Christmas Greetings !

Christmas Eve, 2009

Jesus is coming.  Majilio (Advent) is ending.    

It is time to celebrate Kuzaliwa (Christmas).  Let us exalt the Messiah!

Please accept holyday greetings from America.

We pray the blessings of the season upon you and your family.  Please pass my greetings on to others as appropriate.  You are remembered on this day and during this season.

We remember again the prophecies of the Old Testament foretelling the birth of the Messiah.  He came.

Let us also remember the prophecies of the New Testament, foretelling how He will come again, in power and majesty and glory!  He will come again.

May you receive Christmas blessings.

In His service, always

Fr Francis and Patricia Wardega
Missionary Society of St John
Anglican Church in America

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What is the Office of Foreign Missions?

Member Organization Forward in Faith

Member Organization Forward in Faith

OFM is an Anglican ministry that provides ministry education for clergy and church leaders at places in Africa where such education is hard to get. OFM usually goes to the more primitive areas since such education is more readily available in the larger cities. OFM serves Anglicans, separated Anglicans, and other churches in Africa. Since the year 2000, OFM and its teacher have worked in Kenya and Tanzania on seven mission trips, all 5-6 weeks each, to provide Anglican ministry education to clergy and church leaders from many tribes and churches. The next mission trip is scheduled for October thru December of 2009 and may include Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Discussions are ongoing.

OFM serves under the authority of Rt Rev Frederick G. Fick, head of the Missionary Society of St John (MSJ). MSJ is a member of Forward in Faith – North America, and the Anglican Church in North America. An Anglican church lives out the Faith of the ancient catholic (universal) Church, as preserved in the historic Creeds and maintained in the apostolic constitution of Christ’s Church from the beginning.

OFM is a postcolonial ministry. It does not provide huge sums of money to the African churches. It does not train African churches and leaders to be dependent on American money, leadership, and ideas. Instead, it serves under the leadership of African bishops who invite teachers from OFM to come and serve in their diocese. Its legacy in Africa is seen in a better educated clergy and church leadership.

Mission ministry to Africa has suffered because of the struggles of the Anglican Church. Many missions to Africa were declined by faithful African Anglicans because they were connected to theological positions that the Africans did not support. Making conditions worse, the missions of faithful Anglicans were hampered by lack of funds. Yet, all knew that there was much work to be done.

OFM believes that there is work a plenty for all mission ministries and seeks to carry out the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20; “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the world. Amen.” OFM encourages all faithful Anglicans to work together and partner together to continue to carry out that Great Commission in Africa.

Who Are You? – What Do You Believe?

The author of this essay has served God in Africa six times over the last few years. Each trip lasted at least a month and included significant contact with God’s people in what we would call the most rural areas.

God’s people in such rural areas do not have the instantaneous communications that we have in America or that many Africans who dwell in the major cities have. Internet access is limited or non-existent in the rural areas. Electricity is limited or non-existent in the rural areas. Television is limited or non-existent in the rural areas. African newspapers are more focused on local politics or their national political happenings. It takes a while for people to get the news.

International church happenings rarely if ever, make the local news in African rural areas. Thus it has been surprising how important it has been to rural African Christians whether I was a faithful Anglican priest or was I a supporter of the homosexual agenda.

Wherever I went, I was welcomed and then sat down in a private area and grilled. Who are you? What do you believe? Will you teach my people about the acceptance of the homosexual agenda? Are you a part of the group that advocates homosexual bishops? Are you a part of the group that supports God’s blessings for same sex “marriages?”

What happens in the mighty churches and large cathedrals of America has an effect in the little mud churches of African villages.

Most African Christians would describe themselves as a people faithful to God’s Word. That precludes acceptance of the homosexual agenda.

Some African Christians have another reason to oppose the homosexual agenda. In their countries (Tanzania and Nigeria among them), Africans Muslims use the homosexual agenda of Christians in America in their Muslin evangelization programs. They tell African Christians – “you are a part of the church that promotes the goodness of homosexuality.” Muslims quote prominent American Christians who are vocal in their support of the homosexual agenda. Since homosexuality is so abhorrent to Africans, to maintain that Christians support it is an invitation to leave Christianity.

We encourage you to support faithful missionaries who go to Africa and offer support to God’s faithful ones there. Let their voices be added to the cry of the faithful in Africa.

Munguu arabariki (God bless you in Swahili).

Fr Francis Wardega
African Missionary

Fr Francis preaches in Tanzania during AdventFr Francis preaches in Tanzania during Advent

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.