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. 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.

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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.
Rooted in Jesus is a project of ReSource.

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

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.

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Thank you!

Alison Morgan, Director, Rooted in Jesus

Rooted in Jesus is a project of ReSource, a registered Anglican Charity.

 

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.

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Leaders in Ruiru

‘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.

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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

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.”
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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.”

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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.”

Kevin’s full report is available here.
To find out more about Rooted in Jesus in Rwanda visit the Rooted in Jesus website here.

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