Description of the need

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THE TARGET COMMUNITIES:

The population of the diocesan area in general is characterized by poverty, frequent droughts, famine, disease and other significant challenges. Much of the diocese is remote and under-developed, with inadequate health and educational facilities, unreliable food availability due to fact that agriculture depends mainly on rainfall, and a lack of clean and safe water. In reality, the level of poverty is high thus communities often need to be supported rather than to provide support to others.  In rural areas generally church congregations are relatively small and can hardly support their local church or parish ministers.

 

Research indicates that the members of the community who have committed themselves to the Lord Jesus are quick to embrace change. Therefore, DLR believes that the needs identified in the community should be addressed side by side with church planting and nurturing. As a result, DLR has recently put in place community development initiatives in an effort to support communities the church has reached.

 EVANGELISM

No statistics are available yet, but it is believed that a significant percentage of the community in the Diocesan area has never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are no churches in many areas, and few believers. The goal of DLR for these areas is to reach the people with the gospel, plant churches and thus make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. Outreach activities include open-air crusades, home to home evangelism and gospel films. The Diocese seeks to plant a church in every village with a group of new believers. In this way, believers will be encouraged in their faith and witness and grow into leadership roles in the church and the wider community.

The need for evangelism in the diocese of Lake Rukwa is indeed very great. A proportion of the community especially in the areas next to Lake Tanganyika and Katavi National Park are still unreached with the gospel. Even in the more “developed” areas of the Diocese, delinquency, immorality and HIV/AIDS infections are quite common.

 CHURCH CAPACITIES

The church struggles to effectively serve the community as summarized here;

 

  • Nearly all clergy serving in the Diocese of Lake Rukwa have very little education. Hardly any of them have secondary school education and whilst many have received some theological training, most of it has been at a basic level.  As a result most congregations are under nourished with the Word of God and hence have registered little or no growth.
  • The Diocese rents an office in Mpanda town. There is no room for expansion with the staff already cramped. This situation affects their performance negatively, and as a result productivity is low.
  • More staff are required if we are to reach the entire area. Existing staff are always over worked because they have to stretch their capacity to its limits in an effort to serve the entire area. Overwork results in inefficiency and poor job performance.
  • The Diocese does not have sufficient equipment and means of transport to enable it to effectively serve its large area of coverage. There are insufficient vehicles to implement its evangelism, community development initiatives and administration activities. As a result of lack of transport facilities, schedules are not met and necessary information/data is not collected on time.
  • There are very limited means for the Diocese to raise its own funds, leaving it largely dependent upon donors. As a result the diocesan staff are currently underpaid and the diocese struggles to attract suitably qualified staff and is unable to acquire its own buildings for office use. 

Working Area

Anglican Diocese of Lake Rukwa has concentrated its work in three major areas;

MISSION AND EVANGELISM:

This encompasses church planting and Christian nurturing. As a result of evangelism/gospel outreach, the church membership has increased from about 2500 Christians when the Diocese was established to approximately 6500 Christians. There is also a substantial increase in stewardship and accountability.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:

We are focusing on serving orphans and other vulnerable children, and on environment conservation projects such as bee keeping which generate income and lead to community empowerment. The church also seeks to be involved in the promotion and provision of health and education services. The goal of the church is to enable community members to become self-sufficient and enjoy a reasonable standard of living.

ADVOCACY:

Through providing civic education on peacemaking and conflict resolution, good governance, human rights and Gender Equality.

DLR has been in the forefront of facilitating church growth through church planting and nurturing existing churches with the objective of strengthening the role of the church as an agent of change. Activities directed towards Christian nurture include Bible studies, weekly fellowship groups and other meetings. The church hopes to build its capacity by training its leaders through seminars, extension programs, a Mobile Bible School and by sending promising individuals to Bible Schools and colleges within Tanzania and further afield.

2  INTRODUCTION

The Diocese of Lake Rukwa (DLR) was established in June, 2010. In this short period of service the diocese has provided hope to and helped alleviate the needs of many. This paper is written for the purpose of sharing information and provides an overview of the Diocese. The document also highlights the aspects of church growth (evangelism activities) and community development the Diocese seeks to focus on in the near future.

 BACKGROUND

The missionary Diocese of Lake Rukwa (DLR) was carved out of the Diocese of Western Tanganyika and was officially established as a diocese on 13thJune, 2010. It is located in the south western part of Tanzania in the geographical and political regions of Rukwa and Katavi. The Diocese covers three (3) Districts of Katavi region namely Mpanda, Nsimbo and Mlele districts and four (4) districts of Rukwa region namely Nkasi, Sumbawanga Rural, Sumbawanga Municipal and Kalambo districts.  Important features in the diocese include the Katavi National Park, Lake Rukwa and Lake Tanganyika.

The population of the area covered by the diocese is estimated at 1.5m as of the 2012 census. The main ethnic groups include kinga, fipa, bende, konongo, pimbwe, ha, sukuma, ndali, and hutu who are mainly refugees from Burundi.

 

Diocesan Vision & Mission

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MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH 

The church has been energetically trying with every effort to meet the “Great Commission” to reach the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ and make disciples. We believe as a church that the “Whole Person” must be ministered to; therefore our VISION and MISSION statements stand as stated here:

 DIOCESAN VISION

 To have a progressive and peaceful community living life in all its fullness.

DIOCESAN MISSION

To nurture spiritually through evangelistic campaigns, church planting and pastoral care, and to equip the community to be practical and resourceful in self- development.

Postoral Ministries

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Pastoral Ministries

 

Welcome to Pastoral Ministries. Here you will find much of the activity aimed at affecting the spiritual lives of the people who live in the Diocese of Lake Rukwa. We believe that God made us to know him in our lives and that through Jesus Christ we are able to enter into a living relationship with him. In Pastoral Ministries we seek to encourage all people to enter into a relationship with God and to know him more fully in their lives. Living his way helps us to renew our minds and to transform our communities.

 

Our Vicar General, Rev Canon Edidia Kasela oversees Pastoral Ministries. In the office he is assisted by Rev Paul Hunter and Festo Magesa.

 

There are 5 branches to Pastoral Ministries, which are:

 

Deanery and Parish Ministry

The Diocese is divided up into 26 parishes. Each parish has a pastor and a main church and many of the parishes have smaller local churches which are served by the pastor and his team. Parishes are grouped together into deaneries, for mutual support and encouragement and one of the pastors in each deanery is chosen to be the rural dean, with oversight of all the parishes in the deanery.

 

The pastor has spiritual responsibility for everybody who lives in his parish. This is a big task and our pastors are assisted by evangelists (full time lay leaders of local and main churches) and church elders. The pastors can also find help from their rural deans and the rural deans are looked after by our Vicar General, Rev Canon Kasela.

P

Mission and evangelism

In a variety of ways we want to reach out to all the people in the regions of Rukwa and Katavi with the good news of new life in Jesus Christ. Through his death on the cross he has opened the way for us to know God and live with him for eternity. Our pastors, evangelists and church members seek to share the good news and the love of God through the way they live their lives and speaking to family, friends and neighbours. A number of parishes have held outreach events and established local churches in new areas and, as a diocese we invite speakers and teams to come and share in outreach events.

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Christian Education

Here we focus on getting to know the Bible better, what Christians really believe and how that should affect their lives. Many of our churches have a Bible Study on Wednesday and Friday afternoons, in addition to the preaching of God’s Word in our Sunday services. For children and young people we have Sunday School, which usually takes place alongside the Sunday morning service.

 

The discipleship course Rooted in Jesus has been used to some extent and a number of our pastors and evangelists have been trained to lead Rooted in Jesus study groups. We hope to expand the use of this resource and also encourage other groups of people, such as the Christian children in the schools in our diocese, to study the Bible and learn more about their faith.

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Mobile Bible School

In our young diocese we are constantly in need of new leaders. As our parishes expand their work and set up new churches evangelists are required to reach out and bring people into the church and then lead them to grow in their faith together. Rev Paul Hunter has prepared a programme to prepare new evangelists and, as we do not have a Bible School in the Diocese, Paul will travel round and teach them in the areas in which they carry out their ministry.

 

As we continue to grow we hope to increase the work of the Mobile Bible School to give in service training to pastors and other leaders.

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Youth

The Youth Department was inaugurated in 2012 at a rally attended by 260 of our young people in Mpanda. There were 4 days of celebration, worship, teaching and fellowship and at the end of their time together they elected their leadership committee. Members of the committee are:

 

Chair                      Japhety Fyulla                   email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , phone: +255 (0)784 837314,

         +255 (0)768 516686

Vice Chair            Faraja Luoga                       phone: +255 (0)765 561000

Secretary             Paschal D Kambali            email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , phone: +255 (0)782 204706,

+255 (0)766 761877

Vice Secretary   Noel Kihombo                   phone: +255 (0)763 656329

Treasurer            Noelia Daniel                     phone: +255 (0)767 093820

Members            Dickson Yotham

                                Hosana Sylvester

 

The leaders have represented the Diocese at regional and provincial meetings and have made official visits to each of our 5 deaneries: Mpanda, Mishamo, Ndurumo, Namanyere and Sumbawanga. On their visits the leaders have encouraged the young people in each deanery to recognise their identity and place within the Body of Christ and encouraged them to be fully involved in the life of the Church. Last year the leaders took part in a rally in our Sumbawanga deanery which was attend by over 100 young people, where a leadership team for that deanery was elected.

 

This year the Youth Department is looking forward to a meeting of all the youth in the Diocese, which will take place between 29 June and 3 July 2016. The rally will be hosted by the Church in Mpanda. The text for the meetings is Isaiah 55:6 – 7 “Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him while he is near. Let the people turn from their wicked deeds. Let them banish from their minds the very thought of doing wrong! Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Everybody is warmly invited to join our young people – karibuni sana!

 

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Mehu

Mehu stands for “Mafunzo Endelevu Hudumani”, a Kiswahili phrase meaning continuing training in ministry. This is a refresher course for pastors which comes from Moore Bible College, Australia. We have 8 students who meet once a year to receive training. They then work through their workbooks and put into practice what they have learnt in their ministry situations. The students are also equipped to pass on their training to their colleagues and in that way the training reaches more and more of our pastors and evangelists.

 

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ANGLICAN CHURCH OF TANZANIA- DIOCESE OF LAKE RUKWA

P.O. Box 293 | Mpanda , Katavi | United Republic of Tanzania | Phone:+255 784 958 866 | Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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