Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

 

 

Local bookshops run out of Bibles

In 2014 Brian Keel and a team from the Leadership Development Partnership introduced Rooted in Jesus to several networks of Pentecostal churches in Kenya. The team returned in November 2015 to see how things were going – and found themselves listening to some amazing stories.

A new demand for Bibles

‘As a result of Rooted in Jesus being used in areas where Bible ownership is low, there have been a request for us to supply local language Bibles, as more Christians now desire their own copy of the scriptures, and local shops have none left,’ Brian reports. These are rural areas, in which ‘biblical understanding is quite low, as for many leaders their knowledge is what they have acquired from others, who have also not received any teaching.’ The team were able to offer 300 leaders a Swahili Bible at a 50% subsidy, and are praying for the funding for more.

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Leaders in Murang’a receive RinJ certificates

Groups bring change and growth

Brian continues: ‘In Bungoma and Kombewa we were able to hear some of the testimonies from those we trained 18 months ago – there were some incredible accounts!’

  • one RinJ group had doubled in number every week for the first 4 weeks as word got around
  • a pastor said his church had grown from 20 to 50 members
  • a bishop said he had learned how to teach and train others; his network had increased from 250 to 400 members
  • many had become believers, and were beginning to teach others
  • group members had become bold to serve God
  • RinJ has given a foundation to the church, enabling members to remain firm in their faith
  • through the memory verses those who cannot read have been learning the scriptures; others have begun to study the Bible for themselves
  • a leader working amongst Muslims had planted 2 new churches, with 53 people in RinJ groups
  • people have been able to find healing and offer forgiveness
  • some leaders had started with one group but were now running several groups as demand had increased
  • one leader described RinJ as ‘the way of the Spirit’
  • group members have become leaders in the church
  • group members have begun to share their faith and lead people to Christ
  • a pastor said his workload had reduced as people gained confidence and took leadership roles in the church
  • when people are invited to express and discuss, it leads to them feeling part of the church in a way they had not previously experienced
  • the course enables the leader to minister specifically into people’s lives
  • people have been saved and delivered, they now have a personal relationship with Jesus
  • RinJ is ‘a very essential programme for both new believers and those Christians who only know Christ on the surface level’

The value of a second conference

RinJ has now been introduced into three networks: in Bungoma, Vine International (overseer Dan Macheko); in Ruiru and Kahatia, Pentecostal Evangelical Fellowship of Africa (Bishop Peter Chege and Principal of Nairobi Pentecostal Bible College Kennedy Maturi); and in Kombewa, Glad Tidings Churches (overseer Moses Jagero).

Moses Jagero commented that in 2014 some leaders had been sceptical about Rooted in Jesus, but that the testimonies shared at the conference had shown that it is a powerful tool. As always, it is the ‘early adopters’ who run with something which is very new  – and once again the value of a follow-up conference after one year has been clearly demonstrated.

For more news and testimonies follow the links below:

To catch up with Rooted in Jesus in Kenya visit the Kenya page of our website.

Ruiru 2015b

Leaders in Ruiru

Posted 29th January 2016 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

‘Our parishioners are dying in silence and I am convinced that RinJ is the cure”

In November 2015 we were finally able to honour the invitation from Bishop Brighton Malasa to send a team to introduce Rooted in Jesus to the Diocese of Upper Shire, Malawi. A joint UK-Zambian team led by Revd John Lee led a single four day conference for 80 clergy and lay leaders at the Chilema Conference Centre just outside Zomba. The two Zambian team members, Fr Kapomba Sekeleti and Canon Susan Mumba, came from the neighbouring diocese of Eastern Zambia, where RinJ has been in use since 2008. The three UK team members were all from the Diocese of York.

Group in practice under Chilema tree

A group in a practice session under the Chilema tree. This is apparently a unique plant unknown anywhere else with multiple trunks and branches growing into each other. Probably, therefore, the most appropriate place on the planet to learn Rooted in Jesus together!

Team Leader John Lee reports:

“The Diocese has an Anglo-Catholic tradition with mass at the heart of worship and a strong emphasis on clerical leadership. It is deeply engaged with the needs of the community it serves and a major resource in training and education. Bishop Brighton Malasa was very helpful in facilitating the conference. His senior staff were on hand and participated in the conference itself. The Vicar General, Canon Francis Chipala, was given the role of the link between the team and  the diocese and he provided all that was needed.

There were 80 delegates for the conference: 31 Clergy and 49 Laity (drawn from Mothers Union, Daughters of the King, St Monica, Youth, Boys and Girls Brigade). The delegates were open and receptive to the teaching of the conference, and the Q&A session on the last day demonstrated an appetite for using Rooted in Jesus as widely as possible in the life of the diocese, and the Bishop was encouraging this. The Holy Spirit teaching had also made an impact on a number of the delegates.

Bishop Brighton appointed a team to coordinate Rooted in Jesus in the Diocese: this team will be led by Fr Edward Kawinga. We’re very encouraged by this choice. Fr Edward was an able and obviously engaged translator who, we felt, was enthused by the conference. He will be joined by Emmanuel Douglas (Youth), Fr Elliot Litereko and Mrs Nancy Mkata (Daughters of the King).

John’s full report can be found here.

Ten days after the conference we received the following moving email from Fr Edward Kawinga, the newly appointed coordinator:

“Just had my first meeting with members of the first RinJ group formed last Sunday soon after church service today. Guess what! RinJ 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.”

“The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10.10

Posted 16th December 2015 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

Rooted in Jesus in Kigali

Rooted in Jesus was first introduced to the Diocese of Kigali at the invitation of Bishop Louis Muvunyi in 2013, and in October a team led by Ven Kevin Roberts returned to lead a second followup conference. The team included members from the UK and from Burundi, and offered two conferences, one for Mothers Union leaders and one for Youth Leaders.
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Kevin reports:

A Conference for the Mothers’ Union

“We began with a four day introductory conference for 48 members of the Mother’s Union,
invited from the 40+ parishes in the Diocese by the Diocesan MU Coordinator, Peace Mukamisha. The delegates included some younger ‘pre-MU’ members as part of a strategic decision by the diocese to link the MU to the expanding and exciting work that God is doing among the youth in the diocese. The intention is that each delegate will start a MU Rooted in Jesus group, so that there is one in each parish from which others can multiply. The week was wonderful in every way, with delegates engaging seriously with the programme, enjoying each other’s company and worshipping with a passion and freedom that it was a delight to witness and be a part of. During the course of the week we heard testimonies of physical healing, of the healing of memories and relationships (some connected to the 1994 genocide), of deep forgiveness and of a new found joy. We received a number of pictures, scriptures and prophecies, before and during the conference, with a ‘living water’ theme, some speaking of a waterfall of general blessing and others of wells and pipes from which the water was given to individuals. God was as good as his word! The certificates and RinJ books were presented by +Louis and his wife Winnie (the Diocesan MU President) in a wonderful final ceremony.

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A Conference for the Youth

The second conference was for 54 youth cell leaders from each parish, all leaders within the archdeaconry teams set up recently by the Youth Department under the guidance of Eric Habyarimana. Eight of the delegates were existing group leaders. They reported to us that 16 leaders of new groups had emerged from their initial groups, which is good news indeed. The week was memorable for lots of reasons, not least the sheer passion and commitment of these young disciples. The worship was about as vigorous and energetic as I have seen ever, anywhere, which is saying a lot! There was a freshness a
nd openness to the Spirit which we had seen in previous years amongst the young people and which was evident again this year. It really does appear as if God is doing a particular work amongst  the youth and that the young people are truly “the power of the church” in Rwanda, and its future.

We were wonderfully supported throughout by +Louis a
nd Winnie Muvunyi, who could not have been kinder or more welcoming of the team. I must also record our thanks to Peace, Eric and Celestin who served us well during the conferences, along with the team of translators and caterers and diocesan staff who made us feel thoroughly at home. It feels as though God is building our partnership, and I hope that we can continue to build on this in future years as Rooted in Jesus becomes a main discipleship resource within the Diocese of Kigali.”
Kigali 2015

God was clearly at work among both the conference participants and the team members themselves:

Conference participants said: 

  • “I thank God for what happened in my heart. I used to have great sadness, but now the old wounds have been healed. I used not to pray, but now the darkness has gone away and there is only light!  I feel happy!  Glory to God!” Lecardie
  • “Before I came, I felt far from God, like my prayers weren’t reaching God. Now I feel my prayer is reaching God and I have joy. I felt like the flat balloon. Now I feel filled up.  God has given me joy in the Holy Spirit.” Nathaniel
  • “I am happy because of what He has done. I had a great sadness, but God gave me joy. I can now forgive the one who hurt me. Glory to God.” Marie Rose

Team member Revd Kristy Pattimore writes:

“The visit to Rwanda was amazing. I knew it would be an adventure – I’ve never been to Africa before, but I actually was surprised by how ‘at home’ I felt there. I loved the people and the whole experience of being able to serve them as part of a gifted, loving team. I loved the worship, which was vibrant and full of joy. It was also a privilege to help the delegates to delve more into the Bible, to learn knew skills in leadership and, above all to encounter God afresh through ministry times. I feel that I grew personally, discovering new gifts and healing in my own life. I found the programme really inspiring. As a pioneer minister, my main focus is on making disciples, who can then make disciples, so Rooted in Jesus was very relevant to me.”

Kigali 2015.3

Team member Revd David Wood writes:

“I feel as though I have been lifted out of something of a rut in my ministry. A greater confidence in the work of the Holy Spirit in directing my thinking and speaking; I hope a greater willingness to take some risks under her direction. We shall see.

There was the inevitable queue for food and some had stayed behind in the main hall next door. This small group (equally inevitably!) were engaged in worship when, led by Alice, they launched into something very different. I have no idea what the words were but the language was unmistakable. It struck me as being a song of longing for Jesus and it caught something in me: they’d hardly got two notes out before tears were running down my face (as they are now as I type this). We had only said the evening before that there didn’t seem to have been a ‘Holy Spirit moment’ at that point, and there it was in an unguarded and unexpected moment. It lasted maybe two or three minutes. I didn’t have any lunch that day; it just didn’t seem necessary. I didn’t mention it to anyone else at the time; it was so intensely personal that I couldn’t.”

It is such a privilege and a joy to be part of an international Communion, to share with brothers and sisters in Christ who face different challenges and have different insights, and to find that Jesus is in our midst. We continue to pray for one another as together we work out what it means to live as his disciples and to build his kingdom in the particular contexts in which he has placed us.

Team member Elisha Nkezabahizi writes:

“Jesus worked with us especially in both conferences. I learned much from you and from my Lord Jesus. I will never forget the time I spent with you friends. I was touched much on how difficult it was to say goodbye. My tears took place there. It was not easy to let one go and others stay. But God is good, I hope to hear to what Jesus is doing for you and for your life and the Church as well.”

To find out more about Rooted in Jesus in Rwanda visit the Rooted in Jesus website here.

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Posted 15th December 2015 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

Jesus changes lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo

In July 2015 we sent our second Rooted in Jesus team to the Diocese of Katanga in the DR Congo. The Diocese, in the south east of the country,  is the size of England. The population of some 10 million lives in a scattering of towns and villages, with 1.5 million in the mining industries centred on Lubumbashi. The team held conferences in Lubumbashi and Kapolowe before travelling to Kalemie, the eastern missionary area of the diocese. This is an area of the country much affected by civil war and characterised by extreme poverty.

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Participants at the second conference

The team began in Lubumbashi by asking for feedback on the existing groups. They learned that there had been much preparatory prayer before announcing groups to congregations or inviting outsiders;  some groups comprised all church members, some all non-members,  some a mix; all were mixed age and gender. There were many testimonies of relationships deepened,  marriages changed and of healings.

They moved on to Kapolowe, three hours away by road and in a deeply rural area. The conference was held in a classroom wing of the local school. 28 men and 26 women attended, representing each parish in the area. Some had travelled 105 km by bicycle and then taxi along rough dirt roads. The team found that people were poor, mainly farmers, but so beautiful, attentive, with wonderful worship, and so hungry for more of God. The invitation to receive the Holy  Spirit saw many blessed – local culture is such that physical response to the Spirit was freely made, with dancing, laughing and sighing.

The third conference was held in Kalemie. 110 people attended from all the local denominations, with some cycling 250 miles over six days, sleeping at the roadside. The team were told there are 61 Anglican RinJ groups meeting in this area, all established since the first conference a year ago. Coordinator James Muyundo explained:

“Our RinJ Co-ordination is very new and it is in the post conflict area of DR Congo in Tanganyika Province. During the conflict period people have lost many things: lives and properties. The people who could support us have lost even their lives. This new coordination in a new Diocese needs new supports, new resources, new plans, and new strategies to make the dream of having a Diocese come true!”

Ngoi Lwakabila Vincent and Banze Mukangala travelled 250 iles by bicycle to attend the conference

Ngoi Lwakabila Vincent and Banze Mukangala travelled 250 miles by bicycle to attend the conference

It is clear that in this place where so many have so little, where suffering has been great and the future remains uncertain, people are committing their lives to Jesus and finding real joy as they learn to trust and to follow him. A year ago Bishop Elisha Tendwa wrote to us: “Prophet Ezekiel saw the valley of dry bones, so we were a valley of dry bones – but now through the RinJ team God breathed new life into a valley of dry bones, created waves of revival, waves of growth and spiritual life to His people in Congo.” This year the evidence for that was clear. The team invited those who had been using RinJ to share their stories, and the following testimonies were shared with those team members who speak swahili – bearing witness both to personal transformation and church growth:

St John’s Church, Makata Parish

Pastor Mwembo says: “We give thanks to RinJ, we were 70 members and we now are 130, including children. We have eight groups each with 6 members. They evangelise 4 families who have now become Christians.”

“Gabrielle Kaputo fled 600 km from the north, leaving behind everything she owned. She said she became encouraged by the teachings of RinJ both physically and spiritually. She had a problem of bearing children. But after RinJ Conference last year, she got prayers for healing and now her problem had overcome and she had a baby.”

Gabrielle Kaputo

Mamba Parish

“Susanna Umba gives thanks for the teachings. She benefited through reading  Jeremiah 17:7–8. She began working with children; there are now 28 children in Sunday School. She evangelised one family and as a result the whole family became Christians. Although she faced hardships she didn’t give up. She continued to serve God. She started women’s groups.  She started with 3 or 4 women but up to now there are 15 new members. Some women are good in leading worship and read the readings during morning service.”

“Pastor Kabange gives thanks for the RinJ conference. They started with 2 groups with 5 members each. Up to now they have 4 groups – almost 20 members each. A whole church  – 120 including adults and children” -–above, complete with tarpaulin extension!

Mamba church - Kalemie 0715

Mamba church, with its new tarpaulin extension!

Manono Parish

After attending the RinJ Seminar last year Ven Ngoi Lwakabila Vincent started 5 groups with 4 members each. The number increased. He started another 5 groups in sub-parishes. The total number in the whole Parish is now 70 members. He and his colleague Banze Mukangala cycled 250 miles to attend the conference.

Ven Ngoi Lwakabila Vincent and Revd Banze Mukangala

Ven Ngoi Lwakabila Vincent and Revd Banze Mukangala

Lukwangulo Parish

Revd Kabeye Katengu Bertin – “RinJ teachings helped a family from Pygmy society. This family were totally pagans; they used to play a part in witchdoctor activities. A man who was a head of family had been possessed by demons during his activities. When ‘Rooted in Jesus’ teachings reached in their village, a woman from that family was attracted by them and she joined the RinJ group. As the days went on, she started to influence her husband, as a result, her husband also joined the group.  He handed over all the things which were being used in witch activities to the church to burn so that he will remain free. Up to now, that family including father, mother and three children are Christians and they are all RinJ group members. The total number of Church members at Lukwangulo Parish is 43 including adults and children.”

The team was led by Revd Matthew Grayshon, with members from the UK, Canada, South Africa, and Tanzania, working with diocesan coordinators Stephane Makata and James Mayundo, and their colleague Revd Bertin Subi. The bishops are Kasima Corneille and Elisha Tendwa.

To read a report from James Mayundo click here.
For other recent reports on Rooted in Jesus visit the website and look for ‘what’s new’.
To catch up on feedback from the dioceses visit the news page here.

Posted 26th October 2016 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

Rooted in Jesus Conferences, Diocese of Mara, Tanzania – July 2015

The Diocese of Mara is centred on Musoma, on the shores of Lake Victoria

The Diocese of Mara is centred on Musoma, on the shores of Lake Victoria

The Diocese of Mara has been using Rooted in Jesus to great effect since 2011, and there are now over 80 groups meeting, one or more in almost every parish of the diocese, many of which are now completing the programme – known locally as ‘The Family of One Heart and One Mind in Rooted in Jesus’. Rooted in Jesus Junior was introduced in 2013, and over 70 Sunday Schools now teach their children this way. The programme is overseen by Canon Jacob Robert (adult) and Revd Grace Daudi (children). Jacob is also part of the national leadership team for RinJ in northern Tanzania, and now the bishop elect of this diocese.

Jacob had invited us to return to Musoma, the centre of the Diocese (where support for RinJ has also been provided through a team from the link Diocese of St Mark the Evangelist in South Africa) to run two conferences: one for Sunday School teachers, and one for Mothers Union leaders. This is the first time we have ever run a conference specifically for women leaders, and as Jacob prepares to begin his episcopal ministry it was an excellent way of affirming the growing ministry of women in the diocese. It was a privilege to work alongside Grace, the MU President, and her deputy Beatrice, who had worked hard to organise the conferences.

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A workshop at the women’s conference

The conferences were attended by some 90 participants from across the diocese, about 70 of whom received certificates qualifying them to lead either Sunday School or Mothers Union groups. The numbers were evenly divided between the two conferences, the big surprise (for us) being the high proportion of young men chosen to represent their parishes at the Junior conference – there are few leadership opportunities for younger people within the church, it seems, and it was encouraging to see the energy and commitment they brought to the conference.

After the conferences were over, the team divided, with Alison and Kim remaining in Mara before travelling to Arusha, and the others moving down to the Diocese of Masasi in the south to lead a further RinJ Junior conference. It was a privilege for Alison and Kim to be able to spend a couple of days visiting parishes which have RinJ groups: we went to Bunda on Saturday, to Butiama and Nyakiswa on Sunday, and Buhemba and Gesaria on Monday. In Bunda we met with an established Junior group led by Christina, with 20 enthusiastic children keen to answer questions and share memory verses. In Buhemba, where the church has some 1000 members, we met with a women’s group newly formed by a conference participant, and heard of the two new Junior groups also formed the day before. In Gerasia we listened to powerful testimonies from three existing group members, and were invited by Pastor Samuel to name the new church (now called Holy Trinity), before meeting some of the orphans cared for by the church, and feasting on rice and meat in his traditional walled family home.

Members of the RinJ Junior group in Bondo

Members of the RinJ Junior group in Bondo

Alison and Kim then travelled by road across northern Tanzania via the Serengeti National Park to Arusha, where we met with Bishop Stanley Hotay and the new RinJ administrator Cate Mwega, with Jacob Robert and Linnet Smith who was coming to the end of her last visit as RinJ Link Officer. It was good to hear of the plans for expansion and development of RinJ within the Province, and particularly of the recent Synod meeting of 10 bishops with Bishops Stanley Hotay and James Almasi. Cate is doing an excellent job as RinJ administrator, and there are plans to appoint two new deputy zonal coordinators to support Jacob and +James in their roles. Morale is high, and further conferences are due to take place in Masasi, Lweru, Victoria Nyanza and Mpwapwa in the next few months, supported by the Anglican Communion Fund grant received earlier this year.

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Travelling within the diocese

Posted 8th August 2015 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

News from Rooted in Jesus Junior

Rooted in Jesus Junior is a Sunday School discipleship programme for use with 8-14 year olds. Normally introduced once the adult programme has been in use in a diocese for some time, it had now been adopted by 11 dioceses/denominations. Jonathan Rendall has been talking with some of the coordinators.

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“I am a new man – there is a new spirit in me” – Godson Madibi

Revd Godson Madibi reports that in the Diocese of Morogoro, Tanzania, a RinJ Junior Celebration was held in the cathedral on Easter Day, for children and their parents. To Godson’s amazement and delight, over 1200 children attended this event, which included singing, praying worshipping, reading the Bible together, drama and preaching (by the children). Parents were so enthusiastic that they have offered to sponsor future gatherings; Godson himself has experienced a renewal of spirit and a deepening of his calling to oversee the Junior programme across the diocese. Bishop Godfrey has asked Godson to start further groups across the diocese, and to made contact with all existing groups. Godson has begun to travel from parish to parish encouraging the Junior teachers and clergy; he asks for our prayers.

The Diocese of South Rwenzori, Uganda

RinJ was introduced to this diocese, at the invitation of Bishop Jackson Nzerebende, back in 2008. Last year we sent a team to train Sunday School teachers to use RinJ Junior. Revd William Musisi reports that Junior is now growing across the diocese, with 7 archdeaconry coordinators appointed and 98 groups established in the parishes. William’s own church in Bwera, on the Uganda/Congo border is growing, with 2 Junior groups meeting on Sundays; the children gave the readings and shared their testimonies at a recent Family Sunday service.

Exciting reports are coming in from the archdeaconries too. William told Jonathan of the recent one-week mission held in Kasese, with one day being dedicated entirely to work among children – over 1000 children attended a day rally and marched through the town, all the Junior groups being represented, and new groups are now planned.

William and his previous colleague Revd James Tumwesigye are leading a joint UK/Uganda RinJ team to the Diocese of Mityana later this year.

RinJ Junior children at the children's gospel crusade, Kasese

RinJ Junior children at the children’s gospel crusade, Kasese

Growing ministry in the Diocese of Eastern Zambia

Under the leadership of Bishop William Mchombo, this diocese has been using RinJ since 2008 and RinJ Junior since last year. The Junior programme is coordinated by Revd Abraham Phiri. Abraham reports that there are now 60 Junior groups meeting across the diocese, all of which are now on Book 3. Children are enjoying the groups so much that they have begun to invite their friends to church; many have real testimonies of how the Lord is working in their lives.

RinJ Junior spreads in South Africa

Nicole Corlew has sent a report on the recent combined RinJ and RinJ Junior training conference held in Polokwane, in the Diocese of St Mark the Evangelist. 20 adult and 19 Junior leaders were trained, including a woman who plans to use Junior for the children participating in her church’s feeding scheme, a youth leader from the cathedral who wants to provide something for the younger siblings of the teenagers who come, and a teenager named Frank who led the best practice session Nicole has ever seen! The conference was opened by Bishop Martin Breytenbach, and the teams led by Nicole Corlew (Junior) and Jack Kudumela (adult). We are dismayed to learn that Jack has since suffered a stroke, and we invite your prayers for him. To read Nicole’s report click here.

RinJ Junior leaders trained, Diocese of St Mark the Evangelist

RinJ Junior leaders trained, Diocese of St Mark the Evangelist

Robert Sihubwa and the Diocese of Lusaka

Revd Robert Sihubwa is the vicar of St Peter’s, Lusaka, a church whose congregation has multiplied 4 times since he took up his post there a year ago, reaching its current size of 450 people – one of Robert’s recurrent tasks is that of buying new chairs! Robert is using RinJ Junior at St Peter’s as well as acting as coordinator for the diocese.

Alongside his local roles, Robert is the Africa Secretary for Teen Challenge, and will act as General Secretary to the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in April 2016, which is to be held in Lusaka. The ACC has been asked to prepare a paper on discipleship for the entire Anglican Communion (Alison Morgan is one of the contributors to this paper), with a view to the establishment of a Decade of Discipleship. Robert is keen to promote discipleship at both local and national level, and the Diocese of Lusaka has set discipleship as their key agenda for the next three years. A focus group is being formed, with the aim of planning for discipleship training for children aged 5-10 across the diocese; Robert anticipates that RinJ Junior will be the key driver for this programme.

Provincial Youth Training in Kenya

Captain Joshua Opondo is RinJ coordinator for the Diocese of Maseno South. Joshua is also an experienced RinJ team member who has provided both RinJ adult and Junior training in other dioceses; he is also the Provincial Youth Coordinator for the Anglican Church of Kenya.

Bishop Stanley Hotay, Director of RinJ Tanzania, was the main speaker at the recent Provincial Youth Conference, and Joshua is now working with the Provincial Youth Department to consider how best to promote discipleship among young people across the Province. At home, Joshua has introduced Junior to the Cathedral, where he is on the staff, has used the adult course for a highly successful confirmation class, and is working to support the groups across the diocese – where RinJ was introduced less than a year ago.

Looking ahead

‘The best decision anyone can ever make, at any point in life, in any circumstance, whoever they are, wherever they are, whatever they are, is to become a disciple of Jesus Christ’ – Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, in his Lambeth Lecture, March 2015.

At Rooted in Jesus we are committed to supporting the vision of the Anglican Communion to help people of every age and every nationality grow as disciples of Jesus.

Posted 15th July 2015 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan

“Until now you have not asked anything in my name…”

‘Until now you have not asked anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete’ – John 16.24.

Rooted in Jesus Report from Kolwezi, Diocese of Katanga, DR Congo

Certificates being awarded in Kowezi

Certificates being awarded in Kolwezi

Rooted in Jesus was introduced to the Diocese of Katanga, which lies in the south eastern region of DR Congo, in 2014. The team was led by Matthew Grayshon, and included members from the UK, South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania. Revd Stéphane Makata was appointed diocesan coordinator by Bishop Kasima Corneille, and has sent us regular and inspiring reports of the difference Rooted in Jesus is making to people’s lives as they learn to pray, live and read the Bible differently. The following report (translated from French by Alison Morgan) contains testimonies given in public on the occasion of the presentation of certificates to those who had completed Book 1 of Rooted in Jesus. Many of them are based on group members’ experience of praying according to the memory verse John 16.24.

Stéphane writes:

Kolwezi lies 360 km south west of Katanga. Notwithstanding this, Bishop Kasima Munono Corneille was willing to travel from Lubumbashi to Kolwezi using his own financial resources, in order to be present at the ceremony at which the Rooted in Jesus certificates were awarded. Rooted in Jesus has been able to plant several new churches, and so Bishop Kasima also presented poles and tarpaulins which will enable group members to construct their own places of worship.

Bishop Kasima Corneille presents poles and tarpaulins for the construction of new churches

Bishop Kasima Corneille presents poles and tarpaulins for the construction of new churches

KOLWEZI DEANERY, Parish of St John

Catechist JOEL NGOY MAKOBO, group leader

“After my training in Lubumbashi on how to use the Rooted in Jesus Christ programme, I went to Kolwezi for my final academic placement. I travelled by bicycle, and I have now been ministering there since April 5th 2014. When I arrived at Kolwezi I began to attend a church in my placement parish where there were 6 people. I decided to begin by teaching the Rooted in Jesus material every Sunday, and it captivated more and more people. After two months the number attending had grown to 45. God continued to help us by calling further people through healings and answered prayers. We have numerous testimonies, and today the church has at least 95 members and we have groups such as the choir, the prayer group, the Mother’s Union, the Boys Brigade and prayer cells each with their own leaders.”

Catechist Joel Ngoy Makobo

Catechist Joel Ngoy Makobo

The following testimonies were given by those who have been taught through Rooted in Jesus:

ERICK

“I was lost and I had abandoned the church, but when I discovered the teaching of Rooted in Jesus I received the Lord Jesus for real. I used to dream about prostitutes, but through prayer and the teachings, I have to say that I am now completely free of this. I didn’t know how to share my faith or stand against witchcraft, but now I can do both these things. Certainly Jesus Christ has saved me.”

PETRO

“I was never interested either in the church or in prayer; but today through the teachings of Rooted in Jesus Christ I love to serve God in the church. I was a thief but now I have renounced that. Truly Jesus Christ has saved me.”

ASTRIDE

“I was a great sinner: rude, insulting, arrogant and slanderous. However, after receiving the teachings of Rooted in Jesus Christ, Christ has truly saved me, and I now share good news with others so they too may be saved as I have been.”

ISAAC

“I was a self employed miner, searching for minerals. I was far too fond of brawling and drunkenness, and each time I did this I would dream that I was fighting against supernatural aliens – they were like wild beasts. I even had a child with a prostitute. After receiving the teachings of Rooted in Jesus Christ, I now share the good news of Jesus Christ. I now know to pray for myself and for others. I love Jesus Christ.”

DIVINE

I was lost and I was following wrong paths – for example adultery, lying, pride, and evil spirits. These spirits were in me, but after receiving Jesus Christ through the teachings of Rooted in Jesus Christ, I am saved. I am now going to serve God.

FELLY

“I was a slanderer, adulterer and thief, and I had never loved the church. Today I have been saved through the teachings of Rooted in Jesus Christ, and I love Jesus Christ.”

DEANERY OF KIPUSHI, Parish of St Peter

These are the testimonies of those who have completed Book 1 of Rooted in Jesus.

Members of a RinJ group in Kipushi receive their certificates

Members of the RinJ group in Kipushi receive certificates

KULITA

“I thank God because he has shown his power in me since I had an accident and broke my pelvis. When I received the teaching from the Rooted in Jesus course, especially John 16.24, I prayed according to what it said. One night while I was asleep, I saw someone come in and cut my hip, and my leg fell out of my trousers, so I cried out to my wife that I have lost my leg, it has just been cut off! When I opened my eyes, I could feel no pain and all my limbs were there, healed – as they have remained to this day. So I can travel by motor bike either to church or to the hospital. My family are all saved, and we believe in Jesus Christ. He is our Lord and Saviour forever.”

FRANCOIS

“I am a soldier, and although I would go to church I had no foundation of faith. But with all these teachings that I have just received, I my faith is now founded on Jesus Christ. Me and my family, no one can snatch us from his hands. He is our only Lord and Saviour. We will feed on his words in the same way that we feed on real food.”

MBUYI

“My daughter was going to give birth but it was difficult; the doctor told us she needed surgery which would cost US $500. I am a widow – where was I to find all this money? At one o’clock in the morning I remembered the teaching from Rooted in Jesus. I went alone to church and I prayed. Jesus Christ had encouraged me to pray according to John 16.24, “So far you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be complete.” I prayed like this: ‘Cast your eye uon your widow now, for you are the father of orphans; fulfill your word in me so that my joy may be complete according to your will.” At five in the morning my children, who had been looking for me all night, found me in church praying. It was the last place they come to after searching several other places thinking that I had committed suicide.”

ANTOINETTE

“We divorced as a result of the anger which dominated our home. Now we have been saved through the teachings of Rooted in Jesus Christ, and we will remain forever attached to Jesus Christ.”

Revd NGOSA

“I am a pastor and preacher of the gospel, but I have always been weak. However, I now feel as if I have been vaccinated, so that I can exercise the ministry to which the Lord has called me. Already many have been saved, and have placed their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. They are now united with him and will remain so throughout their lives, thanks to the teachings of Rooted in Jesus Christ. They are no longer ignorant. They were ensnared in the teachings of the world, and they want to leave this and base their lives on the teaching of Rooted in Jesus Christ.”

REGINE PACIFIQUE KASIMA, the wife of the bishop and the group leader:

“As for me, how these lessons make me grow! No one will separate me from Rooted in Jesus during my life on this earth, because I do not think I can testify one minute and not the next. I have been awoken from the deep sleep and from the distractions in which I lived. May God bless the person to whom he revealed this programme!”

To find out more, to join the RinJ prayer network or to make a financial contribution to the fund which makes it possible, please visit www.rootedinjesus.co.uk.

Posted 28th June 2015 by Revd Dr Alison Morgan