Our companion relationship enlarges our world view.
American Lutheran work began in 1922 when the Augustana Synod sent Ralph Hult to the former Tanganyika. During the following decades, many more Augustana missionaries arrived and served in central Tanganyika, in the area in and around Singida. Born in 1888, Pastor Hult grew up at Bethany Lutheran Church of Axtell, Nebraska.
The Northern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT-ND) is among the fastest growing Christian churches in the world. With over 400,000 members, the ELCT-ND is led by Bishop Dr. Fredrick Shoo and many fine diocese officers. The ELCT-ND reaches out to people in the Kilimanjaro region with education, health-care, programs for the physically disabled, and most importantly the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Northern Diocese and the Nebraska Synod share a relationship through the ELCA Companion Synod Program (www.elca.org/companionsynod), which continues to grow deeper. We continually work together to enable dozens of projects. A number of congregations in the Nebraska Synod enjoy a church- to-church relationship with a congregation in the Northern Diocese. In partnership with CHI (formerly Alegent) Health and Immanuel Communities, significant work continues in healthcare. Vision trips to Tanzania are hosted annually. Many Tanzanian visitors, including diocesan leaders, members of parishes, teachers, pastors and others, are welcomed to Nebraska routinely. These relationships are lived out in the lives of individuals, congregations, agencies and institutions of Christ’s Church. Through these relationships, we have nurtured and strengthened one another for life and mission within the Body of Christ.