We have received a letter from the recently consecrated Bishop of Kondoa, Rt Rev Given Gaula. We share the Bishop's excitement in all the plans he has for the Kondoa Diocese.
"Warmest Christian greetings from the Anglican Diocese of Kondoa!
"I am writing to inform you that my consecration service went very well, there were about 1500 people who attended the event. Archbishop Rowan has just invited me to visit UK in October and willl be preaching at the Lambeth Palace the second week of October. I will be visiting various parts of UK. You will understand that recently Kondoa was announced to be the Centre of spreading Islam in East Africa! But this challenge presents us an opportunity to preach the gospel. To take St Paul's words seriously "for I do not ashamed to preach the gospel because is the power that brings salvation to everyone who believe..." (Romans 1:16 translated from Swahili).
"After the consecration we had a seminar which I called "New man, new woman and new beginning." The seminar brought all the clergy and their spouses. It intended to encourage the clergy and their spouses to work hand in hand. We intend to promote the role of women both in the church and the community. In a context where women are not valued, christian faith can give testimony by showing salvation that Jesus offers is for all both men and women. This is the special value of christian faith whereby both men and women are standing on equal standard before God. In Christ all men and women are equal members of Christ's body. Church leaders needs to show that model in their own life example. Lilian and I have decided to work hand in hand in order to promote the message of gospel. During the seminar we were shocked to learn that about 30% of clergy spouses do not know how to read and write! Ooh what a challenge, how can these women be a tool of bringing change if they do not know even their own right, how can they work hand in hand with their husbands/spouses if they do not know some of the bad culture that oppress the women? Both Lilian and I were very much touched by their situation. We plan to establish a program called adult education at Kondoa Bible School where we will bring both lay and ordained pastors' spouses to come for a six month to learn how to read and write. Both the clergy and their spouses are very happy with the idea. They are willing even today to come for a six month and learn to read and write. However, the big challenges is fund to enable them to come. As you know they are very poor the clergy themselves work voluntarily in a sense similar to Maori clergy so they are unable to pay fee for their wives. We plan to bring each term 15 women, it will cost us NZD 700 per one student to cover accommodation, food and tuition for six months
"I have received USD 2000 to buy bicycles for evangelists. Amazing! New Zealand people are very generous!
"I am planning to form a desk for Mission, Evangelism and Church planting, We are committed to double the number of Christians from the current number of 15000 to 30000 in the next five years. If Muslims are making Kondoa to be the centre of spreading Islam in East Africa we too must make our strategic planning to bring people to Christ."