nyamba Levina Kifyasi Nikolaus Kasuga Onesko Kifyasi Onjeni Kifyasi Oscar Nzogela Sikieni Katindasa Tembea Ngeta