Linnet Smith has just returned from her third visit to Tanzania, where she has been acting as Rooted in Jesus link officer, supporting Bishop Stanley Hotay, Bishop James Almasi and Canon Jacob Robert as they lead Rooted in Jesus in the Province of Tanzania.
Linnet writes: “As ever, I had some wonderful opportunities to see Rooted in Jesus in action in Tanzania and to contribute to its growth there. Bishop Stanley Hotay, the National Director of Rooted in Jesus (RinJ) Tanzania and Bishop of Mount Kilimanjaro Diocese, has decreed that RinJ Junior is to be used in all Sunday Schools in his Diocese and that all Confirmation candidates are to have completed RinJ Book 1. There are therefore many Sunday School teachers and leaders of confirmation groups who need to know how to use the material. I had the great privilege of helping with three seminars demonstrating how to use RinJ with between 20 and 30 people at each seminar. (Last time I was in Tanzania, I did the same with Evangelists and I heard this time that one large church in Arusha has, as a result, begun to use RinJ Junior with 200 children in 20 groups.) So please pray that every child and young person in Sunday School and preparing for confirmation will become ‘disciples who will make disciples’.
“During my visit we held the 2nd Annual Diocesan Coordinators’ Conference. Thirteen of the Coordinators attended and reported back on RinJ in their Dioceses and then discussed the issues arising from their reports. In some Diocese RinJ has really taken off – the coordinator from Mpwapwa, Canon Dunstan Mtoro, reported that there are getting on for 1000 children in Junior groups and another 1000 adults in RinJ groups in his diocese! During the conference we also spent time discussing the long term strategy for RinJ Tanzania to become financially self-sufficient. This is not going to be easy but the coordinators and the leadership team are getting to grips with the issues, both nationally and locally. Please pray for them as they take on this challenge (and please continue to give to RinJ UK so that we can continue to support RinJ both in Tanzania and elsewhere).
“A great milestone in the process of RinJ Tanzania becoming self-sustaining was the appointment of our first Tanzanian Administrator. Her name is Cate (pronounced Katy); she is 24, a lovely committed Christian young woman with a degree in Accountancy. She has taken on the role with great enthusiasm. Please pray for her, especially she oversees the finances for the Anglican Communion Mission Fund grant which has been given to RinJ Tanzania to help develop RinJ in Tanzania over the next two years.
“Towards the end of my time in Tanzania I spent most of a week in the three Dioceses which border Lake Victoria. Canon Jacob, Regional Coordinator, looked after me very well as ever and together we visited Mara, Rorya, and Victoria Nyanza. We held introductory conferences on Rorya and DVN last year. Things are not going brilliantly in Rorya but in DVN we have clearly planted a seed which is growing slowly but steadily and we plan to return there for a follow-up conference next August. Please pray for the Coordinators, Tom in Rorya and Leonard in DVN. In Mara, RinJ is well established and I met people who told me how their lives had been changed by their group, how they were more confident in sharing their faith now, and how head-knowledge had now become heart-knowledge. And I witnessed a wonderful Junior group in action – children praying out loud, reciting their memory verses and answering questions with enthusiasm. Please pray for Jacob who is a candidate in the imminent election for the new Bishop of Mara.
“Every trip I’ve done to Tanzania has ended on a high. This time it was a wonderful service at St Paul’s Church in Arusha when we celebrated the fact that 20 children have completed RinJ Junior Book 1 and presented them with certificates. During the service a young Muslim girl who had come to faith in Christ through the Sunday School was baptized, and the pastor told me that her mother also wants to be baptized. The children (including two of +Stanley’s children) clearly really enjoy using the RinJ material. Praise the Lord!!”