Monthly Archives: August 2014

Rooted in Jesus conferences in Rwanda and Burundi

Rooted in Jesus was introduced to the Diocese of Kigali in Rwanda in 2013, and a team led by Ven Kevin Roberts returned to Kigali in July at the invitation of Bishop Louis Muvunyi to lead a further conference with the dual aim of supporting existing leaders and extending the programme by training new leaders.

Young leaders in Kigali

Young leaders in Kigali

Kevin writes: “It was encouraging to meet with leaders of Rooted in Jesus groups set up after last year’s Conference, to hear news and testimony and to get some helpful feedback on what has gone well and what the difficulties have been. The participants engaged enthusiastically with the Conference programme and were receptive to the teaching and in the ministry times. To say that the worship was ‘lively’ would be an understatement! I have rarely seen such energy and passion in the worship of God. It would be easy to interpret this in purely cultural or generational terms, but we sensed that within it something deep and real was happening that spoke of a profound openness to God and to the work of His Spirit.

We were privileged to once again minister into pain associated with childhood experiences in the 1994 genocide, and to hear testimony to changed lives and physical and emotional healing. We came away with a sense of hope for the church’s future in Rwanda and of the importance of investing in the lives of the young, both for their present influence in the church and their potential as its future leaders. The messianic phrase in Isaiah 11 that “a little child shall lead them” took on a fresh meaning for me as I reflected on the role of the young in the Rwandan church.”

The team then moved on, at the invitation of the recently appointed Bishop Paisible Ndacayisba, to the Diocese of Muyinga in Burundi, where the conference was attended by 78 people, a mixture of pastors, evangelists, MU Leaders and Youth Leaders from the 13 parishes in the diocese.

Participants at the conference in Muyinga

Participants at the conference in Muyinga

Kevin reflects: “The conference went very well, with a serious engagement with the programme and, through the four days of the conference, an increasing openness to the active work of the Spirit amongst us. Our teaching on the healing ministry appeared to be new to many of the participants, and was given added credibility by the testimonies to healing received over the four days of the conference. We were aware of God touching many lives and freeing people up in the worship, so were not surprised when the bishop commented to us after the commissioning service that “these are changed people”. This reinforces my sense that the times of worship and ministry (and modelling a sensitivity to the Spirit’s promptings) are as significant on the conferences in enthusing participants about holistic discipleship as the more inductive elements of the programme. “you have been yourselves and come as people rooted in Jesus” was a bit of feedback we received that I shall treasure.”

Kevin was working with Steve Muneza, Dr Sarah Richardson, Revd Clive Devonish and Deb Price, and with local coordinators Manasseh Tuyizere and Elisha Academy. It was Clive’s first RinJ trip, and he wrote afterwards: “The conference was exceptional and I believe the candidates received through the teaching and workshops an impartation of love, encouragement and spiritual gifting. I found the visit both challenging and rewarding.  The conference exceeded my expectations as I saw people’s lives changed as they met with Holy Spirit. The delegates saw and experienced the physical, spiritual and mental healing of many people. My experience in Africa will have a positive long lasting impact on my ministry in the UK. The emotional experience that I encountered was enormous – especially in Rwanda – it certainly has impacted my life. I thank God for His Holy presence throughout the conference.”

To read Kevin’s full report click here.

News from Tanzania

Four diocesan conferences have been held in Tanzania in the last few months : follow-up conferences in the dioceses of Southern Highlands and Kibondo, and introductory conferences in the dioceses of Lake Rukwa and Rorya. The teams were led by regional coordinators Canon Jacob Robert and Canon James Almasi, with Revd Charles Unjiro and Revd Dr LInnet Smith.


Dioceses of Tanzania – those using RinJ coloured green

In Lake Rukwa, a new and as yet under-resourced diocese, James Almasi reports that participants had travelled for up to two days to reach the conference. Bishop Matthew Kasagara ‘is there to serve and not to be served’ – and affirmed his commitment to Rooted in Jesus by suggesting that any pastor not wishing to start a group should return his ordination certificate! To read James’s full report click here.

In Rorya, a small diocese recently carved out of the Diocese of Mara and located in the far north of the country, 38 people were trained to lead groups. Bishop John Adiema was present throughout the conference, and appointed an experienced pastor, Tom Lando, as coordinator; good plans have been made for the support and accountability of the new group leaders. To read Jacob’s report click here.

In Southern Highlands progress had been poor since the initial conference a year ago, seemingly due to the inactivity of the coordinator. But in Kibondo feedback was good; participants reported that group members are now able to preach, to pray for the sick, and to read the Bible by themselves. Bishop Sospeter Ndenza also wrote that “We have new believers through Rooted in Jesus. We really thank God for the new lives and all who are doing the good work for him.”

Participants in Kibondo with their books

Participants in Kibondo with their books

Meanwhile Linnet Smith, on secondment from the UK to Arusha, has been able to visit the Diocese of Kiteto, where coordinator Joseph Mangugi says there are many groups across the diocese. He is preparing to give book certificates to those who have recently completed books. Linnet writes:

“Thank you for your prayers once again. The Bishop of Trichy (a companion diocese) and his wife have been visiting DMK and the Diocese of Kiteto, 300 km south of here. So when they travelled to Kiteto, I got a ride in order to see that Diocese and meet with the RinJ coordinator there. 200 km of the road was unpaved and bumpy and the Diocese of Kiteto is in a very poor, very dry area. But God is at work there and it was good to meet with the Diocesan Coordinator and hear that RinJ groups are working well. I met a young teacher who has been using RinJ with his pupils at the local secondary school for their Bible Knowledge studies. 52 of them have completed Book so I am sending him some Book 2s and also some Junior books for him to use in the local primary school. When I asked if the young people enjoyed the material and had their lives changed by it, he looked at me as though it was a really silly question! ‘Of course’ was his answer!!”

Hot off the Press: we were delighted with the news that Canon James Almasi has been elected to succeed Bishop Patrick Mwachiko as the bishop of the Diocese of Masasi. James’s consecration is planned for September.

Alison Morgan