Monthly Archives: February 2017

Growing Disciples in South Africa

In the Province of Southern Africa Rooted in Jesus is directed by Revd Trevor Pearce and overseen by Growing the Church. National Coordinators Estelle Adams and Nicole Curtis have sent us some faith-filled testimonies from group members.

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Small group leaders in the Diocese of False Bay

Valencia Ruiters and Chante Pepino, group members in the church of Christ the Redeemer in the Diocese of False Bay, have just moved on to book 3 with their group. They write:

“I thank God for allowing us to go on this RinJ Journey with awesome people who not only touched me but welcomed me from the very beginning. It all started with a whatsapp message from a friend. This point in my life was full of disarray and hurt mixed with anger and pain. She invited me to come and join her at a gathering that I knew nothing of or in fact not even knowing that she was saved, this was the turning point in my life where I would not only discover what I have lost as a child of God but what was about to change my life dramatically. Like Brad (RinJ Trainer) says, ‘when the scales come off your eyes’. My first impressions walking into the church was people welcoming me with open arms as if they were expecting me, like you would feel when you have a family gathering and not feel all awkward, but little did I know that the spirit in me would fire up and I would walk out of there with tremendous peace.

The session started off with a prayer, I closed my eyes and felt so warm, they even prayed for me and my presence that I felt so welcomed. The facilitator that night was uncle Edwin and they did a repeat of what was discussed a few weeks prior to me being there, but I listened and try to catch up, still not knowing what the night entailed. James 4:7 submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. I did not know what this verse was about but little did I know that the weekend ahead was the awakening of my spirit. After doing the memory verse we went to into groups and everyone had a chance to talk about what was bothering them and we all had to join hands and pray about what was said, this was the ultimate change for me as I felt the spirit firing up in me as if I was sent to this place for a reason.

I have since started reading the bible every chance I get, having empathy for people, trying to be better as a parent, I can say that this journey has made it easy to identify when the enemy is present and wanting to steal my Joy, I have relied on scriptures to guide me in my life with wisdom up until now.  No question to God is unanswered, no trial and tribulation that I find myself in was not resolved.”

“I have learned that we should not judge people and always forgive as God has mercy on all. If we ask for forgiveness how can we expect him to have Mercy on us if we can’t show mercy on others. I am trying to change my mind set to a more spiritual understanding than the understanding of our human nature. I have discovered that I can pray not only when I go down on my knees but have that conversation.

Trusting in God and allowing my thoughts to be pure and not filled with anger, irritation, and all those things that don’t come from God. All the memory verses up until the last had a big impact on my life and have steered me in the right direction. I am convinced now that this journey has not started on that Friday night alone, it has been coming on a long time ago and will continue to grow. Thank you Regan and all the people that made RINJ possible, I believe that it was only through the grace of God that I am writing this today and thank God for saving me! I pray that you will continue the good work and hope that many more lost souls like me is awaken, I ask this in Jesus name, Amen.”

Meanwhile Brad Sitzer reports on a new work with children in Church of the Redeemer in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town:

“Salty ministry team is a group of late twenties- to early sixty-somethings who meet every Friday night. We have gone through Alpha twice, RinJ senior Book One a few times and other short courses. Our ambition is to do life together more and more and to integrate with existing family lives.
We have had a babysitter for the participants’ children, and she has enjoyed looking after the kids. We then felt compelled to take the opportunity to disciple the kids in some way. Messy Church, Rinj Junior and Godly Play were the options. We recognise all three to be quality programmes. Yet due to the ease of implementation and low resource requirements, we decided that Rinj Junior would be the best place to start. Hence we have begun our Rinj Junior journey! The kids have been enjoying the first few sessions. Three of the kids are not baptised and are actually Muslim; but their mom has recently decided to follow Jesus, so she enjoys her kids being a part of this journey.”
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Children from the new group in Mitchell’s Plain

Looking ahead

Following the major report Intentional Disciplship and Disciple-Making, a Decade of Discipleship has been launched across the Anglican Communion, and this will be the major focus for Growing the Church from now on. The report endorses Rooted in Jesus, Rooted in Jesus Junior and The God Who is There for use in discipleship and disciple-making. RinJ has already been introduced in 17 of the 28 dioceses in the Province, and Estelle Adams reports that the formation of small groups in parishes will be a key element in discipleship training across the Province; “Rooted in Jesus and The God Who is There will be the tools used for training Small Group leaders who will then run small groups in their dioceses”.

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Growing the Church – board members with Archbishop Thabo Makgoba

Posted 27 February 2017

Life, death and faith in the Diocese of Mityana

Canon John Musaasizi writes from the Diocese of Mityana in Uganda: “What we are seeing with our own eyes as far as Rooted in Jesus is concerned is an apparent manifestation of God’s answers to your prayers and prayers of other God loving people spread widely. We thank you very much.” The Diocese plans to host a second Rooted in Jesus conference later in the year. Here is some of John’s recent news:

Bukanaga and the oldest member

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Bukanaga Rooted in Jesus Group has been encompassed by God’s joy,  peace and encouraging openness of members in a variety of ways. The building process of members growing into Christ likeness has been a reality. The sense of belonging among members is growing up. The oldest member we have in this group has clicked ninety one years. Her name is Teddy. She loves the Lord deeply.  We are challenged by her commitment to the Lordship of Jesus.

Death brings new life in Lubumba

The Lord had clearly convinced us that following up old groups was as good as starting new ones. So Jethro and I decided to visit Lubumba Rooted in Jesus  group thriving under the leadership of Marjorie. Jesero the vicar of Lubumba Parish Church had not only invited us to spread Rooted in Jesus Ministry in his entire Parish, but had also allowed us to use his house for Rooted in Jesus meetings. This meant that the church services could be run with Rooted in Jesus meetings simultaneously.

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Marjorie was commissioned as group leader last year

Similarly, today when we visited Lubumba Church, members of Rooted in Jesus Group flocked into the vicar’s house. When we had began enjoying the treasures of our assembly, we came to know that one of our members went to live with the Lord. Jane Esther had been one of the active members of our group. She opened her life to the Lordship of Jesus  on the 30th September  2016 in the presence of Rooted in Jesus members.  We rejoiced over receiving the newly born child of God. On the other hand Jane had a devastating relationship with her husband John. Several cruel activities had been exercised on her by her husband John.  One day John put up a war meant to crash Jane inside their house, fortunately Jane narrowly slipped out of the house in darkness and found security of her life  under the bush in her neighborhood, and this is just to cite but one among many incidents of this kind inflicted on her by John. It is said that her death was partly caused by that perpetual and rough relationship right in the very core of their marriage. We will miss Jane but we have the confidence that Jane went to live with the Lord Jesus forever.

As we were moving on with Rooted in Jesus program, information was passed over to us that John the husband of the late Jane had come to worship in Lubumba chuch where we were. Hearing this great news, we wasted no time to invite him in our group although he was not a member.  As someone went to call him for us, we prayed to the Lord to save John today. When John entered our fellowship he found tears we could not resist flowing from my and Jethro’s  eyes. We consoled him over the loss of his wife Jane.  We witnessed to him that Jane received Jesus Christ in our presence on the 30th September 2016. We shared the Gospel with him and later asked him whether he would like to receive Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and Lord. He said yes. We immediately sang the revival song TUKUTENDERZA YESU… He knelt down and prayed to receive Jesus Christ as Lord of his life. PRAISE AND GLORY BE TO HIS NAME. He requested us to invite his three children to come to our fellowship and hear the Good News he had received. They too came and accepted our Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and Lord. So the death of Jane has brought four members of her family to Christ. Praise Jesus!

Putting down roots in Bishop Lutaaya Theological College

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Jethro and and I fell into great ecstasy and Rooted in Jesus program safely landed at Bishop LUTAAYA Theological college, which is Mityana Diocesan Theological College. In this place we are dealing with men and women who will be of great influence for the Lord in their communities. The availability of plural languages in this college just brought back to us the great transforming impetus the first Pentecostal experience of the Early Church laid upon  her audience. The College has Runyankole speakers, Kinyarwanda speakers, Luganda speakers and this is just to mention but three languages. So the College students will be studying Rooted in Jesus program in their own mother languages, since we have now the printed books covering the languages.

We discoverd that they have several advantages over other Rooted in Jesus groups spread in the Diocese. Let me cite a few of them:

  1. The groups can meet anytime they wish apart from classroom time.
  2. Since they live in the same place, they get to know one another better and this develops their relationships, which they will use in future to spread Discipleship Ministry.
  3. Jethro and I meet them once a week to monitor the progress they have made.Distant groups cannot experience this from us.
  4. They still have sharp memories that capture instantly and store to memory Bible verses.
  5. They too are helping us to know better what we are sharing with them. Every time the students expect confident and knowledgeable presenters.

We are thankful to the Lord Jesus for the opportunity He has given to participate in the Disciple making program entitled Rooted in Jesus.

To find out more visit rootedinjesus.net

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