Author Archives: rootedinjesus

About rootedinjesus

Rooted in Jesus is a discipleship programme for Africa now in use in 16 countries. It is edited and directed by Revd Dr Alison Morgan.

Blessing and prophecy in Mityana

Rooted in Jesus has been in use across the Diocese of Mityana in Uganda since 2015, and over the months coordinators John Musaasizi and Jethro Ssebulime have sent an inspiring series of reports as they have visited groups and talked with group members. We were therefore delighted to accept an invitation from Bishop Stephen Kaziimba to go back to the diocese, and in October a UK-Ugandan team led by Revd Tim Carter returned to provide further support and training.

Ruth Williams (87b)

The team facilitated two conferences, attended by a total of 150 people – existing leaders, new leaders in training, theological college students, lay readers and ordinands. Tim reports: “The coordinator John (and his assistant Jethro) are very encouraging and obviously deeply loved by the people that they work with.  They have a good understanding of the spiritual principles that are foundational in Rooted in Jesus. The Bishop visited the conference and with some energy encouraged the delegates to engage fully with Rooted in Jesus. Following his visit it was announced by the Diocesan Secretary that new Bibles would be given to all delegates. This news was received with much rejoicing! At the end of both conferences parish and archdeaconary coordinators were appointed by their peers to lead the organisation of RinJ in their areas. These will provide a good local backup for John and Jethro.”

Testimonies

Every Rooted in Jesus conference includes time for prayer for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of participants. The ministry sessions in the evenings were powerful, and many people were prayed for; two people made professions of faith for the first time. These are some of the testimonies that were given:

  • A gentleman described being disturbed by feeling lonely and unloved. Nick and Ian laid hands on him and prayed – he reported afterwards that he felt restored.
  • Rev E sought out Ian to tell him that Ian had prayed for healing for him and his family at the last conference in 2015. He was eager to report that he and his children were healed and continue to enjoy good health.
  • A lady described how she came to the conference with a heart full of sadness. However after the teaching sessions and being prayed for her heart is happy. When she prayed she cried as she remembered everything that she had gone through, but now she gives thanks to God that she is happy.
  • A lady explained how when she came on the conference she was feeling sick with malaria and oppressed in her spirit. But the teaching and prayer had started to make her feel better. Then she went on to relate how the previous night she had regained her strength and woke normally giving thanks to God (previously she had woken unrested).
  • A lady told us that although she was saved she had never prayed for the Holy Spirit to come, but the previous night she did so and he came.
  • E, who had been at the last conference in 2015, shared how the advice to pray short prayers had transformed the way he prayed, making it more effective.

New Bibles!

As so often, the conferences were as rewarding for the team as for the delegates. Team member Nick James writes:

“The visit was exhilarating in many ways. Such appreciative people, such vibrant worship and such a wholesome, challenging course (I felt personally challenged by some of the material…). I think it more than lived up to my expectations on account of the people we met who were on fire for the Lord, despite little material resource. The chief impact on my ministry is a refreshing of my own call to make disciples (very helpfully challenging), and a firm understanding that Ugandan Christians face exactly the same fundamental issues as I do: am I willing to trust God and follow him wholeheartedly? And the things I need to trust him for are exactly the same: material provision and spiritual strength. The main circumstantial difference is that I am anaesthetised to my need of God by all the provision I have made for myself in fear of not having enough while my Ugandan brothers and sisters are to some extent handicapped and diverted by fear or frustration of not seeing how God will provide for them tomorrow. And both of us are spiritually poorer for it.”

Words from the Lord

Often it seems that God will speak directly to a Diocese through a Rooted in Jesus conference. At each of the two conferences a prophecy was received and embraced, similar in content though different in wording:

“I know you feel week and despised in the eyes of the world
Many of you feel poor
However, I assure you that what I have sown into you and am sowing into you will yield a great harvest
It will be more than can be achieved by big money, big machines or big schemes!
The seed I have sown into your hearts is precious
Nurture it, tend it, guard your hearts!
I promise, you will see a great harvest, beyond your wildest expectations, more than the world could ever give you
Indeed, the world will come to you, wanting desperately to receive some of your joy!”

These words bear a striking similarity to a prophecy received many years ago in Engusero, a town in the Diocese of Kiteto, Tanzania, where it was fully embraced, and great spiritual and numerical growth occurred across the diocese in the years which followed. We are confident that the Lord will fulfil his promises here as he did there.

Coordinator John Musaasizi concludes: “Jethro and I have started post conference follow up ministry. We are indeed thrilled to be part of this great event which is the very core of the Church which our Lord Jesus left on Earth.”


The team: Revd Tim Carter, Dawn and Nick James, Revd Capt William Musisi, Ruth Williams.

We are grateful to Bishop Stephen Kaziimba, Canon John Musaasizi and their colleagues for the warm welcome and generous hospitality which they gave to the team.

To find out more visit the Rooted in Jesus Uganda page, where you can also download Tim’s report.

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Posted 4th December by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

 

New Manual for Rooted in Jesus Junior

Rooted in Jesus has continued to expand this year, and has now been introduced to over 85 Anglican dioceses and training colleges, and a growing number of other denominational networks. Rooted in Jesus Junior, the companion course for children aged 8-14, has now been introduced to 17 dioceses. In most of these it provides the first ever syllabus for Sunday  Schools, and the first formal training for Sunday School teachers.

This year we have focussed on the development of a new training manual for Rooted in Jesus Junior, and we are pleased to announce that this has just been published by The Mathetes Trust.

RinJ Junior Team Manual cover 2017

The new manual has been written with two audiences in mind. Firstly, it contains the information and resources to help a team run a Rooted in Jesus Junior training conference – how to prepare a diocese for the introduction of the programme, how to plan a conference, guidelines for the team leader and diocesan coordinator, and session plans for each of the different elements of the conference. It also contains testimonies from those using the course.

Secondly, the new manual is designed to provide resources for the Diocesan Coordinator, with suggestions for how best to implement and oversee Rooted in Jesus Junior once it has been introduced. It includes evaluation and report forms as well as the training material which can be used to support existing leaders or train new ones.

Rooted in Jesus Junior continues to surprise and delight us as we watch the impact it is having on the lives of children across Africa. It was a particular privilege this year to be hosted by the Dioceses of Fianarantsoa and Toliara in Madagascar; in Toliara the Sunday School teachers were able to try out what they were learning with about a hundred enthusiastic children. With what we are learning from the conferences, from the teachers and pastors who share their expertise by joining the training teams and from the feedback we receive from those using the course, we are confident that Rooted in Jesus Junior is making its own contribution to a new generation of Christians across Africa.

What do people say about Rooted in Jesus Junior?

TANZANIA: “Today at our church, Lamech led Sunday School and for the first time I heard wonderful joy and laughter coming from outside. I was so impressed. It was different. I made an announcement to explain why Sunday School were so happy this week” – Sam Daniel,  Diocese of Mara
UGANDA : “From the time we adopted those materials, we experienced vibrant exciting Sunday school meetings with the children. The five Sunday school teachers that I trained using Rooted in Jesus materials have become very good teachers. This has improved much of the children’s zeal and love for Christ. A lot of spiritual gifts were realised like evangelism, worship, preaching, prayer, storytelling, drama, scripture memory verses etc. among the children. The number of the children which was about 25 at our church, it has now has grown to 150+”‘ – Pastor Ali Mukembo, Jinja
KENYA : “In November 2016, we conducted Rooted in Jesus Junior training to a group of Sunday School leaders in Ruiru, north Nairobi. Unbeknown to us this large church of several hundred members had been unable to keep Sunday School teachers for more than a few months before they resigned. From the training in early November, to our being there again in late April, not one Sunday School teacher had resigned, and some who had declared they felt they would not be able to offer anything in that line, had come forward to become part of the children’s ministry team!  We thought this was great news!” Brian Keel, Kenya
SOUTH AFRICA : “Personally, I am enjoying teaching Rooted in Jesus Junior. I find that some of the topics/questions really encourage the children to ask questions, which I like. Ever since my Grade 5 started using Junior, they’ve always been 10-12 eager-beavers who are so committed to being in Sunday School every week and come at least half an hour before Sunday School starts. We go over what we learnt the previous week and then move on to our current lesson. I give the children rewards for learning their memory verses, and this seems to work quite well. It’s all about Jesus, and I can honestly say that the Holy Spirit is indeed with us.” Lucy Burgess, All Saints Belhar, Cape Town
MADAGASCAR : “There was one thing which completely took me aback. It was this: that there are lots of stories about children in the Bible! I hadn’t really taken that on board before. But here, in the Rooted in Jesus Junior conference, we looked at lots of stories about children from the Bible. That touched me profoundly. From here I will take home so many new things. When I get back to my parish I will do everything in my power with my team to improve the way in which we teach our children in the Province.” Canon Jean Flobert, Diocese of Fianarantsoa

In 2016 Rooted in Jesus Junior was, like the adult programme, recommended by the Anglican Communion report Intentional Discipleship. We hope that the new manual will make it ever easier to adopt and use.

The Rooted in Jesus Junior Manual was written by Revd Dr Alison Morgan, following the format of the existing manual for the adult programme. We are grateful to those team members who have lent their skills and experience to the development of the sessions.

To find out more about Rooted in Jesus Junior, or to contact us, please visit our website.
Rooted in Jesus is published and supported by The Mathetes Trust.

Posted 17th November 2017

 

Discipling children in Madagascar

In August a team travelled from the UK and Tanzania to Madagascar, to introduce Rooted in Jesus Junior to the Dioceses of Fianarantsoa and Toliara, both of which adopted the adult programme back in 2011. The team was led by Canon Jacob Robert of the Diocese of Mara in Tanzania, which has been using Rooted in Jesus Junior to great effect for the last four years. Jacob is passionate about the potential for growth through discipling children, having seen its effects in his own diocese, where Sunday Schools have expanded and children are now active in memorising scripture and sharing their faith with their friends.

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Sunday School teachers get to grips with Rooted in Jesus Junior

Jacob writes:

“I give thanks to our heavenly father, the Almighty God who by His grace enabled us to travel to Madagascar, an island country in the Indian Ocean with a population of 25 million, 18 tribes, speaking the Malagasy language.  4 million of the people are Christians.”

The Diocese of Fianarantsoa

“We landed in Madagascar at Antananarivo Airport. Revd Jean Flobert who is the Diocesan Rooted in Jesus Coordinator in Fianarantsoa came to pick us up from the airport. We travelled by night from Antananarivo up to Fianarantsoa Diocese, approximately 600 km. The road was mountainous, narrow with many corners, and plagued by bandits, but the bus driver brought us safely to our destination. The following day was Sunday, and we started enjoying life in Madagascar by attending a Sunday service. We were introduced by the Diocesan Bishop Rt Revd Ratelson Rakotondravelo Gilbert.”

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Practising Rooted in Jesus Junior

Rooted in Jesus made a strong start in Fianarantsoa four years ago, and it was good to learn how it has become an established part of the life of the diocese, with one or more groups in every parish; “we no longer give out certificates,” Jean Flobert explained, “because everybody would have one.” Over the next four days the team worked with 87 keen Sunday School teachers drawn from across the diocese, offering the first training and the first resource material for use with children, painstakingly translated into the local language by Nolavy Arisoa, the Sunday School coordinator in the Diocese of Toliara. The teachers responded enthusiastically, throwing themselves into the workshops by day, and singing together late into the evenings. The conference ended with a magnificent evening of song, sketch and dance, which had everyone roaring with laughter and gasping with breathlessnessas in a vibrant community celebration of all that had been shared together. Flobert, who is also the Vicar General of the Diocese, summed up his reaction to the conference:

“The conference held here in Fianarantsoa over the last four days was fantastic! The team played their parts well, and we also saw the Sunday School teachers fully involved. They loved the practical exercises, and even for me as a priest there was one thing which completely took me aback. It was this: that there are lots of stories about children in the Bible! I hadn’t really taken that on board before. But here, in the Rooted in Jesus Junior conference, we looked at lots of stories about children from the Bible. That touched me profoundly. From here I will take home so many new things. When I get back to my parish I will do everything in my power with my team to improve the way in which we teach our children in the Province. Thank you very much!”

If you would like to listen to Flobert (speaking in French), you can watch the interview by team member Lucy Hefford here.

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Team leader Jacob Robert with Jean Flobert and Bishop Gilbert Rateloson

Team leader Jacob Robert concludes: “We gave 87 certificates to the participants who attended the conference. Bishop Gilbert led the Holy communion service, a fitting conclusion to the RinJ Junior introductory conference in the Diocese of Fianarantsoa.  The next day we travelled by taxi-bus from Fianarantsoa to Mananjary, about 400 km away on the coast of the Indian Ocean. Revd Paulin hosted us, and gave us time to meet with children in the church. In Mananjary we went to the palace of the King of the area. His people narrated the history of how the tribe settled in the land. They are also church members. We also used our time over there to dedicate a church land for building a church.”

The Diocese of Toliara

On our return from Mananjary we set off on the long journey down to Toliara, on the southwest coast of the island, where we were welcomed by Bishop Todd and Revd Patsy McGregor. This is a very young diocese, inaugurated in 2013 and growing fast, with over 70 churches and ambitious plans for expansion in what is one of the poorest regions of Madagascar; just the kind of place, we feel, where Jesus himself would have been found.

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Children enjoying their first Rooted in Jesus Junior lesson

Team member Katy Morgan, who at home is an assistant chaplain at Dean Close School in Cheltenham, writes:

“Around forty Sunday school teachers from across the diocese gathered with us at the cathedral for three days of training. We spent time talking about how to teach children to know Jesus, not only to know about him; worshipping and asking for the help and presence of the Holy Spirit; and practising the Rooted in Jesus Junior lessons in the course booklets we brought with us. The start of the conference felt a little faltering but as it went on the participants embraced the chance to receive from God and from the team, and in the end it was a very moving and joyful time. A highlight was the laughter which filled the room when the teachers were practising lessons with the kids they’d brought to the children’s Bible competition running at the same time. Our prayer is that they will continue to use these materials at home, being able to communicate to their priests and lay leaders what they have learned, and then to effectively pass on how it is going to Rev Donné, the diocesan coordinator; all with the aim of growing godly and genuine disciples among the children of churches across Toliara diocese.”

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The children’s choir of Fort Dauphin. To watch click on the image.

On the last day deanery representatives were appointed, and classes will begin in September. The conference concluded with presentations from the children’s choirs, and an inspiring performance of Miaraka, a modern day musical of Mary Magdalene written by Revd Patsy McGregor and Collette Maurel and presented with astonishing professionalism by local young people.

Jacob concludes: “The Bishop and his wife both showed us that we were not mistaken to come to their Diocese. The whole Diocese were prepared to adopt the Rooted in Jesus Junior program as a means of training laity and clergy  to go out to make disciples of Jesus Christ in the Diocese. We met new friends (particularly our young translators Johary, Marc and Andrew), new people and a new atmosphere that enabled us to plant a new seed in the soil of the Diocese of Toliara. I want to thank God for what He has done; Rooted in Jesus Junior is now well known in the province of Madagascar.”

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To read more about these two dioceses visit the Madagascar page of the Rooted in Jesus website.

Posted on 25th September 2017 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

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In the beginning…

Rooted in Jesus was originally developed for use in Tanzania, where it was first introduced in 2002. Since 2013 it has been independently run in the Province, and on 22nd August representatives from 10 dioceses gathered in Arusha for the annual Coordinators Conference hosted by National Director Rt Revd Dr Stanley Hotay.

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Tanzania’s famous Baobab trees with roots deep in the sands of the Rift Valley

The conference opened with reports from Canon Jacob Robert (Mara) and Bishop James Almasi (Masasi), Zonal Coordinators for the North and South of the country respectively, who reported on the programme in each diocese and offered some thoughts for future strategic development. Diocesan coordinators spoke on articular aspects of Rooted in Jesus, and Revd Alison Morgan, attending as a guest, gave an overview of the work of the Holy Spirit through Rooted in Jesus internationally. Rooted in Jesus has come an unexpectedly long way since its beginnings here in Arusha 15 years ago!

There are 27 dioceses in the Province of Tanzania, of which 18 so far have introduced Rooted in Jesus, along with a number of theological colleges. Every diocese is different, with some experiencing great difficulties, others enjoying periods of growth and stability. The longest perspective is provided by the founding dioceses of Mount Kilimanjaro and Kiteto, both of which saw significant growth through RinJ in the early years, but then for different reasons found themselves facing a period of internal conflict which seriously impacted morale and growth. We were all deeply encouraged to learn that both dioceses are now growing again under the leadership of their bishops Stanley Hotay and Isaiah Chambala, and that for both the turning point was the reconciliation conferences we were invited to facilitate in 2012. In DMK over 180 new churches have now been planted, and clergy numbers have doubled; the diocese is growing spiritually, numerically and financially. Rooted in Jesus is used for confirmation preparation, and Rooted in Jesus Junior has been adopted for Sunday School in every church across the diocese. Meanwhile the Kiteto coordinator Revd Anderson Lesijila reports that Kiteto is at peace – “we dare not fight again,” he said, “we burned all our conflicts when you came!” Rooted in Jesus is back in use in 61 of the 74 parishes, and they plan to introduce it to the remaining 13 parishes soon. Given that when RinJ was first introduced to Kiteto there were only 16 parishes this is remarkable growth – much of which is said to be the fruit of the groups, from which a new generation of leaders has arisen.

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RinJ has been in use in the Diocese of Mara since 2011. There are groups in every parish, many of which have completed all four books of the course; and RinJ Junior is strong in the Sunday Schools too. It is diocesan policy to use RinJ whenever they start a new church, and Jacob Robert observes that the result is rapid maturity – in a very short space of time it no longer seems like a new church, he says. Jacob also explained that many of the churches in Mara are now led by graduates of RinJ groups.

Canon Dunstan Mtoro reported that in Mpwapwa Rooted in Jesus is going very well, with 2802 people now in 206 groups, adult and junior – and he went home with a stock of Book 3 for groups which have completed the first two books. He has heard many testimonies from group members, he said; and the thing he particularly likes about the groups is the way in which they bring together people from across the social spectrum, with professionals, graduates and illiterate people learning together. This is a well organised and forward thinking diocese: there is a deanery coordinator for RinJ in each of the 13 deaneries, and it has been decided that every church service will be led once a month by the children. “RinJ can change the other issues and challenges we face,” Dunstan observes. Here the diocesan bishop is Jacob Chimeledya, who also serves as Archbishop of the Province.

Many groups have been started in Lweru, where Rooted in Jesus was introduced in 2015, and they are going well; retiring bishop Jackton Lugumira is emphasizing the importance of RinJ to his successor. The most recent diocese to adopt RinJ is SW Tanganyika, which got off to a slow start due to the bishop being unavoidably away for 4 months following the conference. On his return he appointed Revd Mattiya Mtweve as coordinator, and Mattiya has managed to fan groups into existence in all of the 40 parishes, with a male and a female evangelist leading in each one; it has also been incorporated into the curriculum of the Bible College. He is very encouraged by the response he sees, and hopes for a followup conference soon.

Of the other dioceses, Kibondo (Revd Amon Masabile) has groups now moving onto book 3. In Morogoro Josephine Semwenda has just taken over as coordinator for both the adult and junior programmes. Josephine is the President of the Mothers Union, a responsibility she has held since 1989, and is looking forward to meeting with group leaders and finding out more about the programme. In Masasi, the first diocese in Tanzania to introduce it, Rooted in Jesus Junior is particularly strong, and Bishop James has just appointed a new coordinator, Catherine Ligunda. Finally, Revd Leonard Giligwa asked for our continued prayers for the diocese of Victoria Nyanza, which is going through a time of stress and difficulty. Groups are still meeting; but they are inevitably distracted.

Rooted in Jesus Coordinators Bishop James Almasi, Canon Dunstan Mtoro,
Revd Leonard Giligwa, Canon Meshack Manyaga, Revd Amon Masabile


A Strategy for Growth

Much time was given to discussion of how best to ensure continued growth of Rooted in Jesus across the Province. It was recognised that the role of the Coordinator is key and that it is helpful for coordinators from this pioneering province to join teams to other dioceses and other countries, both in order to gain experience and to share what they have learned with others – Leonard Giligwa (Victoria Nyanza) who joined the team to Kajo-Keji in South Sudan, and Meshack Manyaga (Western Tanganyika), who went to Katanga in DR Congo, both spoke movingly of their experiences there. Jacob Robert had just returned from leading a Rooted in Jesus Junior team to Madagascar, and four Tanzanian bishops (John Hayden, Stanley Hotay, Isaiah Chambala, James Almasi) have now represented RinJ in other dioceses nationally and internationally.

Closer to home, the advisability of appointing deanery coordinators was discussed, as was the need for a reporting system so that proper support and accountability can be provided. Finally, the knotty problem of finance was tackled. In the long run Rooted in Jesus will be sustainable only if a diocese invests in it – not on any grand scale, as it is designed to be a low cost programme, but with a minimal ongoing budget to enable the coordinator to visit groups and keep in touch with leaders. It is always tempting, Bishop James observed, to hope that “someone else, somewhere else” will pay for what you want to do – but the reality is that this is our programme, and we must take responsibility for it. Rooted in Jesus Tanzania has been greatly helped both by the UK office and by a two year startup grant from the Anglican Communion Fund; but in the long run it needs to become self sustaining. Significant progress towards that goal has already been made in the provision of books, which are now locally printed to a very high standard in Arusha at very reasonable cost – it would not be difficult, given that only one book is needed at a time, for group members to club together to buy it, thus ensuring a continuous supply. In the meantime it was noted that coordinators need to be creative, innovative, and able to mobilise others.

Gratitude was expressed for the willingness of the bishops to sponsor their coordinators to attend the conference and for the readiness of the coordinators themselves to travel long distances to do so; and to Catherine Mwega, the RinJ administrator, who had organised the day. Cate’s role at the hub of the programme, everyone agreed, is crucial. The conference was closed after a long and fulfilling day by Bishop Stanley.

Dioceses represented at the conference:

Kibondo
Kiteto
Mara
Masasi
Morogoro
Mpwapwa
Mount Kilimanjaro
South West Tanganyika
Victoria Nyanza
Western Tanganyika
Bishop Stanley Hotay, National Director of Rooted in Jesus Tanzania,
and Catherine Mwega, Rooted in Jesus Administrator.

If you would like to help us support the ministry of Rooted in Jesus in Tanzania please visit our support page.

Posted on 29th August 2017 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan
Website www.rootedinjesus.net

 

Making disciples in Kenya

A Rooted in Jesus team has just returned from the Diocese of Butere, SW Kenya, where Bishop Timothy Wambunya had invited us to introduce the programme to the diocese.

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The team was led by Revd Richard Morgan (from Philadelphia, US), Revd Capt Joshua Opondo (from the Diocese of Maseno South, Kenya) and Revd John Eldridge (from Wickham Market, UK); all of them are experienced RinJ trainers.  The diocese held two 4 day conferences, hosted by Revd Capt Bejamin Kibara, the Diocesan Executive Secretary for Mission, and attended by a huge turnout of 300 invited delegates.

Butere is a well organised diocese with a focus on mission and discipleship – hundreds of people had made a profession of faith in a recent mission. The diocese has worked hard to equip people to lead small groups, but implementation has been slow – and Bishop Tim feels that Rooted in Jesus is the material they have been looking for. For the diocese this was the end of a long period of searching – and they are optimistic that the conferences have provided the breakthrough they were praying for.

Richard Morgan writes:

“There was a mission just before we came. Benjamin says that some hundreds of people made a profession of faith. John was speaking to one lady, Grace, who has 30 new Christians in her parish. She is just about to walk 10 kilometers back home from the conference. Some of her new Christians that she is hoping to follow up with are 8 kilometers from her – so it seems very hard for her to be able to meet with them all. There’s certainly a need for a method of distributing the task of disciple-making and equipping disciples to make disciples. If the principles of Rooted in Jesus take hold here, it will be powerful in helping the church to grow as a body.”

Watch the video

The team have put together a wonderful video report (below). If you’d like to read more about the conferences you can download a summary of their daily Facebook posts here.

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Before the conference Benjamin Kibara wrote:

“As a diocese we are very keen to start Rooted in Jesus discipleship program. We have 48 parishes, 50 ordained clergy, 13 associate ministers, 176 evangelists, and 378 lay readers. We have already laid a structure where all the Christians in the diocese will be part of a small group of 10 – 12 people for discipleship.”

Afterwards Bishop Tim remarked:

“We are using Rooted in Jesus as a foundational course to train our pastorate leaders, and we are hoping that at the end of this training they will then go to establish various groups, and then we can use those groups to disciple the ten thousand or so Christians in the diocese. They seem to have embraced or understood this Rooted in Jesus training better than others, and they seem more determined from this training to then go forward and share it with other people, which we haven’t seen before in any of the other courses that we have done – and we have done many other courses! This Rooted in Jesus seems to be the one that has finally helped us turn that corner, and we are now beginning to engage in serious discipleship.”

Team leader Richard Morgan invites us to continue to pray for the Diocese as they move forward:

“Good tools are only useful when you use them! Rooted in Jesus is one of those tools. When used, it is capable of being useful… if left on the shelf it will have little or no lasting impact. I’m confident that with the leadership of Bishop Tim, and the leadership of the coordinator, Benjamin Kibara, that they will make use of this tool in this Diocese. But, at the end of the day, it relies on the Holy Spirit moving and working in the hearts and lives of many leaders in this Diocese. Do pray that the lives and ministries of many in this Diocese would be empowered and strengthened.”

We are grateful to the diocese for their careful planning, meticulous organisation and generous hospitality.

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Posted 21st July 2017 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

Hitting the headlines in Malawi

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The 2017 Rooted in Jesus conference hosted in Chilema by Bishop Brighton Malasa

Rooted in Jesus was first introduced to the Diocese of Upper Shire in 2015, at the request of Bishop Brighton Malasa. The Rooted in Jesus team was led by Revd John Lee in partnership with Fr Kapomba Sekeleti and Canon Susan Chulu of the Diocese of Eastern Zambia, and 31 priests and 49 lay leaders attended the conference.

Groups began immediately, and Fr Edward Kawinga wrote a few weeks later: “Rooted in Jesus is a real eye opener! There is a lot l didn’t know about my parishioners! Group introductions alone reveal that our parishioners are dying in silence and I am very convinced that RinJ is the real Cure!”

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A confirmation group completes Book 1 of Rooted in Jesus

The diocese hosts a follow-up conference

Since the initial conference Coordinators Fr Edward Kawinga and Fr Elliot Litereko have worked hard to support the group leaders. Bishop Brighton wrote:

I am happy to report that Rooted in Jesus has seen its roots indeed going deeper. The Reverend Father Edward Kawinga and the Reverend Father Elliot Litereko are doing a great job. We are happy and glad that the laity of this Diocese can be given such a chance to undertake theological studies in their local parishes which was perceived as for the ordained ministers. When I visit the parishes I have seen people gathering and undergoing these training on Saturdays and Sundays after Mass. I am delighted to see such progress. I am convinced that if people (the laity) are rooted in Jesus having undergone these trainings, we shall have both the laity and clergy rich spiritually which will lessen the tasks of our priests as we shall have knowledgeable faithfuls. Please continue praying for us.

Following reports from Fr Edward and Fr Elliot Bishop Brighton invited us to send a team to run a follow-up conference in February of this year. John Lee again led the team, and was delighted to find consistent and widespread support for RinJ within the diocese, reflecting the regularly expressed support of Bishop Brighton. Participants were punctual in their attendance; the team found that they responded particularly warmly to the teaching about the Holy Spirit, which felt fresh and new for a significant number. John also paid tribute to the hospitality of the diocese: “For the team this was an encouraging and stimulating visit. We felt welcomed and cared for, and particularly enjoyed a visit to St George’s Zomba on the Sunday after the conference, where we shared in contributing to the service.”

After the conference Fr Elliot reported:

Rooted in Jesus was introduced in this Diocese two years ago. It was like a seed which was planted on fertile soil whereby a farmer is needed to care for the growth and development of the seed. This is in conjunction with the mission statement of the Diocese, a “Christ-centred Church that is commissioned for discipleship and the proclamation of the gospel.” This mission statement and the objectives of Rooted in Jesus are almost the same. This is why there is a tremendous growth of Rooted in Jesus groups in various parishes. We have received good reports from group leaders that they have formulated means of supporting themselves if one member of their group is sick or admitted to Hospital. It is one way of preaching about love in action. Priests and laity are working together in the proclamation of the Gospel to unbelievers. In our context we target Muslims; we regard them as a mission field, hence intensifying evangelism. In short the entire family of the Anglican Diocese of Upper Shire warmly welcomed Rooted in Jesus, and we have already started reaping the fruits of the seed that was planted two years ago.

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Fr Elliot Litereko

 

Looking ahead

In a large, rural diocese it is not easy for the coordinator to travel to meet with the group leaders. Fr Edward tries to time his visits in conjunction with others, but also plans to appoint Archdeaconry Coordinators to make supporting the group leaders easier. He also plans to hold further regional training conferences. One of our aims here at The Mathetes Trust is to be able to raise enough money to provide proper support for coordinators in dioceses where budgets are stretched – Fr Elliot’s comment that RinJ is like a seed planted where a farmer is needed to care for its growth is very apt. To read Fr Elliot’s full report click here.

Finally, the headlines! It turned out that not all of those who hoped to lead a Rooted in Jesus group own a Bible, so the team donated a number of Bibles in the local language of Chichewa. Fr Elliot distributed these last month. He wrote: “We had time to distribute the bibles we received. By God’s grace by the time I was doing the exercise we had people from the media, and someone surprised me with pictures in the Malawi Newspaper The Sunday Times!”

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It was a privilege to share in the life of the diocese, and we continue to pray for the priests and people of Upper Shire.

To find out more about Rooted in Jesus visit www.rootedinjesus.net.
Rooted in Jesus is supported by The Mathetes Trust, a UK registered charity.

This blog was posted on 8th June 2017 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

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Plight and flight in South Sudan

Last year we were privileged to be able to send a Rooted in Jesus team to the Diocese of Kajo-Keji in South Sudan. Long in the planning, the conferences had been delayed due to the political instabilities which had made travel dangerous for team and participants alike. But by 2016 things were more settled, and in October two hundred and sixteen clergy and lay leaders were trained to run Rooted in Jesus groups.

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The conference last October (read the blog entry)

HOWEVER since then the security situation has grown much worse, and 90% of those living in the Diocese have now been forced by renewed conflict and famine to flee to refugee camps in Uganda. We are watching yet another human tragedy unfold before our eyes.

Bishop Emmanuel released a report in March:

The political situation in many parts of South Sudan has drastically deteriorated since the 2016 Juba conflict. Although the greater Kajo-keji region experienced relative political stability and calm for the rest of 2016, the situation suddenly took a turn for the worst following clashes between the government soldiers and the SPLM/IO in the Mondikolok and Mere Bomas of Kajo-keji County … The entire Kajo-Keji region now faces severe humanitarian crisis with at least 97% of the population fleeing their homes and villages. At the beginning of the crisis, the church provided shelter for at least 50% of the population, most of whom eventually fled to refugee camps in the Moyo and Adjumani districts of Uganda as the conflict escalated. Only about 3% have now remained in the villages or fled to Internally Displaced People’s camps such as Ajiyo, Kerwa and Logo, where they face severe hunger, water shortage, disease, post conflict trauma, and many more. In the refugee camps of Moyo district where most of our people have settled, the humanitarian crisis is even worse. Severe hunger, water shortage, lack of shelter, poor or no health care, poor or no educational facilities have been cited; as well as high levels of tribal animosity and psychosocial stress. Recent reports state that over 200,000 refugees mostly from Kajo-keji County have settled in the refugee camps of Moyo district, and an even bigger number have settled in refugee camps of Arua, Adjumani and Yumbe districts. With the continued conflict in South Sudan, refugees continue to flock into Uganda. Travels to and from Kajo-Keji remain very unsafe.

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“We left our home in Lainya at the height of the fighting there, we witnessed many civilians killed, women raped, homes burnt and property looted. My husband is not with us and we do not know where he is. I just hope he is alive.”

 

Despite the obvious dangers, Bishop Emmanuel and his colleagues are doing all they can to alleviate the suffering of the people of Kajo-Keji. They have set up a new office in Moyo, in Uganda, and are visiting the refugee camps and appealing for help with food, water, shelter and medical care. Aware of the crippling mental and emotional burdens borne by many of those in the camps, they also want to provide emotional and spiritual support through the following peace building and reconciliation activities:

Peace building workshops involving the entire refugee community
Evangelism and discipleship
Music Dance and Drama (MDD)
Peace-building crusades
Games and Sports Activities

A request for help

Bishop Emmanuel has asked us to help with the second of these, evangelism and discipleship. He writes:

“The believers need Rooted in Jesus at this time of distress and spiritual need. Rooted in Jesus is the only tool and way forward to nourish the Christians and make the newly born Christian grow… We went and met the people in one of the camps in Palorinya. The meeting was attended by 37 council members and heads of department.  Among the council members, 10 were trained Rooted in Jesus group leaders. They reported that they had been busy erecting their tent but now as they are almost settling they will be ready to start the groups. The other challenges they raised was that, the group members they have started in Kajo-Keji got scattered into different refugee camps, can they start new groups? I encouraged them that they can start new groups and this is the time where people need the word of God seriously and deeply rooted in Jesus Christ. The mission and evangelism coordinator is ready to move in the camps to supervise those who are going to start new groups.”

He has appointed a coordinator, Nelson Saya, to work with Pianilee Samuel, the Diocesan Mission Coordinator, in providing support and encouragement for the Rooted in Jesus group leaders within the camps. But he points out that the group leaders are stationed in different camps, and the distances between the camps are great.

We would like to be able to help the Diocese in its desire to minister to the people of Kajo-Keji. When we first went there, South Sudan was the youngest country in the world, full of joy and optimism. Now its refugee crisis has been described by the UN as the most worrying in the world. We cannot influence the political situation or do much to alleviate the physical needs of those in the camps. But we can pray, and we can do something to help with the emotional and spiritual needs of these suffering people – both those who know Christ, and those who have yet to meet him.

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“We met a family during the bishop’s official visit to Morobi refugee camps  that was mourning the loss of a relative who burnt herself to death as a result of psychosocial stress, and is survived by five orphans and a husband who is an alcoholic.”

One of the most powerful memory verses in Rooted in Jesus is James 4.1:  My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance;  and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing. It’s a verse I was embarrassed to share with group leaders in Tanzania during a time of famine there, aware that it was so easy for me to say, so hard perhaps for them to hear. And yet one of them said that learning this verse had changed her life – as she struggled to feed her children, she had found complete peace.

What can we do?

We have no magic wands for the situation in South Sudan; but we want to provide whatever support we can. Nobel prize winner Alexis Carrell once said that ‘prayer is the most powerful form of energy we can generate.’ Please pray, particularly for Bishop Emmanuel, for Samuel Pianilee and for Nelson Saya as they risk their lives to help their people. And if you would like to help us to help them in tangible ways – they ask particularly for assistance with travel costs as they move between the camps – you can make a donation either by sending a cheque payable to The Mathetes Trust to the address below, or online via the Support page of our website. We hope to make a bank transfer to the Diocese’s Ugandan account soon.

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And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him. 1 John 5.15.

Posted by Revd Dr Alison Morgan, 9th May 2017

To read the diocesan report in full click here.
To read more about Rooted in Jesus visit www.rootedinjesus.net.
Rooted in Jesus is supported by The Mathetes Trust, a UK registered charity.
Postal address: The Mathetes Trust, 10 Dairy Close, Wells, Somerset BA5 2ND.

 

 

 

Rooted in Jesus Annual Report 2016

A major part of the work of The Mathetes Trust is to support the Rooted in Jesus discipleship programme for Africa, which Roger and Alison Morgan first founded back in 2002 along with Stanley Hotay, and which is now in use in 80 dioceses or denominations in 16 countries. Rooted in Jesus is a discipleship course written for use in rural Africa, where nothing else of its kind is available. We estimate that between 70,000 and 100,000 people have done this course so far, and we know that the impact on the lives of ordinary Christians has been enormous. Every year we send out teams from the UK both to new dioceses and to places we have been before.

Jethro starting off the group

This is the time of year when we compile an Annual Report based on feedback from the previous year, and it is available for download here; it includes many testimonies from those whose lives have been changed. We have also posted a new blog entry with news from South Africa, where they use both Rooted in Jesus and our companion discipleship programme The God Who is There – both now endorsed for use across the Anglican Communion. If you would like to receive regular updates you can sign up to receive an email notification on the blog itself.

We have been particularly moved by recent messages from two places : Uganda, where they are experiencing great growth, and South Sudan, where they are experiencing great hardship.

  • Canon John Musaasizi writes from the Diocese of Mityana: “We give glory to the Lord our God for providing the Rooted in Jesus program as a means of fulfilling the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus. We are excited to see the involvement of Rooted in Jesus members in growing their fellow members into Christ likeness and at the same time preparing themselves to start new groups in their local settings. With the availability of this program, the church ceases to be an auditorium in which the audiences passively watch what is done by a few people on the stage for years. The program makes it clear that the church in which we are members is on the move where growth and multiplication of believers moves  on like fire, catching every area of human location without discrimination. Members discover not only  who they are in Christ, but also the Spirit given gifts that they can  employ in building up one another and the Church at large.  The Spirit is teaching us a lot.”
  • Bishop Emmanuel Modi writes from the more challenging situation of the Diocese of Kajo-Keji: “Three quarters of the population are in the refugee camps and others are internally displaced. We are going to make new strategies among the refugees. I am going to establish the churches and find out those Christians who were trained in Rooted in Jesus so that they will start their groups. The believers need Rooted in Jesus at this time of distress and spiritual need. Rooted in Jesus is the only tool and way forward to nourish the Christians and make the newly born Christians grow.”

Both of them ask for our prayers as they pour their energies into the task that the Lord has given them.

This year so far we have invitations to send teams to seven dioceses, and requests to support the work as it expands in many more. We have put together a new prayer diary, and if you would like to pray regularly for Rooted in Jesus you can download that here. If you would like to support Rooted in Jesus financially you can do so here, and if you would be interested in joining a team please do let us know!

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Click on the images to download the Annual Report, the Prayer Diary or to read more recent news.

Posted 22 March 2017 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

Growing Disciples in South Africa

In the Province of Southern Africa Rooted in Jesus is directed by Revd Trevor Pearce and overseen by Growing the Church. National Coordinators Estelle Adams and Nicole Curtis have sent us some faith-filled testimonies from group members.

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Small group leaders in the Diocese of False Bay

Valencia Ruiters and Chante Pepino, group members in the church of Christ the Redeemer in the Diocese of False Bay, have just moved on to book 3 with their group. They write:

“I thank God for allowing us to go on this RinJ Journey with awesome people who not only touched me but welcomed me from the very beginning. It all started with a whatsapp message from a friend. This point in my life was full of disarray and hurt mixed with anger and pain. She invited me to come and join her at a gathering that I knew nothing of or in fact not even knowing that she was saved, this was the turning point in my life where I would not only discover what I have lost as a child of God but what was about to change my life dramatically. Like Brad (RinJ Trainer) says, ‘when the scales come off your eyes’. My first impressions walking into the church was people welcoming me with open arms as if they were expecting me, like you would feel when you have a family gathering and not feel all awkward, but little did I know that the spirit in me would fire up and I would walk out of there with tremendous peace.

The session started off with a prayer, I closed my eyes and felt so warm, they even prayed for me and my presence that I felt so welcomed. The facilitator that night was uncle Edwin and they did a repeat of what was discussed a few weeks prior to me being there, but I listened and try to catch up, still not knowing what the night entailed. James 4:7 submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. I did not know what this verse was about but little did I know that the weekend ahead was the awakening of my spirit. After doing the memory verse we went to into groups and everyone had a chance to talk about what was bothering them and we all had to join hands and pray about what was said, this was the ultimate change for me as I felt the spirit firing up in me as if I was sent to this place for a reason.

I have since started reading the bible every chance I get, having empathy for people, trying to be better as a parent, I can say that this journey has made it easy to identify when the enemy is present and wanting to steal my Joy, I have relied on scriptures to guide me in my life with wisdom up until now.  No question to God is unanswered, no trial and tribulation that I find myself in was not resolved.”

“I have learned that we should not judge people and always forgive as God has mercy on all. If we ask for forgiveness how can we expect him to have Mercy on us if we can’t show mercy on others. I am trying to change my mind set to a more spiritual understanding than the understanding of our human nature. I have discovered that I can pray not only when I go down on my knees but have that conversation.

Trusting in God and allowing my thoughts to be pure and not filled with anger, irritation, and all those things that don’t come from God. All the memory verses up until the last had a big impact on my life and have steered me in the right direction. I am convinced now that this journey has not started on that Friday night alone, it has been coming on a long time ago and will continue to grow. Thank you Regan and all the people that made RINJ possible, I believe that it was only through the grace of God that I am writing this today and thank God for saving me! I pray that you will continue the good work and hope that many more lost souls like me is awaken, I ask this in Jesus name, Amen.”

Meanwhile Brad Sitzer reports on a new work with children in Church of the Redeemer in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town:

“Salty ministry team is a group of late twenties- to early sixty-somethings who meet every Friday night. We have gone through Alpha twice, RinJ senior Book One a few times and other short courses. Our ambition is to do life together more and more and to integrate with existing family lives.
We have had a babysitter for the participants’ children, and she has enjoyed looking after the kids. We then felt compelled to take the opportunity to disciple the kids in some way. Messy Church, Rinj Junior and Godly Play were the options. We recognise all three to be quality programmes. Yet due to the ease of implementation and low resource requirements, we decided that Rinj Junior would be the best place to start. Hence we have begun our Rinj Junior journey! The kids have been enjoying the first few sessions. Three of the kids are not baptised and are actually Muslim; but their mom has recently decided to follow Jesus, so she enjoys her kids being a part of this journey.”
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Children from the new group in Mitchell’s Plain

Looking ahead

Following the major report Intentional Disciplship and Disciple-Making, a Decade of Discipleship has been launched across the Anglican Communion, and this will be the major focus for Growing the Church from now on. The report endorses Rooted in Jesus, Rooted in Jesus Junior and The God Who is There for use in discipleship and disciple-making. RinJ has already been introduced in 17 of the 28 dioceses in the Province, and Estelle Adams reports that the formation of small groups in parishes will be a key element in discipleship training across the Province; “Rooted in Jesus and The God Who is There will be the tools used for training Small Group leaders who will then run small groups in their dioceses”.

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Growing the Church – board members with Archbishop Thabo Makgoba

Posted 27 February 2017 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

Life, death and faith in the Diocese of Mityana

Canon John Musaasizi writes from the Diocese of Mityana in Uganda: “What we are seeing with our own eyes as far as Rooted in Jesus is concerned is an apparent manifestation of God’s answers to your prayers and prayers of other God loving people spread widely. We thank you very much.” The Diocese plans to host a second Rooted in Jesus conference later in the year. Here is some of John’s recent news:

Bukanaga and the oldest member

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Bukanaga Rooted in Jesus Group has been encompassed by God’s joy,  peace and encouraging openness of members in a variety of ways. The building process of members growing into Christ likeness has been a reality. The sense of belonging among members is growing up. The oldest member we have in this group has clicked ninety one years. Her name is Teddy. She loves the Lord deeply.  We are challenged by her commitment to the Lordship of Jesus.

Death brings new life in Lubumba

The Lord had clearly convinced us that following up old groups was as good as starting new ones. So Jethro and I decided to visit Lubumba Rooted in Jesus  group thriving under the leadership of Marjorie. Jesero the vicar of Lubumba Parish Church had not only invited us to spread Rooted in Jesus Ministry in his entire Parish, but had also allowed us to use his house for Rooted in Jesus meetings. This meant that the church services could be run with Rooted in Jesus meetings simultaneously.

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Marjorie was commissioned as group leader last year

Similarly, today when we visited Lubumba Church, members of Rooted in Jesus Group flocked into the vicar’s house. When we had began enjoying the treasures of our assembly, we came to know that one of our members went to live with the Lord. Jane Esther had been one of the active members of our group. She opened her life to the Lordship of Jesus  on the 30th September  2016 in the presence of Rooted in Jesus members.  We rejoiced over receiving the newly born child of God. On the other hand Jane had a devastating relationship with her husband John. Several cruel activities had been exercised on her by her husband John.  One day John put up a war meant to crash Jane inside their house, fortunately Jane narrowly slipped out of the house in darkness and found security of her life  under the bush in her neighborhood, and this is just to cite but one among many incidents of this kind inflicted on her by John. It is said that her death was partly caused by that perpetual and rough relationship right in the very core of their marriage. We will miss Jane but we have the confidence that Jane went to live with the Lord Jesus forever.

As we were moving on with Rooted in Jesus program, information was passed over to us that John the husband of the late Jane had come to worship in Lubumba chuch where we were. Hearing this great news, we wasted no time to invite him in our group although he was not a member.  As someone went to call him for us, we prayed to the Lord to save John today. When John entered our fellowship he found tears we could not resist flowing from my and Jethro’s  eyes. We consoled him over the loss of his wife Jane.  We witnessed to him that Jane received Jesus Christ in our presence on the 30th September 2016. We shared the Gospel with him and later asked him whether he would like to receive Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and Lord. He said yes. We immediately sang the revival song TUKUTENDERZA YESU… He knelt down and prayed to receive Jesus Christ as Lord of his life. PRAISE AND GLORY BE TO HIS NAME. He requested us to invite his three children to come to our fellowship and hear the Good News he had received. They too came and accepted our Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and Lord. So the death of Jane has brought four members of her family to Christ. Praise Jesus!

Putting down roots in Bishop Lutaaya Theological College

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Jethro and and I fell into great ecstasy and Rooted in Jesus program safely landed at Bishop LUTAAYA Theological college, which is Mityana Diocesan Theological College. In this place we are dealing with men and women who will be of great influence for the Lord in their communities. The availability of plural languages in this college just brought back to us the great transforming impetus the first Pentecostal experience of the Early Church laid upon  her audience. The College has Runyankole speakers, Kinyarwanda speakers, Luganda speakers and this is just to mention but three languages. So the College students will be studying Rooted in Jesus program in their own mother languages, since we have now the printed books covering the languages.

We discoverd that they have several advantages over other Rooted in Jesus groups spread in the Diocese. Let me cite a few of them:

  1. The groups can meet anytime they wish apart from classroom time.
  2. Since they live in the same place, they get to know one another better and this develops their relationships, which they will use in future to spread Discipleship Ministry.
  3. Jethro and I meet them once a week to monitor the progress they have made.Distant groups cannot experience this from us.
  4. They still have sharp memories that capture instantly and store to memory Bible verses.
  5. They too are helping us to know better what we are sharing with them. Every time the students expect confident and knowledgeable presenters.

We are thankful to the Lord Jesus for the opportunity He has given to participate in the Disciple making program entitled Rooted in Jesus.

To find out more visit rootedinjesus.net

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Posted 15th Feb 2017 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

News from the Diocese of Lango

Rooted in Jesus was introduced to the Diocese of Lango, Uganda, in February 2016. Coordinator Ronald Eguny has been visiting some of the groups to see how they have been doing, and has sent us this report:

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“Receive our warm greeting from the Diocese of Lango. RinJ in the Diocese is taking root in the parishes. We have 48 parishes with RinJ. Christians with whom I came into personal contact were very happy about the lessons they had learned in RinJ,  and there are a lot of testimonies as you read below:

  • Bosco at All Saints Boroboro said he can now read the Bible and understand it; he is able to share the word of God with a friends without fear.
  • Dan said RinJ has given him courage to speak before Christians and bigger congregations.
  • Docus Adonyo said RinJ has made her able to read the Bible clearly, and she can now open books in the Bible without any problem.
  • Betty Owiny, St Jaanani Okole, said RinJ has enabled her to pray for the sick.
  • Kevin Okeng said RinJ has opened her understanding; she can now respect her husband and make her home clean.
  • Betty Owino said RinJ has help her to humble herself to her husband.
  • In Okole Judth Ongar, Caroline Odongo and many others are preparing to wed because RinJ has challenge their life.
  • Betty from Angwetanwet said RinJ has helped her to teach her children and pray together as a family.
  • Denis Boroboro said RinJ has helped him to read the word of God which he used not to do.
  • Obonyo Bosco said RinJ has helped him to speak the truth without fear.
  • Opito B said RinJ has made him learn a lot of new words which he used not to understand but now he can understand them very clearly.
  • Bible study has brought unity to members in Adyaka.
  • Odongo George, St Jaanani Okole, said he is able to pray, to welcome visitors at home, and also he can lead praise and worship with the teams.
  • RinJ has led to prayer teams in Angwetangwet church and many people are getting healed.
  • In Cura Parish RinJ members have stood with their friend who lost a close relative.
  • In Cura a RinJ member has made drama which has teaches others how to read the Bible
  • In Adyel a RinJ member has preached in all the services in the  first week which challenged those who havenot yet joined.
  • Opio David has learnt how to preach the word of God.
  • Tonny is now happy because he can preach and lead services without any fear.
  • In Ngetta Parish the RinJ members have weeded the beans of the parish priest showing solidarity in the ministry.
  • In Amach Parish, Betty said RinJ has touched her to forgive her friend who had done bad to her.
  • In Adyel Parish RinJ members have door outreaches to Christians and pray for the sick.
  • Rev Tonny Olet said, RinJ is the power of the church to strengthen our Christians”.
  • Betty said, RinJ has helped her to grow spiritually and she can has a heart for reading the Bible.
  • Abongo Hosbert said it is through RinJ that he got saveed and joined in holy marriage.
  • In Ngetta the RinJ members are visiting sick Christians in hospital with little support to help them.”

Rooted in Jesus has now been introduced to seven Anglican dioceses and a Pentecostal network within Uganda, and we look forward to continuing to support this movement for discipleship throughout the Province in the years to come!

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Posted 21rd January 2017 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

‘Come, Let us Rebuild’ – Rooted in Jesus goes to the Diocese of Kajo-Keji, South Sudan

At the invitation of the Bishop, Antony Poggo, two mission conferences were planned and held in the Cathedral. The Kajo-Keji Diocesan RinJ Coordinator is the Dean of the Cathedral, Very Rev Canon Pianilee Samuel. He is to be assisted by the 8 Archdeacons who will coordinate RinJ in their areas.

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Bishop Anthony Poggo

Canon Samuel Pianilee writes:

“It was a blessed time to have the RinJ team during the conference. It was very very  refreshing and spirit-filled conference marked with a revived worship, praise and dance that renewed the lives of those who attended the conference including the RinJ team.  The morning devotions and the evening sessions were great awakning moments where the participants came closer to Jesus Christ, and through repentance and prayer were renewed in their faith and ministry. Number of participants shared their spiritual and physical problems as they came forward for prayer and healing  especially at the evening sessions which were done in an open space at the diocesan mission compound, and some were reconciled, healed, revived and gained strength for the Lord’s ministry. The teaching sessions were dramatically marked with fun, illustrations, active participation and attentive listening. This enabled everybody to learn how to help others get rooted in Jesus. I appreciate the RinJ team for their skillful teaching. I would like to say the program and the approach is very good and it fitted well with our diocesan strategy basd on 2 Timothy 2:2, ‘train people who will train others also.'”

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The team consisted of Mike Cotterell (team leader), Mike Langworth and Antony Quarrel (UK), together with Ven. John Barnes and Canon Gill Varcoe from Australia, and RinJ Diocesan Coordinator Revd Leonard Giligwa from Victoria Nyanza Diocese in Tanzania.

Team leader Revd Mike Cotterell writes:

“The Diocese had planned well and thoroughly for the Conferences and arrangements went according to plan.106 people attended each conference and about 215 were awarded certificates. The Conferences followed the standard four-day pattern and started on time. The level of engagement, enthusiasm and hunger for God together with the Course material and teaching on Renewal in the Holy Spirit – were highly exceptional! There was a good mixture of laity and clergy at both conferences; the women were about 25% of the total.

On the last morning of both conferences we held a Testimony Session and a Q and A session. The Testimony session over ran both times but was so encouraging to everyone! At the end of the first Conference many reported a very peaceful sleep often the first in a very long time. 14 reported physical healing, nearly half the conference testified to inner healing, and there was one conversion.

During the second Conference there seem to have been up to 5 conversions; two gave testimony. At the testimony time everyone stood as those who had been encouraged and refreshed by the Conference. Those with new hope and energy from God – all stood. Ready to start small RinJ group – approx 90% stood. Those who had received physical healing – about 13 stood. Received inner healing – about 40. Felt the power of the HS on them in some way – 30-35 stood.

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There were several testimonies in one form or another during the Conferences. One man’s mother was seriously ill in hospital, was likely to die, he left the Conference but was back the next day, saying that his mother had said ‘whether I live or die you go back to the Conference’; we continued to pray for her and improvements were reported.

A female Pastor who had become afraid to preach and take services said she was no longer afraid. Many reported good nights sleep after general prayer ministry sessions, and this was often related to fear and traumatic experiences. We prayed several times against Fear, and this was significant. One elderly man was jumping who could hardly walk before. A young lady had been orphaned as a child, her wealthy extended family had refused to help her and her brother, and later when she was the top student and ready to attend university they again refused help – she had come to the point of forgiving them.

The Team give thanks for this opportunity to see God at work; for so many praying for us and the Conferences and for the good health and protection we enjoyed. ‘..this is the Lord’s doing and it is marvellous in our eyes..’”

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A new partnership:

It was a particular joy to have two senior clergy from the Australian Diocese of Canberra & Goulburn on the team – this is the first time we have worked in partnership with an Australian diocese, and we look forward to deepening this in the future. As always, John and Gill returned home feeling that they had received far more from their brothers and sisters in Kajo Keji than they had given:

  • “I have been profoundly shaken by the experience. It was and continues to be a humbling one. My overwhelming thought is how do people who have experienced so much trauma and dislocation in their lives still have a faith in God? This was reinforced time and time again when being involved in the prayer ministry after the ministry sessions. The issues and life glimpses so outside my usual frame of reference and yet we saw God at work in his wonderful transformative way. To say the opportunity has been a priviledge does not convey my feelings and emotions. Thank you and Thank God!!” Ven John Barnes
  • “Life-changing. My church was praying all the time for us, and is very much in mission and growth mode so the effect locally has been to add buoyancy and hope” – Canon Gill Varcoe


Finally…

This conference had been two years in the planning. All the RinJ leader’s booklets had been painstakingly translated into Bari, and detailed preparations made by Bishop Anthony Poggo and his colleagues. In fact this conference was Bishop Anthony’s parting gift to the Diocese, as he left for London to take up his new post as Adviser for Anglican Communion Affairs. Bishop Anthony is an inspiring leader – his book on Nehemiah. ‘Come, Let us Rebuild’ bears witness to his passion for the Gospel. Our prayers go with him as he embarks on his new ministry. He will be succeeded by Bishop Elect Emmanuel Murye, who writes: “Regarding Rooted in Jesus, I strongly embrace it as a way forward to nurture the believers and reaching out the gospel to others.” We pray that he will know the Lord’s blessing as he prepares for his new role.

And last but not least, we give thanks for all those who prayed for the Diocese, the team and the conferences, for surely your prayers were answered!

www.rootedinjesus.net

Posted 5th December 2016 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

A year in the life of a RinJ Coordinator

Rooted in Jesus was introduced to the Diocese of Mityana, Uganda exactly one year ago now, at the invitation of Bishop Stephen Kaziimba. A joint Uganda-UK team led by James Tumwesigye ran two training conferences attended by 141 leaders. Canon John Musaasizi was appointed Diocesan Coordinator. It has been an enormous privilege to follow John’s progress over the last year, and in this blog we share some of what he has shared with us.

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Rooted in Jesus conference at Mityana

Immediately after the RinJ training conferences, John responded: “I am very thankful to be involved in the Discipleship program of Rooted in Jesus. I completely buy into statements made by other people, whose conviction and experience led them to say that, “Rooted in Jesus Program is the best on the African Continent.” It starts where you are and progresses you joyfully into the adventures of growing into Christlikeness. Mityana Diocese is privileged to have such a program at a time when multitudes of people have subjected themselves under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.”

Since the conferences, John and his colleague Jethro have travelled tirelessly round the furthest reaches of the diocese, visiting groups and providing encouragement and support to the leaders. John has sent many inspiring reports of these visits and of his plans for the development of Christian discipleship within the diocese. The task of a Rooted in Jesus Coordinator is far from easy: keeping touch with people scattered over a wide area with limited resources is challenging; providing support to 141 inexperienced leaders is a huge undertaking; doing all this alongside existing full time ministry responsibilities is daunting. And yet John and Jethro have poured their lives into this task. Their testimony is that everywhere they have been they have seen the Lord at work, and that they have experienced his protection and blessing as they have sought to fulfil his commission to make disciples.

NOVEMBER 2015

  • I was  greatly thrilled upon receiving into my office a number of people who participated in the most recent R in J Conference. They were eager to receive the books in order to return and start small groups in their local churches.  I am looking forward to following up the already established groups. I will be sending you messages of great accomplishments by the Lord within our midst.

DECEMBER 2015

  • I have been in contact with several brothers and sisters in Christ who participated in Rooted in Jesus Conference. I am glad to report that almost everyone who went through the conference has started identifying members who will constitute the groups. Already 13 groups are taking shape with a total number of 145.
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Jethro leads a group in Kalezi

JANUARY 2016

  • Today we have had a senior staff meeting composed of Archdeacons. The Chairman of this meeting is always our bishop the Rt. Revd Dr Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu. When all the archdeaconry reports had been presented, I was called upon to present a Mission Report. At this time I had prepared a Rooted in Jesus report. And some of its contents were:The Lord has created enthusiasm among group leaders. Groups are mushrooming up in various churches of the Diocese of Mityana.I have so far contacted 100 group leaders whose total number of those being made disciples is 367. The number would have been bigger than what I have presented if I had also contacted the 41 other group leaders. A thing I will start doing tomorrow.The entire meeting was invaded by great ecstasy that led us to sing TUKUTENDEREZA YESU, the East African Revival Song. As if that was not enough, the Bishop made it crystal clear that during his pastoral ministry, he has been introduced to big numbers of disciples in the making resulting from Rooted in Jesus training.
  • Jethro and his wife Loi together with me, decided to train a group of born again members, the ones we had led to Christ, using the Rooted in Jesus books. This group is found in one of the most distant churches in Mityana Diocese. This parish church is called KITONZI. We have been to this group four times, and we are greatly thrilled with what God is doing in the lives of the members. We are determined to disciple this group until everyone in the group is ready to lead another group elsewhere within KITONZI Parish.

FEBRUARY 2016

  • The Rooted in Jesus Meeting at Kiweesa has been exciting and life touching to all members. Meetings are held in a widow’s home by the name Beatrice. They have been dealing with Module 1 Lesson 4. Twelve members attended, being led by Harriet a great lover of Scripture and a Bible teacher.
  • Proscovia the Rooted in Jesus group leader at KASIINIINA received us with great joy. Apart from a small group of Rooted in Jesus, Proscovia handles, the majority of church members are born again. Therefore there is need to teach the whole congregation the Rooted in Jesus program.
  • Discovering that KIRUNGI church never had a representative in our last year’s Rooted in Jesus conference, Jethro and I were guided to train Emmanuel the lay reader of that Church; so that in turn he may start training members of his church who have expressed their desire to receive training by show of hands. Emmanuel loves the Lord immensely and he will enjoy the training ministry. KIRUNGI is one of the distant churches in the Diocese of Mityana.
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RinJ at Kirungi church

MARCH 2016

  • It was along journey to GENZI; one of the furthest churches in Mityana Diocese. It is true I had not gone to this church before. Rooted in Jesus Program takes us to the furthest ends of the Earth in partial fulfillment of the Great Commission. The Rooted in Jesus group composed of 20 people accorded us with warm welcome. We immediately felt at home with all members and the exhaustion of the long journey evaporated.
  • Jethro and I enjoyed traveling on a paved road leading to KIRIKOYA parish.We entered the church where the group of rooted in Jesus was sitting, rejoicing in the Lord and singing the Revival song Tukutendereza with great oomph. We indeed felt the presence of Jesus among us. He was already there with the group before we arrived. It was a group of 35 members. It was one of the biggest groups we had met. Rev. ERIYA was the group leader full of zeal to grow his group into Christ likeness. At the end of sharing all what the Lord had prepared for us, we provided room for personal commitment to the Lordship of Jesus. Ten of the members gave their lives to Lord Jesus. Among those who gave their lives to Jesus was Nathan who had come with his wife Florence. He loudly announced his birth experience, moved fast towards his wife. Upon reaching her he knelt down and  wept. He sought forgiveness from his wife for having been a drunkard. The experience led a number of members to tears. The Holy Spirit was moving among us transforming everybody saved and unsaved. As Jethro, I and a few other members had laid our hands on Nathan praying, my legs began shaking and I prayed silently for myself so that the Lord may prevent me from falling on the floor while praying for Nathan. He did. Glory be to His Name.

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    Jethro encourages a young group leader

APRIL 2016

  • It was great to visit KALEZI Church found in BUWEKULA Archdeaconry. This Church is led by a young man named Friday who went through Rooted in Jesus Training led by UK Team. Kalezi was not an easy church to reach. We had to take the longest rout to get there, since it had rained cuts and dogs. Upon reaching Kalezi, we found great lovers of our Lord Jesus Christ who swallowed every word we shared with them. It was surprising to find a very big church building in the context of a bushy area.The church was built from cassava sells. And we found a lorry in the church compound packing cassava.  More than 50 members studying book 1 were there.
  • This message comes to inform you that one group  has completed Book 1. We were delighted to meet this group of BINIKIRA church under the leadership of Mark positioned second from right. The lay reader named John, first from right, has been hands in grooves with Mark the group leader.Their oneness has brought forth admirable fruits among those trained.
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Binikira RinJ group completes Book 1

MAY 2016

  • Like today we had set out to reach Kasozi one of the hard to reach places. Our phone communication failed, network presence was scarce.  We intended to reach and cerebrate the completion of Book 1 by Ephraim’s  group whose membership numbered 15 . Apart from the long distance which we had determined to overcome, the protruded stones in the way intensely resisted our journey continuation. We parked the car on the side of the road and began sharing the Gospel with by passers. As soon as we finished sharing the Gospel with a group of 4 people who sincerely committed their lives to the Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit led us back to a parish church we had passed by called Madudu. In this church the Lord performed salvation miracles.

JUNE 2016

  • On Sunday I visited KASIMO Church for two purposes. One was to meet Jackson, the group leader of Rooted in Jesus group in that small Church. I wanted to know how the group was progressing as well as leading other people to Christ. Jackson arrived soon after my arrival. He came riding his motorcycle. He is a young man who loves the Lord and the people he has been called to serve. Jackson’s group is composed of his three grown up children, and three other members from KASIMO Church. Now Jackson has planned to start another Rooted in Jesus group. The composition of the second group will come from members who gave their lives to to the Lord on Sunday. These were six in number.

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    Revd Jackson and his family

  • We praise the Lord for making it possible for us to travel to WUMMULA Church. It has been an exciting fellowship focused not only on hearing God’s Word, but also seeking to apply it in daily life experience. We have been wonderfully blessed. The presence of the Lord with us has been a reality to all of us. The major purposes of visiting Wummula Church were threefold. One was to encourage members in Rooted in Jesus group to continue in their fellowship. This purpose was achieved. The first group of eleven members finished book one, and they are ready for the second one. We have also suggested that because of the great number of people getting born again in that church, some of these members who have trained can start their own groups in their homes and take on new members through book one as they themselves study book two under the leadership of  James their group leader. Another purpose was to lead others who had not had the opportunity of freely handing over their lives to the Lord Jesus, to do it. We were all overwhelmed with joy when about 30 members flocked into the front place as a result of having given their lives to the Lord Jesus. We sung and rejoiced with great thrill. Glory be to God. We gave each person some two minutes to share what the Lord Jesus had accomplished in their lives. People had much to share that led us to praise God more. Among those who received Christ today was Gloria and Edward who had been married for five years. Both were invaded by the joy of the Lord and matched from the front of the church to the back with great enthusiasm. The whole Church could not help burst into joy.

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    Born again members raise their hands at Wumumula

  • Our ministry today targeted BINIKIRA church. Prior to our going to BINIKIRA, Jethro and I decided that we partly attend the church service and after that we move out with Rooted in Jesus group to classroom setting where we can examine the trained group, under the leadership of Mark. Mark is third from left. We had a wonderful time with the group, who not only related accurately what they had learned to their daily life experiences, but also had banked all the required.  Scripture verses into their hearts. We all together celebrated the success attained. Also,the group exhibited crystal clear readiness to start their own groups in the villages where they come from using Book 1 they had completed. That exercise will start while the group is being started on  in Book 2.After our group examination, all of us returned to the church service which we had partly left. We shared the success of the group and we thanked the congregation for holding hands with this group which had done so well. We requested the congregation to receive gladly the group members in their villages as they start new groups. We have ranked BINIKIRA group to be the best group so far in Mityana Diocese.

JULY 2016

  • Yesterday Jethro and I decided to proceed to Kabule Parish Church. The major reason for visiting was to pray for Lamech the group leader so that he may take on the responsibility of leading Rooted in Jesus group in that church. Trained as Lamech was, he was not very sure that that he would lead the group. This is the reason why Jethro and I decided to take on the leadership of the group two times as a demonstration to Lamech that he could also do it. The photo shows Lamech being prayed for so that the Spirit of God may strengthen him to lead the Rooted in Jesus group to the end. Some members from the congregation encircled him and prayed. On the other hand John took the children out side the church building to share with them the goodness of our Lord Jesus at their level. They ended up returning their lives to the Lord Jesus and claiming from Him the gift of Salvation. Praise and glory be to the Lord’s Name.

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    Praying for Lamech

AUGUST 2016

  • We thank Him greatly for enabling Jethro and I travel to BINIKIRA Church where a group of 10 members successfully studied Book 1. This group under the able leadership of Mark, is not only ready for each member to begin a Rooted in Jesus group, but also eagerly look forward  to begining studying Book 2. Certificates have been given to the group and the entire church fellowship has prayed for the group as well. We look forward in future when we will be visiting BINIKIRA villages for purpose of encouraging and praying for newly created Rooted in Jesus groups.
  • Today we were destined to reach KAMUSEENENE Parish church. This one of the most distant parish church in MAKONZI archdeaconry. The parish is located in the very area where gold is excavated, consequently the plurality of this society is enlarging. The search for new money is taking the central focus of many people in this parish. Therefore being Rooted in Jesus calls for greater emphasis in this area. The group leader started a Rooted in Jesus group which never picked up despite the born again members in her church. Just like we have done in some parishes, Jethro and I have decided to hold hands with her. We have registered a new group of Rooted in Jesus in that church. The membership is over 20 people. This new group has shown much enthusiasm to keep moving, and we will move with it until it is able to stand on its own.

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    A RinJ group studies the Word of God

OCTOBER 2016

  • Today we visited BINIKIRA Church. The number of Rooted in Jesus members is expanding. Those who have trained and ready to start their own groups are taking God’s Word very seriously. Required memory verses at every stage are perfectly glued in their memory chambers ready to be applied at the demand of various circumstances. We have encouraged the members of Rooted in Jesus groups to become intercessors as well. We will offer more training in that area to Rooted in Jesus groups. It has been a wonderfully blessed day.
  • This morning we went to LWEBITUUTI church located in Makonzi Archdeaconry. This church is led by Samuel, a very handsome young man whose love for the Lord can even be read from his face. Time and again he had persuaded church members to join Rooted in Jesus program but he had not received a positive response. But now, we are very thankful to the Lord. He has saved 22 members who have committed themselves to growing into Christlikeness through Rooted in Jesus program. Jethro and I have promised to return to this church as soon as the group begins.
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Samuel, Lay Reader at Lwebituuti, and his mother

John’s most recent message concludes: “It has been wonderful getting to know all that you have shared with us. Your ministry experience, coupled with experiences of our ministry colleagues located in different parts of the world, has added more impetus to my incessant desire to reach God’s people for Christ through Rooted in Jesus program.”

John’s dedication and commitment offer an inspiring example of what the Lord is able to do through those who give their lives to his service.

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John Musaasizi

The original team was led by Ven Capt James Tumwesigye and Revd William Musisi from the Dioceses of East and South Rwenzori, with Revd Ian and Mrs Sue Smale and Mrs Dorothy Spencer and Mr Peter Silverwood from the Deanery of Overton, UK.

Posted 31st October 2016 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

 

Growing disciples in Zambia with Dignity

Since 2008 Dignity Worldwide have been using Rooted in Jesus in their work with communities across rural Zambia, combining Christian discipleship with agricultural training to help people develop a sustainable lifestyle within their communities. Jo Kimball reports that from a tiny beginning nine years ago there are now over 350 Life! Groups meeting in 8 regions in Zambia and Namibia, supported by 18 experienced local trainers. The Life! Groups use Rooted in Jesus as part of their programme.

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Getting to grips with Rooted in Jesus in Mulashi

On their website Dignity explain:

Life! Groups are community based groups and work with churches of all denominations. We are seeing great things happen as a result of Life! Groups meeting: unity between churches, people becoming Christians, lives being turned around for the better, families being reunited, orphans being cared for, elderly people being looked after and many other local grass root projects. People who thought they could do nothing are transforming their communities as they discover freedom and hope in Jesus and start to work together in community. Some of the different things we’ve witnessed are:

  • Unity growing between churches previously divided
  • People becoming Christians and lives being turned around for the better
  • Villagers planting fields to pay for a school and teacher
  • Families adopting orphan children
  • Elderly people being cared for; some being provided with blankets, some prayed with or even some having their roof mended
  • Life! Groups in neighbouring villages working together to repair a bridge
  • Life! Groups from different areas working together to help a recovered alcholic man return to his family

Dignity works through local Impact Teams

It is encouraging to hear news of Ven Cornelius Chalwe, formerly the Rooted in Jesus coordinator in the Diocese of Luapula, now working closely with Dignity as an Impact Team member and trainer. Cornelius has recently moved to a new area, where he has already established 18 Life Groups, with some members finding faith for the first time.

At the other end of the country, in Mwinilunga, team member Dorothy has seen so much change in people’s lives that she and the team have begun to work over the border in DR Congo. Meanwhile team member Bernard writes from Mulashi: “This is one of the times in my life that gives me peace, joy and happiness; when I see people from different church denominations come together and learning.” And team members Moses and Boysen have returned to Makanga, Namibia, where they planted a number of Life Groups, to see how they are getting on and give them Rooted in Jesus Book 2.

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Team members Cornelius, Justin, Bernard and Dignity founder Jon Witt

Rooted in Jesus in the UK

In a new development, Dignity have begun to use Rooted in Jesus with refugees at Ivy Church in Manchester – people who come from a troubled country where it is illegal to be a Christian. Jo Kimball writes: ‘They are amongst us for a while and then many have to move on, some are able to settle and many hope to return home one day. We have a unique window of opportunity to equip these people with some skills and tools that they will be able to use to introduce Jesus to others in their communities and even back in their home country.’

Learning and growing

What do we learn from Dignity’s experience? That where Rooted in Jesus is adopted in rural communities, and properly supported by appropriately trained local coordinators, it brings enormous change and growth to people’s lives. It takes time for a tree to grow roots, but as the psalmist reminds us, strong roots produce a healthy and resilient tree. Everywhere Rooted in Jesus is used, this is the challenge: how best to support and empower local leaders to bring change to their communities. Dignity are doing a great job, and it is a privilege to be in partnership with them.

To read more stories and watch video interviews visit Dignity’s website here.

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Posted 20th October 2016 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

Pentecostal and Anglican disciples

 Jesus changes a factory in Kenya

It is always a joy to hear the latest news from those using Rooted in Jesus, our discipleship programme for Africa. In 2014 Brian and Sheila Keel introduced RinJ to several Pentecostal networks in Kenya, returning this May to visit some of those they worked with. Brian writes:

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Rooted in Jesus training in Bungoma

“Sheila and I have been in Western Kenya for the past week, and heard this testimony after church in a rural town today. Last November we were here in Bungoma, and held a RinJ follow-up conference, where we trained some additional facilitators; one of them being the pastor of the church we were speaking in this morning.  He works as a manager in a factory owned by British American Tobacco near the border with Uganda.  He started to take RinJ into the factory, using it in a morning before the men started work and during lunch hours; and as a result there are some 50 men who have become Christians and now attend his church.  As a pastor he had agreed with senior management that he wouldn’t work on a Sunday as he had church to lead.  However, when these men became believers, they too wanted to attend church on a Sunday, as opposed to working extra time in the factory!  This seemed to create a problem, which threatened his job, but when the management learned that he had employed some 200 men, half the total workforce, they changed their mind on the matter.  The factory does not now work on a Sunday, and the pastor has his job, and a bigger church so they are having to construct a much larger building!”

Brian and Sheila have also sent a video interview with Pastor Josphat Adieno, who tells joyfully of the changes he has seen among those using the course. To watch it click here.

Rooted in Jesus goes to Namibia

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Rooted in Jesus reaches Namibia

Last year Dignity Worldwide arranged for Rooted in Jesus to be translated into Lozi, and they have now launched the first Rooted in Jesus groups in Namibia, RinJ’s 16th country. Jo Kimball writes: “I wanted to share the attached photograph with you [above] as I think there’s something really special about it. The Namibian team were recently in Makolonga and took this photo of a lady reading Rooted in Jesus. She appears to be totally captivated by it despite the movement you see around her. I found something really uplifting in the photograph and I hope you do too.” All Dignity’s groups are interdenominational, building networks of Christian disciples across a community.

Discipleship and the Anglican Communion

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In March the Mission Department of the Anglican Communion Office published a major new report titled Intentional Discipleship and Disciple-Making – An Anglican Guide to Christian Life and Formation. In April the report was discussed at the international Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Lusaka, and the following resolution was passed: ‘The Anglican Consultative Council, in light of the gospel and theological imperative to make disciples,

  • recognizes the need for every province, diocese and parish in the Anglican Communion to adopt a clear focus on intentional discipleship and to produce resources to equip and enable the whole church to be effective in making new disciples of Jesus Christ;
  • requests the Standing Committee to work with the Secretary General and Mission Department to effect a Season of Intentional Discipleship for a period covering ACCs 16, 17,18 [ie the next 10 years]
  • commends the report, Intentional Discipleship and Disciple making—an Anglican Guide to Christian Life and Formation, for study across the Anglican Communion.’

We are delighted by the endorsement given to the report, to which Alison Morgan was one of the contributors. Rooted in Jesus and The God Who is There are both profiled in the report, and we look forward to the growth in Christian discipleship that will surely come over the next decade as a result of this initiative. The report can be downloaded from the Anglican Communion website.

To catch up with news as it comes in visit the Rooted in Jesus news page. To download our latest prayer diary click here.

Posted 27th May 2016 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

Children follow Jesus in Tanzania

Samwel is eight. Vincent is 83. Both live in Liwale, a small town on the shores of the Indian Ocean in the far south of Tanzania. Samwel and Vincent were the youngest and oldest participants in a Rooted in Jesus Junior training conference hosted by Bishop James Almasi and Jonathan Rendall in April.

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Samwel and Revd Vincent in Liwale

Jonathan writes: “Vincent is 83 and great fun. He is a retired Anglican priest who served in Liwale and decided to stay here. He dances in worship like a recycled teenager, with a smile and joy of a young man in love – well, he is! He loves Jesus with a passion, he radiates joy; he is a delight to be with. Even though we don’t speak much of each other’s languages, we share the joy of Jesus, we engage with eyes and heart, in dancing together and singing together: language is not a real barrier! He is so excited about Junior and it has been a joy working with him. We also have the youngest participant. At 8, Samwel is the the son of a church elder; he knows his Bible.  During the session entitled ‘God trusts Children’, he knew more than anyone else about some of the children in the Bible; he knows his way round it, handling the various references well.”

Here, in a town that is 99% Muslim, the relationships between Christian and Muslim are healthy and peaceful. This is very different from Kilwa, where +James and Jonathan had worked a few days previously. Coastal Islam is increasingly militant and aggressive to Christians, but the church in Liwale is relatively free and Christians are accepted within in the community. It was a great few days. The Jesus film was shown, the gospel preached, and the worship exuberant. While the rain poured down, over 20 people came to faith, 13 people were confirmed and 17 RinJ Junior leaders were trained and commissioned. The Sunday School in Liwale gained a new impetus, and by the end of the week the little church had doubled in numbers.

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A practice RinJ Junior lesson, Liwale

The visit to Liwale was just one of the things Jonathan did during a month in Tanzania, helping to encourage and train leaders to use the RinJ Junior disciple-making programme with children in schools and Sunday Schools.

He began in the Diocese of Morogoro, where he was one of the speakers at a Youth Conference organised by RinJ Junior Coordinator Godson Madibi, and attended by  over 600 young people – 400 of whom gave their lives to Christ, 200 of whom went home clutching their first Bible. This was followed by a day seminar for 25 clergy and diocesan staff from both Morogoro and the neighbouring dioceses of Mpwapwa and Kiteto, focussing specifically on Rooted in Jesus Junior. Some were already using Junior in their Sunday Schools, and told stories of blessing and encouragement.

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RinJ Junior conference, Morogoro

From Morogoro Jonathan travelled south to the Diocese of Masasi, where with Bishop James Almasi he set off to visit several remote villages to offer encouragement, training and support for those wanting to use RinJ Junior in their Sunday Schools. First stop was Kilwa, 99% Muslim, where Christians experience persecution and life is hard – one of the participants, Esther, had led the Pentecostal church since the martyrdom of her husband, the minister, last year. In Kilwa as in Liwale, the story of God’s grace was similar; the seminars and the Jesus film shows over five days – outside the churches, saw many come to faith; the church doubled in numbers from 30 to over 60 and 13 were commissioned as Junior leaders together with Esther and her daughter  from the Pentecostal church.

From Kilwa they went to Kilwa Kivinje, an outstation which has a church membership of 18, of which 11 are children, for the Sunday eucharist. “It is dangerous to be a Christian in Kivinje” said +James; the Muslim community is militant and radical in Kivinje and persecution is very real for all Christians. They are unable to build their church so meet under a tree each Sunday morning. The hope is that Rooted in Jesus Junior training will be given to families by the trained members of the Kilwa church, so that parents can disciple their children in their homes.

From Kivinje Jonathan and +James travelled to Lindi and then Mkuti, a parish in Masasi which built a Rooted in Jesus Junior classroom a few years ago. Thirteen churches were represented amongst the 26 leaders who came. Jonathan writes: “It was a very rewarding time for us all; successes and challenges openly shared then prayed over; the self-evaluation exercise was well received and opened up some good conversations in pairs and as a whole group. They were so keen to engage and to contribute. The final prayers before leaving were terrific; two circles, hands laid on the person in front for prayer, then reversed. The Holy Spirit was moving round the group so powerfully. God is so good! We have been part of something wonderful today: blessing abundant for the  Junior leaders, their children and churches in Masasi town and local parishes.”

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RinJ Junior training in Kilwa

After further training in the parishes of Lindi and Mkuti, Jonathan and +James headed back to Masasi, where they led a Junior day seminar for 25 participants from 14 churches, where over a thousand children now attend RinJ Junior groups. Leaders reported that children know the memory verses, have formed a choir, serve at Mass, clean the church and read the Bible in services, and have collected money to buy chairs for the group. Some groups have divided and the leaders are visiting children and their families at home.

Finally, Jonathan was invited to attend the third Annual Meeting of the leadership of Rooted in Jesus in Tanzania, where he was able to represent Alison Morgan, the overall director of RinJ. Held in Dodoma, attended by Diocesan Coordinators from 10 dioceses and led by Bishop Stanley Hotay, the Director of Rooted in Jesus in Tanzania, it was a time for sharing and planning. Coordinators confirmed that RinJ is now part of the syllabus in Bible Colleges, and is used as the standard preparation material for confirmation; they shared too the administrative and financial challenges that they were experiencing as they oversee the RinJ programme within their dioceses. Finally, plans were made for further training conferences this year.

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Rooted in Jesus national leadership team, Tanzania

For more about Rooted in Jesus see www.rootedinjesus.net.
Posted 13th May 2016 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

Rooted in Jesus spreads across Uganda

Rooted in Jesus has recently been introduced to three more dioceses in Uganda: Mityana in the south of the country, Lango in the centre and Karamoja in the far north east.

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The Diocese of Mityana has a population of 1.5 million, 45% of whom are Anglicans, and in October 2015 a UK / Ugandan team led the first two Rooted in Jesus conferences in the diocese at the invitation of Bishop Stephen Kaziimba.

The conferences were attended by 135 leaders, both ordained and lay, with vibrant worship, fervent prayer and much repentance and renewal on the part of the delegates. Within weeks there were 100 established groups across the diocese, and John Musaasizi wrote to say that “the Lord has created enthusiasm among group leaders. Groups are mushrooming up in various churches of the Diocese of Mityana. We are experiencing a great move of the Holy Spirit among those trained and grounded in the Rooted in Jesus Program.” John has been sending frequent reports as he travels round the diocese visiting the new groups. This is his account of just one visit:

“Jethro and I enjoyed travelling to Kiryokya parish. Two miles before we reached the place, a strong rain accompanied with wind of the same strength almost hindered us from moving forward. No sooner did we reach  Kiryokya Parish Church than it stopped. We entered the church where the group of Rooted in Jesus was sitting, rejoicing in the Lord and singing the Revival song Tukutendereza with great oomph. We indeed felt the presence of Jesus among us. He was already there with the group before we arrived. It was a group of 35 members. It was one of the biggest groups we had met. Revd Eriya was the group leader full of zeal to grow his group into Christ likeness. At the end of sharing all what the Lord had prepared for us, we provided room for personal commitment to the Lordship of Jesus. Ten of the members ga
ve their lives to Lord Jesus. Among those who gave their lives to Jesus was Nathan who had come with his wife Florence. He loudly announced his birth experience, moved fast towards his wife. Upon reaching her he knelt down and  wept. He sought forgiveness from his wife for having been a drunkard. The experience led a number of members to tears. The Holy Spirit was moving among us transforming everybody saved and unsaved. As Jethro, I and a few other members had laid our hands on Nathan praying, my legs began shaking and I prayed silently for myself so that the Lord may prevent me from falling on the floor while praying for Nathan. He did. Glory be to His Name.”

Diocesan Secretary Rocky Sendegeya has written to give thanks “for the great work and transformation in the lives of our people who attended the Rooted in Jesus training last year, evidenced by the reports which always come from different groups that have been established in different Parishes of the diocese. The training was really a blessing to the diocese and those who were trained have now become a blessing to the communities where they come from.” The Diocese hopes to hold further training this year.

The team was led by Ven James Tumesigwe from the Diocese of East Rwenzori, with Revd William Musisi from South Rwenzori and Revd Ian and Mrs Sue Smale, Dee Spencer and Peter Silverwood from the UK. The conferences were hosted by Canon John Musaasizi.

  • To read a conference report by Ian Smale click here.

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    A Rooted in Jesus group in Mityana

The Diocese of Lango is a large diocese with 8 archdeaconries, 51 parishes and 678 sub-parishes. The Rooted in Jesus conference, held in Lira Cathedral, was attended by 182 leaders, many of whom testified to the touch of the Holy Spirit on their lives during the times of prayer and worship. Bishop Charles Odurkami presented certificates, and 100 groups are planned to start shortly. Coordinator Revd Ronald Eguny wrote afterwards: “On the behalf of the Diocese of Lango I want to thank the Director of Rooted in Jesus for sending us wonderful teams which was so lovely, free, accommodative, God fearing people, prayerful and made a good presentation to the participants. I am getting reports from all the parishes and it has made my work very easy.”

  • To read a conference report by Ronald Eguny click here.
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Learning about the Holy Spirit in Lango

The team moved on to the Diocese of Karamoja, arriving on the second attempt after a broken leaf-spring bracket forced their vehicle off the road. Karamoja is a place with a past, with rivalry and brutality between rival tribes having led to many violent deaths; most of the conference participants had lost family members. Bishop Joseph Abura had just hosted a reconciliation convocation attended by 7000 people, and so Rooted in Jesus comes at a time of new beginnings – and one participant had a prophetic vision of a new period of peace, with cattle free to roam and freedom from the fear of militias.

The conference was attended by 80 participants: all the clergy, plus invited Lay Readers, members of the Mothers and Fathers Unions, Church Wardens, Sunday School teachers, Youth leaders, and parish mission coordinators. Many testified to healing, with one woman in particular visibly transformed until she became radiant with joy.

Bishop Joseph wrote afterwards: “You were here in Moroto to give birth to what is likely going to develop deep roots in this diocese. Almost all the diocese’s leaders and managers attended the training. We shall try our level best to start the RinJ groups and fellowships. Continue to pray for us on this.” The new groups will be overseen by Diocesan Coordinator John Onyao.

Both the Lango and Karamoja teams were led by Revd Derek Price, with James Tumesgiwe, William Musisi, Andy Douglass, Jeannetta Stokes, Sarah Richardson, Ben Beecroft and, as intercessors, Clark and Carol Smith of E412 Ministries.

  • To read conference reports by Derek Price click here.
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Worship in Karamoja

Looking ahead

Rooted in Jesus has now been introduced to 7 Anglican dioceses and one Pentecostal network in Uganda. Director Alison Morgan was delighted to meet with Archbishop Stanley Ngatali in Bristol recently. Archbishop Ngatali says that discipleship is the big challenge in the Province, with many people responding to the gospel but few receiving appropriate nurture and training afterwards. He is keen to see Rooted in Jesus implemented in more dioceses, starting with his own diocese of Kampala. A number of other dioceses are currently translating the leader’s books in preparation for a conference.

To read more about Rooted in Jesus in Uganda visit the Uganda page of the Rooted in Jesus website, or check out the recent feedback from Diocesan Coordinators here. In addition to Mityana, Lango and Karamoja, Rooted in Jesus has been introduced to the dioceses of South Rwenzori, Muhabura, Bunyoro Kitara and Kumi. Rooted in Jesus Junior is in use both in South Rwenzori and in the Quality Discipleship Network of churches in the area around Entebbe. Our last post about Uganda was in April 2015.

www.rootedinjesus.net

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Mityana, Lango and Karamoja

Posted 16th March 2016 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

Rooted in Jesus Annual Report 2015

We have just published our annual report for 2015. There is much to be grateful to God for:

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  • for the vision and leadership of the bishops as they encourage their people to become disciples of Jesus
  • for the dedication of diocesan coordinators and group leaders
  • for the many joyful testimonies of changed lives
  • for those who give up their time to lead and join RinJ teams
  • for the ceaseless support and answered prayers of the intercessors
  • for the provision of the finances needed to print books and help dioceses with conference costs

You can read the Annual Report here. And you can catch up with some of the recent testimonies sent by Diocesan Coordinators here.

Partner with us!

Rooted in Jesus is run entirely on donations. This year we are hoping to send teams to South Sudan and DR Congo, countries facing challenges we can scarcely imagine. We would love to increase training opportunities for RinJ Junior, for the future of any country lies with its children. We wish to continue to support the Tanzanian leadership team who now run RinJ independently thereAnd we want to be able to continue to invest in the lives of ordinary people all over Africa, people who want to follow Jesus and share his love with their friends and neighbours.

If you would like to partner with us by making a regular donation to Rooted in Jesus, however small, we would be immensely grateful to you. You can do this by completing a simple standing order form (click here). Or you can make a one-off donation here or by following the link through the donate button below. Both these have a Gift Aid option to enable us to reclaim the tax on your donation.

Thank you!

Alison Morgan, Director, Rooted in Jesus
Posted 17th February 2016