The Diocese of Tabora
“I want to bring you a great news from Tabora Diocese,” Rooted in Jesus coordinator Emmanuel Ruboye wrote to us in March. “When a first born is born it is a great pleasure – sometimes you won’t believe is that true the first has come? As we the diocesan leaders saw such great class get finished their first book, it was an unbelievable moment.” RinJ was introduced to the Diocese of Tabora last June (click here to find out more). Over the last few months, groups in Isevya, Kaliua and Goweko parishes have completed Book 1 and been presented with their certificates in Sunday services. Local coordinators have now been appointed, and the groups will move on to Book 2. The diocese was hoping to hold a follow-up conference this year, but resources are scarce so this has now been postponed to 2015. For Emmanuel’s full report click here.
The Diocese of Masasi
Meanwhile Revd Dr Linnet Smith, working as RinJ Link Officer in Arusha, visited the Diocese of Masasi, where RinJ and RinJ Junior have been in use since 2009 and 2010 respectively. Hosted by Canon James Almasi, Linnet visited a number of churches to see how things were going; she found joyful children’s groups and a new church plant which has come directly from Rooted in Jesus. She writes:
- Mkuti: a wonderful presentation by the children which uses Rooted in Jesus material. It included prayers led by the children (‘They learn to pray in their RinJ group’ said James!) a drama of the offering of Isaac, making a cross from a sheet of paper (as in Rooted in Jesus), the reciting of numerous memory verses and much singing.
- We visited Wapiwapi Church. The choir sang, an English hymn tune, unaccompanied, in the most beautiful four part harmony I have ever heard. Another wonderful presentation, more children leading us in prayer, another very moving drama by the children – the illustration from RinJ of crossing the river full of crocodiles and needing something to carry you over – I nearly wept with joy when the boy who was trying to cross found the boy taking the part of Jesus, knelt at his feet and then was carried safely over the river. What a powerful illustration! Singing and refreshments followed and another opportunity to speak some words of encouragement.
- Two Eucharists on Tuesday, both in village churches. The first, Nangose Church, is a direct result of Rooted in Jesus. An adult group was meeting there and they planted the Church in that community. What an encouragement. I preached there and, in the afternoon, at Lisekese, with James as my interpreter. There was a great sense of devotion and deep spirituality in both Eucharists.
- We were late arriving in Lindi but a Rooted in Jesus group had gathered in the church to greet us. Lindi is 95% Muslim so the Christians are a rather vulnerable minority. I asked them to share how RinJ had helped them – amazing answers were given: the Pastor said he need no longer worry about sending them to Bible School – Bible School had come to them in their group; one lady said that she was now reading her Bible every day and it was really helping her; another said that the memory verse and the studies were changing her so that even her neighbours had noticed she was different; another said that it was much easier to invite friends to a RinJ group than to church.
Linnet concludes: “How good to meet so many wonderful Christians and to see God at work!” To read her full report click here.
The Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro – Rooted in Jesus Junior
Finally, Linnet spent a day at Holy Trinity, Moshi, where she met about 60 children who have completed RinJ Book 1 and presented them with their certificates during the service. Coordinator Charles Unjiro reports that there are over 100 more children who who have also finished Book 1. Linnet writes: “I was able to give a short word of encouragement to them and to the whole congregation, and was so thrilled to see them stand up and recite the memory verses, complete with the most expressive actions – one verse refers to Jesus’ sheep going in and out and finding pasture – I wish you could have seen the action representing hungrily eating the food – I nearly cried for joy!!” To read more about Linnet’s visit to Moshi click here.
Posted 29th March 2014 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan