Tanzania 2008 – Dispatch 3

Proud members of Class #1, Nyakato School of Theology

Proud members of Class #1, Nyakato School of Theology

Dispatch 3 From Station Mwanza in Tanzania

Pastor Erasto puzzles about the deeper meaning of Ezekiel chapter 37.  Notice the copious notes that he has taken in his notebook.

Pastor Erasto puzzles about the deeper meaning of Ezekiel chapter 37. Notice the copious notes that he has taken in his notebook.

Summer 2008 Fr Francis Wardega

For many, mission ministry has a sort of exotic glamour to it. Such work includes large crowds, healing services, hospitals built, schools visited, and similar events. Such work is very good and very blessed. This ministry is different. We teach. We teach the teachers. We teach the preachers. We teach the leaders. We teach the ones who had no real prior opportunity to learn. There are many such people in Africa.

The bulk of the work is done daily. The schedule: teach 9 am to 7 pm. Teach ministry subjects to the depth that they are useful to the leaders of the parish. Do this every day, less an occasional rest day. The students quickly adapt to the schedule. They write down more notes than is needed. They listen and ask insightful questions. This is a two-week investment in a life that bears fruit in a parish for the next twenty to thirty years. Not glamorous – just effective.

This week, we finished up the class on Ordained Ministry and moved into Fundamentals of Sacred Scripture. Then we ended with Sacramental Theology. These eleven students are different. They have absorbed so much. They talk about different things. They have a whole new and deeper appreciation of the Bible and their personal Bible. Everyone preached once and was affirmed and critiqued. They want more. “Can you stay for three months?” Sorry. They were very proud to pose for their class picture.

As available, I go to local churches to meet the people there and celebrate the liturgy. Last Sunday, I visited St John in Nyamanoro. I preached in both Sunday liturgies. Each service had a 25 person choir, a different choir for each service. They worship with contemporary African worship music, choreographed. It is Motown gone Jesus! Such music keeps the young people in the Anglican Church instead of being attracted to other, more seeker friendly churches.

The work this trip will soon be finished in this diocese, until next year. Next on the schedule is a ten hour bus journey to Dodoma, the national capital in the center of the country where I will be working with Bishop Daudi Chidawali again. I will be teaching at his Bible College in Buigiri where I taught last year.

One unusual experience. I was invited to dine with Bishop Kwangu and a visiting bishop. As we sat and

Fr Francis preaches at St John Parish in Nyemanoro, Sunday Aug 17

Fr Francis preaches at St John Parish in Nyemanoro, Sunday Aug 17

talked, I realized that somehow, many red fire ants crawling on me. I tried to be a good guest as long as I could but the others noticed my discomfort. I ended up trying to stand still while two Anglican bishops and one bishop’s wife killed so many ants that were feasting on me! That was my lesson in humility that day.

Thank you for your support. God and you make this possible. Please keep on supporting this mission. Please sustain this good ministry. It works!

Fr Francis Wardega Office of Foreign Missions

Missionary Priest in Africa 18401 Canal Rd

www.connectionkenya.wordpress.com Clinton Twp MI 48038

Africa e-mail: jambofrfrancis@yahoo.com

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Tanzania: Dispatch Three

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November in Tanzania

 

The organizational details of church have been worked through and decided. The Gospel Catholic Church has joined the Missionary Society of St. John/Anglican Province of America. That is a big step for them. We have new brothers and sisters, 78 parishes, over eighty clergy, a women’s group, three orphanages, and a school of theology.

 

The people here had talked for several weeks at the parish and deanery level. Then the discussions continued at a diocesan gathering in Buigiri. Many questions were asked and much discussion happened. Finally, the Bishop and Fr. Francis left the meeting room for several hours and the people there, which included the majority of the clergy and representatives of most of the parishes talked and prayed and decided. The people of the church decided to accept Bishop Fick’s invitation to join the Missionary Society of St. John/Anglican Province of America. Bishop Chidawali also joined personally.

 

That being done, the focus switched to instruction.

 

On this blog there are statements of our plan of how we like to work and teach in Africa. Those plans are out the window already. It is good that the Holy Spirit remains.

 

No more small classes of eight to ten. Here we started with 104! Attendance never lessened over four days. Students include clergy, wives, parish leaders, children and infants. It was like teaching a village. The women were fully participative – asking questions and seeking to respond.

 

The students spoke two languages, Swahili and a tribal language. Very few of the people spoke or understood English so interpretation was required. The process was slow.

 

Who are these people? These people are Africa. They are multi-generational – at least four generations were present. They are multi-tribal – at least six tribes. The task of Africa is to combine different tribes into the amalgam of one nation – not always easy. Near by Rwanda is a testimony to its failure. Tanzania is a testimony to its success. Their first president, Julius Nyerere set an example that was accepted by the people.

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Tanzania Trip 2007

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A Baobab Tree grows in Dodoma, Tanzania

In November of this year, Fr Francis will go to Tanzania, keeping the promise made earlier this year to go to Tanzania and to teach clergy and other church leaders, the basics of the Christian faith. This is his 6th Africa trip.

HELP MAKE IT POSSIBLE !

Why does he do this?

God calls him to do this. Bishop Fick and the people of the church send him. He is empowered by the Holy Spirit and your prayers and donations. He doesn’t go if you don’t send him. Some funds remain available from the postponed August trip, but more is needed so more may be done this trip. Your donations make this trip possible.

Please help keep this work going. This ministry is a mendicant order; it relies on begging; it relies on your prayers and on your donations.

Where do you send him?

What do you send him to do?

He will go to Tanzania, to a large African indigenous church, the Gospel Catholic Church. The diocese is led by Bishop Daudi Chidawali. He is married to Edinah and together they have three children.

The GCC has 200 parishes and 80 clergy. The GCC has great needs for Christian education. The best plan is to train the clergy and other church leaders so that they might teach the people.

Classes will be held in several different locations around the center of Tanzania. In each location, Fr Francis will spend two or three days, teaching the basics of God and church.

There will also be extensive time for sharing, listening, and prayer. We will get to know them and they will get to know us. This is a trip of observation and research to plan for future trips there.

HELP MAKE IT POSSIBLE !

This is good work which few others do. It is hard and primitive. All eat from common pots and all live in simple huts. There is a scarcity of electricity. People learn to live without it. Baths are taken with small tubs of tepid water behind the hut. Lavatory facilities are basic, a simple latrine. And the Lord is praised and exalted!

PRAYER

O God, who hast made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and didst send thy blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after thee and find thee; bring the nations into thy fold; pour out thy Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of thy kingdom; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.