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.
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.”
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.