WIS Footsteps

News from the Western Iowa Synod Companion Synods Network

Step by Step · Paso y Paso · Hatua kwa Hatua


Issue #6, May 4, 2018

New Grants Will Make SACCOS Gifts
Count Even More 
Matching Funds Make Gifts Go Further
One of the most effective ways to help Tanzanian families improve their lives has just gotten better. The Western Iowa Synod recently received two grants that will match gifts made to support the creation of new community-based micro-financing groups in southern Tanzania.

For every $2 contributed another $1 will be added. A total of $15,000 in matching funds is available!
Faith Lutheran Church in Odebolt has given $5000 in matching funds for SACCOS. The remaining match comes from an anonymous congregant with long-time service to the Center for Agricultural Development and the SACCOS (Savings And Credit Co-Operative Societies) project.

“SACCOS membership, as a form of microfinance, is an avenue of hope for those with limited economic opportunity,” says Western Iowa Synod Bishop Rodger Prois. “All across the developing world, and now in the Southern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, access to credit in a well-controlled and accountable system has provided the financial leverage needed for individuals, mostly women, to improve their lifestyles and provide for their families. The gifts that make these matching grants possible are blessed offerings to join in partnership living out the Gospel. In our area, we would call it ‘seed money’.”

Most Tanzanians have little access to credit that would make it possible for them to adopt improved agricultural practices or begin or expand a small business. A SACCOS can provide a small, short-term loan that enables Tanzanians to invest in new opportunities.

The SACCOS groups have been successful because they require their members to have ‘skin in the game’ by investing their own savings to help provide capital for loans. SACCOS members are often able to collectively purchase quality inputs at a reduced cost. Most importantly, the loans give families the dignity of making their own decisions on how to use the loans and the resulting the profits.

The funds raised by WIS will finance the creation of new SACCOS groups in villages across southern Tanzania. The SACCOS that have already been organized have greatly proven their effectiveness! These loans enable individuals and families to increase their income, often tripling what they can earn and dramatically improving their standard of living. Profits most typically enhance family housing and nutrition, children’s education, community development and church tithing.

The WIS Companion Synod Network seeks to start at least 8 new SACCOS groups. Each group requires an initial investment of $8000 to register and supply the SACCOS, ongoing training for SACCOS leaders and to increase the amount of capital available for loans. Since the loans are repaid within three to six months, the pool of capital grows to make new loans on an ongoing basis—it is a WIN-WIN for everyone!

Individuals, church groups and congregations can all participate in the effort to create new SACCOS groups. Contributions to help can be made in several ways:

  • Send a contribution to WIS, 318 E 5th Street, Storm Lake, IA 50588 with “SACCOS Matching Gift” in the memo.

  • Make a donation on the  WIS website. Use this link to take you to the WIS donation page.

  • Or use the SACCOS Fundraising website to become a peer-to-peer fundraiser in order to increase the impact of your effort. Just click the SACCOS  Fundraising link and then choose the “Become A Fundraiser” button on the SACCOS site. Follow the easy steps to enable others you know to join in the effort to help Tanzanian families. For more information on how to become a fundraiser, take a look at the article and the video below.

By making your gift and/or becoming a fundraiser you can help make a tremendous difference in the lives of our sisters and brothers in Tanzania. Your gift will give glory to God!
One Woman's Story of How  a SACCOS  Loan Helped Her
 Anzetye Longo is a Tanzanian woman whose life has been changed. It happened when she became a member of the Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (SACCOS) that was organized in her village.

Anzetye is a 52-year old widow with 6 children and 10 grandchildren.  She has
been a member of her SACCOS since 2013 and has taken out many loans.  Her first loan was for $75 which she used to buy some kangas (a type of cloth) in Iringa to resell in her village of Ugesa.  She did well at this and has since borrowed to increase her stock, gradually building up her business.  She now has a duka (shop) where she sells kangas, pots and pans, and general household goods.  She has bought some land and is starting to build herself a larger shop.  So far she has invested $1,500 of her profits in her business which continues to grow.  This year she will probably earn over $1,000 from her shop. That's 2-3 times the median family income in her area!

The Companion Synod Network wants to establish at least 8 new SACCOS in southern Tanzania to make micro loans available to many more Tanzanians. You can help.

You can make your own gift to help start a SACCOS. Or you might make this a project for your family, your church group or your congregation. You could even become a fundraiser for the SACCOS project. It isn't as hard as you might think. The article below describe just how easy it can be.

You can make  a difference in the lives of Tanzanians who are working to improve life for themselves and their families. For more information about SACCOS and how you might help, click the button below. Whatever way you choose to help will truly be a God-pleasing gift!
SACCOS Information
(Click here for more information)
Its Easier Than You Think!
Once you’ve sent your first batch of emails out, it’s time to turn to social media. 
By now you have seen what an impact SACCOS can have on the lives of ordinary Tanzanians. A SACCOS micro loan can help them dramatically increase their family income and to improve their standard of living.

Maybe you have already made a gift to the Western Iowa Synod to help establish a new SACCOS in the Southern Diocese. Or perhaps you are considering such a gift.

Did you realize you can significantly increase your impact for this project by becoming a SACCOS fundraiser.
Many people have never thought of themselves as a fundraiser. Yet by participating in a crowdsourcing effort, you can raise a significant amount of money for a cause you believe in.

For instance, during our CSN Giving Tuesday, one individual sent emails to family and friends, telling them about SACCOS and asking them to consider making a gift. That one effort yielded over $1000 for the SACCOS project.

How do you do it? Simply click on the button at the end of this article. That will take you to the WIS SACCOS website. Just choose the become a fundraiser button there and follow the easy steps.

Here is what it takes to help raise funds for the SACCOS project:

Nobody likes to be first. That’s why it’s always a good idea to get your fundraising off to a good start by making the first contribution. This will make others more likely to get involved. 

We’ve put together an email template you can use right from your fundraising page. The most important thing you can add to this message is why you are fundraising. Let your family and friends know why this matters to you, that’s what they care about most! 

It’s always best to start by emailing your close contacts because they are the most likely to donate. Try sending some quick personal messages to your inner circle to build up some momentum. Then use the email template you customized to reach all of your other contacts.  
One of the best strategies to use on both Facebook and Twitter istagging and thanking people that have already donated while you are asking for new donations. This spreads your message further and lets the people you are asking know that people are already getting behind you.

Don’t hesitate to send a few follow up emails. Emails are easy to overlook and people often open them up quickly and then forget to go back to them. Use email to keep people up to date with your progress as you hit different milestones (50% raised, 75% raised, etc.) and ask supporters to help you hit the next milestone. 

Fundraising often takes a little creativity and persistence, but it’s vitally important to our mission and you can do it. Know that your effort will make a big difference!

SACCOS Information
(Click here for more information)
Click the image above to see a video describing how you can become a fundraiser for the SACCOS project. If anyone has questions about setting up a fundraising site, please contact Arlyn Norris-acwlnorris@gmail.com or 402-960-9044.
Synod Hosts Chilean Student This Summer
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile has chosen Sebastian Munoz Oyaryo, a 17 year old student who attends the Lutheran High School in Punta Arenas, to visit WIS this summer. He comes at the invitation of the Western Iowa Synod. He is a member of the Punta Arenas Lutheran Church and is active in the congregation's youth group.

Sebastian will travel here as a participant in the International Companion Program (ICP), a joint effort between the ELCA and its synods. ICP brings youth from companion synod
relationships to the National Youth Gathering and to individual synods to help deepen the partnerships between companion churches.   

Besides attending that national youth gathering with other WIS youth, Sebastian will participate in the WIS assembly, spend time in our bible camps, be in congregations on the weekends, and celebrate the 4th of the July with us!  This will be a very special time to impact faith and formation--for Sebastian and for all.  Be looking for opportunities to connect with him.

Other synods and companions participating in this opportunity include the Texas/Louisiana Synod and Peru, Metro Chicago Synod and the Central Diocese of South Africa, NE Iowa Synod and Namibia and Hungary, NW Ohio Synod and Serbia, Tanzania and Mexico, and Southern Ohio Synod and Brazil!
Tanzanian Pastor To Visit WIS Assembly
Synod Prepares To Welcome Southern Diocese Representative
Pastor Nordphrey Mlangali from the Southern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania is scheduled to attend the Western Iowa Synod assembly, June 8-10, in Sioux City.

Pr Mlangali has served as a pastor in the ELCT-SD since 2007. Besides working with several different congregations in the the Southern Diocese since his ordination, he currently serves as a member of the Diocese Executive Management team and the High Executive Council of the Southern Diocese.
Pr Mlangali is looking forward to representing his diocese at the WIS assembly. Besides bringing a greeting on behalf of SD Bishop Isaya Mengele to the assembly, Mlangali will also participate in two assembly forums. He looks forward to meeting assembly members and learning more about WIS.

At the present time, Pr Mlangali is completing work on a Master's degree in Congregational Mission and Leadership from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. He is scheduled to graduate in May. He and his wife is Sarah have three daughters, Kathryn(22), Gloria (15) and Preach (4).
Webster City Church Helps Provide Needed Equipment
Recently the Western Iowa Synod was able to work with Global Health Ministries of Minneapolis to arrange for a new shipment of medical supplies for Ilembula hospital in southern Tanzania. 

The shipment included six much needed oxygen concentrators that been

purchased with funds from Trinity Lutheran Church in Webster City.

Items that had been collected at the last Western Iowa Synod assembly such as newborn kits, hospice kits, wheelchairs, and many more vital supplies were also included in the shipment. 
Visit Helps Strengthen Companion Synod Ties
A team from the Western Iowa Synod returned from their trip to Chile with many powerful experiences to share.   The group of eleven travelers was hosted by our mission companion synod partner, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile (IELCH) Nov. 17-Dec. 4, 2017. 

Although there are only 10 congregations and four mission points in the IELCH, the impact of this church body reaches from the large capital city of Santiago to the southern-most tip of Chile on the Strait of Magellan. While there, the mission team was able to visit nearly all of the congregations and mission points, meet the pastors and lay people and share in worship and Bible studies.   

The IELCH provided the group with an emersion into their ministries in the areas of popular health education, schools, micro-enterprise, domestic violence, substance abuse awareness and prevention, disaster relief, and camping ministry.  Among the many highlights was the participation in a Women’s  March- “No Más Violencia” where the Iowan guests joined thousands of Chileans on the streets of Santiago in a peaceful, but passionate demonstration calling for “No More Violence” in an effort to end  discrimination and violence against women and to eliminate femicide. 

The IELCH is a voice of change for peace, human rights, justice and equality and the WIS walks together in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. 
The companion synod relationships with Chile and Tanzania belong to the whole Western Iowa Synod.  We encourage all to learn more about these dynamic church bodies and our companion relationships.  Many are willing to come and share with you—invite us!  We additionally encourage you to consider joining future pilgrimages to their place and to warmly receive and grow to know our companions when they are here in our midst.  The mutual leaning and blessings of our companion synod relationships can deepen the Christian journey for us all.

Those from Western Iowa  who traveled to Chile were:
 Bishop Rodger Prois (Storm Lake)  Chris Prois (Storm Lake) Roger Aegerter (Jefferson) Jan Rosdail-Aegerter (Jefferson) Kathy Leuwerke (Forest City) David Hickman (Cherokee) Rick Lampe (Storm Lake) Maxine Lampe (Storm Lake) Pr. Arlyn Norris (Carter Lake/Tucson) Cindy Wells (Storm Lake)

Paulina Dasse from the ELCA Global Mission department and a native of Punta Arenas, Chile also accompanied the group. ​​​​​​​
Travelers from Western Iowa joined with members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile in a march in Santiago protesting Violence against Woman. (Click the image above to see a video of the march.)
Woman from EPES (Popular Education for Health) have produce a music video that says 'No More Violence Against Women. (Click the image below to view the video)

Inspired by a vision of quality and fairness in health care for the poor, EPES  was founded in 1982, during Chile’s years of military dictatorship, as a project of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile(IELCH). Over the past 27 years, EPES has grown from a small emergency-response team to a leader of community mobilization for health services, awareness and empowerment. 
Western Iowa Synod,  318 E. 5th Street,  Storm Lake, IA 50588   Phone: 712-732-4968