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

bukanaga0217

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.

marjorine-comissioned-as-leader

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

theolcollegerinjgroups0217

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

rinjlogor

 

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:

lango

“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!

rinjlogor

‘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.

bp-anthony-poggo-kk

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.'”

blog5
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.

blog7

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..’”

blog6

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

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.

mityana-2015-74b

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.
kalezi-0416_edited-1

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.
kirungi-0216-2b

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.

    kitotolo

    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.
rooted-in-jusus-group-complete-book-one-2

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.

    jackson-and-family

    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.

    born-again-members-raise-their-hands

    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.

    lamech-receives-prayer

    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.

    rinj-group-lusolo-0216b

    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.
samuel-lay-reader-and-his-mother-2_edited-1

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.

john-musaasizi

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 October 2016

 

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.

2016-06-mulaushi-1

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.

2016-07-cornelius-justin-bernard-jon

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.

rinj-logo

Posted October 2016

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:

Kenya April 2014 077b

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

2016 04 Makolonga Namibia

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

intentional-discipleship

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. Ro download our latest prayer diary click here.

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.

IMG_4378

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.

IMG_4354

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.

IMG_4027b

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.”

IMG_4133

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.

IMG_4259

Rooted in Jesus national leadership team, Tanzania

For more about Rooted in Jesus see www.rootedinjesus.net.
Rooted in Jesus is a project of ReSource.