A team led by Matthew Grayshon has just returned from the Diocese of Katanga, in the SE part of the DR Congo – a diocese the size of England, mostly remote and rural, and not far from areas of great instability and suffering. The team, whose members came from the UK, Tanzania, South Africa and Zambia, offered two conferences, one in Lubumbashi and one in the new missionary area of Kalemie. Commitment was high: in Lubumbashi the team walked into the prayer room to be greeted by four women whose undertaking was to pray for the conference: “We will be here all night.” And in Kalemie one priest arrived by bicycle, having taken 6 days to cover the 512 km from his home.
The first conference was hosted by Bishop Kasima Corneille, and the second by assistant Bishop Elisha Tendwa. 176 people were trained to lead RinJ groups, and the programme was launched with immediate effect. In Lubumbashi the time was well organised and the participants responsive; Stephane Makata was appointed coordinator – to read his report on the conference click here. In Kalemie, a remote area close to the Tanzanian border, the gathering was the first event held by Bishop Elisha in his future diocese, and an important time for him and his clergy and lay leaders as they set out markers for their future ministry together. The team were uplifted and inspired by the depth of the worship and the warmth of the welcome – due in part because they were the first foreign visitors since the wars. In both places the times of prayer and ministry were significant, with many touched in various ways. James Mayundo-Mulongo was appointed as the local coordinator.
Bishop Elisha wrote afterwards: “We would like to present our thanks to the management of Rooted in Jesus who released and sent you to come in Congo, and you were faithful and accepted; your faith and thirst to serve others brought you without fear. Prophet Ezekiel saw the valley of dry bones, so we were a valley of dry bones but now through RinJ team God breathed new life into a valley of dry bones, created waves of revival, waves of growth and spiritual life to His people in Congo.”
As for the team, they returned full of thanks and praise: “I felt we hardly needed an aeroplane, we should have been able to fly with our own wings we were so wonderfully supported in prayer”, Jean Hicks wrote. “I guess all in all I feel I’ve really grown spiritually through this and had a wonderful adventure along the way,” Dr Jenny Tait said. The final word goes to team leader Matthew Grayshon: “I am so grateful to the Lord for the privilege of bringing Rooted in Jesus to two church communities, not least the riches they have given me of resilient faith shining through after years of terrible events.”
To read Matthew’s full report click here.
Posted 29th March 2014 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan