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.
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.
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.
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.
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.