A Rooted in Jesus team has recently returned from the Diocese of Butere, in Kenya, where they led two discipleship conferences at the invitation of Bishop Timothy Wumbunya. The team was led by Revd Richard Morgan (from Philadelphia, US), Revd Capt Joshua Opondo (from the Diocese of Maseno South, Kenya) and Revd John Eldridge (from Wickham Market, UK). The conferences were hosted by Revd Capt Benjamin Kibara, the Diocesan Executive Secretary for Mission, and attended by a huge turnout of 300 invited delegates – in fact the biggest conference in the history of Rooted in Jesus!
Bishop Tim says: “They seem to have embraced or understood this Rooted in Jesus training, and they seem more determined to go forward and share it with other people, which we haven’t seen before in any of the other courses that we have done – and we have done many other courses! This Rooted in Jesus seems to be the one that has finally helped us turn that corner.”
The team have put together a wonderful video report which you can view by clicking on the image below. To find out more do visit the Rooted in Jesus blog!
We are very grateful to the team who went, to the diocese for their careful planning and generous hospitality, to the church of Good Samaritan Philadelphia who helped with the funding, and to all those who prayed for the conferences.
Posted 21st July 2017
To receive automatic updates just click ‘Follow’ on the bottom right of the screen and sign up!
The core purpose of the Mathetes Trust is to help make disciples of Jesus in the local church. That means that we long to see churches whose members are learning to:
Love God and love one another
Live as Jesus lived
Pray as Jesus prayed
Minister to others in the power of the Spirit
Proclaim the gospel in word and deed
We know that prayer is a fundamental part of the Christian life, and we sometimes invite you to pray with us for particular things. So we are posting our first prayer diary. It’s modelled on the longstanding Rooted in Jesus prayer diary, which it will now replace; it covers the next three months, starting with the Rooted in Jesus team currently working in Kenya.
An exciting update
A few weeks ago we invited you to pray with us for the Diocese of Kajo-Keji in South Sudan, where Bishop Emmanuel Murye and his colleagues are ministering to all those who have fled their homes for refugee camps in Uganda. As a result of your generosity we were able to send a financial contribution and replacement RinJ books to Uganda, and we are overjoyed to learn that Coordinator Nelson Saya has been able to train 35 Rooted in Jesus group leaders in the camps. Nelson writes:
To the glory of God we visited twelve churches in Morobi refugee camp in four places, we finish the program well and the people were able to testify that these program will bring revival because it has awakened them in their faith since they flee to the camp and it has comforted them. It gives them assurance that God is with them and also enables them to know that God cares for them more than any other creature on this earth.
We continue to pray for them, as for the many other churches with which we are in touch. You will find many of them in the prayer diary – including the two UK parish missions which we are helping with in the autumn.
Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Eph 6.18.
An important part of the work of the Mathetes Trust is the groups that form part of our EQUIP programme. The idea is to bring together a number of church leaders who are all working in the same geographical area, three times a year, for a one day seminar led by one of our EQUIP group leaders. Each EQUIP meeting follows a specific theme or topic, explored through a specially written booklet. The leader also acts as a mentor to each of the group members; this means getting involved in the ministry of each church in whatever way is considered most helpful.
This is to let you know that John Benson, one of our associates, has just opened a new EQUIP group in North Wales involving many churches that are struggling to grow in challenging circumstances. The group members are leading churches at various places along the A55 from Anglesey to Chester and south from Chester on the A483. The first session took the title “Focus on the Lord” – a call to refocus on the Lord amid challenges that can seem overwhelming. The Lord’s presence, the Lord’s plan and the Lord’s power are the key to a ministry that grows in fruitfulness. Please do pray that this new group will bear much fruit for the Kingdom of God and result in many more people becoming disciples of Jesus Christ in North Wales.
John himself spent many years working in Singapore as Vicar of St George’s. During John’s time St George’s grew and grew, so John has much experience of what God can do – albeit in a rather different environment to North Wales. John was also one of the first mission pioneers to take the gospel into Cambodia. John and Anita are now retired and living in Chester.
If you would like to find out more about our EQUIP program or about John please do visit our EQUIP page.
Many of our partners in the Rooted in Jesus family have been writing with updates on their work. There is much to tell, not least from the Diocese of Kajo Keji in South Sudan where Rooted in Jesus groups have now been established in the Ugandan refugee camps, and we will bring you an update on that soon.
In the meantime we have just posted a report from the Diocese of Upper Shire in Malawi. This is a diocese with just 62 clergy, serving 286 churches. Bishop Brighton Malasa introduced Rooted in Jesus in 2015, and invited us to return to facilitate a follow-up conference earlier this year. RinJ is used for evangelism, especially among Muslims, and for church groups and confirmation classes.
Bishop Brighton writes:
I am happy to report that Rooted in Jesus has seen its roots indeed going deeper. The Reverend Father Edward Kawinga and the Reverend Father Elliot Litereko are doing a great job. We are happy and glad that the laity of this Diocese can be given such a chance to undertake theological studies in their local parishes which was perceived as for the ordained ministers. When I visit the parishes I have seen people gathering and undergoing these training on Saturdays and Sundays after Mass. I am delighted to see such progress. I am convinced that if people (the laity) are rooted in Jesus having undergone these trainings, we shall have both the laity and clergy rich spiritually which will lessen the tasks of our priests as we shall have knowledgeable faithfuls. Please continue praying for us.
The Diocese of Upper Shire has a vision for discipleship and proclamation of the Gospel. It struggles with the usual challenges of finance, distance, illiteracy and the vagaries of the rains and the harvests. And yet its people are growing in faith, served by the commitment of the clergy of the diocese, not least the coordinators Fr Elliot Litereko and Fr Edward Kawinga. It is a privilege to serve them.
To catch up on the news – and find out what the headlines are! – please check out the Rooted in Jesus blog here.
Much of the work of the Mathetes Trust happens in Africa through our Rooted in Jesus ministry, which is headed up by Alison. We are working in many places; one of them is the Diocese of Kajo-Keji in South Sudan, where we sent a team last October led by Mike Cotterell, oneof our trustees. But since we were there the political and humanitarian crisis has deepened, and almost everyone in Kajo-Keji has fled to Uganda, where they are living in refugee camps.
Bishop Emmanuel and his clergy colleagues have set up an office in Mojo, Uganda, so that they can continue to care for their people; from this base they are travelling between the refugee camps. So the church is now mostly in exile, as the people of Israel once were. They have some upsetting stories to tell, but an ambitious vision to share as well – and they still need Rooted in Jesus. Bishop Emmanuel writes: “The believers need Rooted in Jesus at this time of distress and spiritual need. Rooted in Jesus is the only tool and way forward to nourish the Christians and make the newly born Christians grow.”
They ask for our prayers, and also for financial support to enable all this travelling. To find out more, look at our blog https://rootedinjesus.wordpress.com/, where you will also find information about how you can help us to support them. At some stage we will want to send out another team, but they are not ready for this yet.
Psalm 139 is helpful. It’s a prayer of anguish, and yet it’s a prayer of trust too – trust in God who knows us and is always with us. It seems a good prayer to pray for the people of South Sudan at the moment:
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.”
With best wishes in Christ Jesus
Director, The Mathetes Trust
To find out more about Rooted in Jesus visit www.rootedinjesus.net
As part of our aim to help make disciples in the local church, here at The Mathetes Trust we support and lead parish missions. Roger has been doing this on and off for many years, and the best of these missions have been very fruitful, leading to significant church growth. So far we have two missions planned for 2017, in Purley near Reading starting on September 23rd and in Breaston near Derby starting on October 7th. Beginning with these two missions, we have decided on two innovations in the way that we do things:
So far the missions Roger has led have focussed on reaching the families and friends of the local Christians, aiming to reap what those Christians have been sowing, perhaps over many years. While this will still be the principal aim of our missions, starting in Purley we plan to add cold calling to our usual mission week activities, thereby hoping to reach out to some who have never had much contact with Christians. Richard Scott of Through Faith Missions is gifted and experienced in this kind of evangelism and he will lead this aspect of both the planned missions.
The team of people leading a mission week has normally consisted entirely of visitors from outside the parish. This year we plan to draw team members from both inside and outside the parish, thus adding a home team to the usual visiting team. We hope to use the mission to provide significant training input for the home team members, expecting that this experience will lead to fruitfulness long after the mission week is over.
This is where we are up to in planning for both Purley and Breaston. If you have time and inclination we would value your continuing prayers as we move these plans forward – please just let us know and we will keep you updated.
In each place we have recruited a home team of 25 people or more.
Richard and Roger will meet with the home team members for the first of three training mornings on April 29th in Purley, and May 6th in Breaston.
Each home team member has agreed to host a party during the mission week to which they will invite family and friends to meet members of the visiting team. Preparation for these parties will be an important part of the training programme.
Each church has appointed a mission planning group to organise mission week events of many kinds. The planning group will also be responsible for organising prayer support, for publicity, and for taking care of the hospitality to the visiting team. Roger and Richard will soon begin a series of meeting with this group.
We will need a visiting team of up to a dozen people for each place and recruitment for this team is soon to begin.
We are beginning to plan missions for 2018, starting with one in Bedworth near Coventry. If you would like us to send a team to your home church then let us know. More information on our Mission page!
A major part of the work of The Mathetes Trust is to support the Rooted in Jesus discipleship programme for Africa, which Roger and Alison Morgan first founded back in 2002 along with Stanley Hotay, and which is now in use in 80 dioceses or denominations in 16 countries. Rooted in Jesus is a discipleship course written for use in rural Africa, where nothing else of its kind is available. We estimate that between 70,000 and 100,000 people have done this course so far, and we know that the impact on the lives of ordinary Christians has been enormous. Every year we send out teams from the UK both to new dioceses and to places we have been before.
This is the time of year when we compile an Annual Report based on feedback from the previous year, and it is available for download here; it includes many testimonies from those whose lives have been changed. We have also posted a new blog entry with news from South Africa, where they use both Rooted in Jesus and our companion discipleship programme The God Who is There – both now endorsed for use across the Anglican Communion. If you would like to receive regular updates you can sign up to receive an email notification on the blog itself.
We have been particularly moved by recent messages from two places : Uganda, where they are experiencing great growth, and South Sudan, where they are experiencing great hardship.
Canon John Musaasizi writes from the Diocese of Mityana: “We give glory to the Lord our God for providing the Rooted in Jesus program as a means of fulfilling the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus. We are excited to see the involvement of Rooted in Jesus members in growing their fellow members into Christ likeness and at the same time preparing themselves to start new groups in their local settings. With the availability of this program, the church ceases to be an auditorium in which the audiences passively watch what is done by a few people on the stage for years. The program makes it clear that the church in which we are members is on the move where growth and multiplication of believers moves on like fire, catching every area of human location without discrimination. Members discover not only who they are in Christ, but also the Spirit given gifts that they can employ in building up one another and the Church at large. The Spirit is teaching us a lot.”
Bishop Emmanuel Modi writes from the more challenging situation of the Diocese of Kajo-Keji: “Three quarters of the population are in the refugee camps and others are internally displaced. We are going to make new strategies among the refugees. I am going to establish the churches and find out those Christians who were trained in Rooted in Jesus so that they will start their groups. The believers need Rooted in Jesus at this time of distress and spiritual need. Rooted in Jesus is the only tool and way forward to nourish the Christians and make the newly born Christians grow.”
Both of them ask for our prayers as they pour their energies into the task that the Lord has given them.
This year so far we have invitations to send teams to seven dioceses, and requests to support the work as it expands in many more. We have put together a new prayer diary, and if you would like to pray regularly for Rooted in Jesus you can download that here. If you would like to support Rooted in Jesus financially you can do so here, and if you would be interested in joining a team please do let us know!
Click on the images to download the Annual Report, the Prayer Diary or to read the blog.