With David and Jen Pearce, I returned to Kondoa in May 2012 to take part in Bishop Given’s installation. We said as we returned to NZ, this was a truly uplifting experience. David and Jen had served in the Kondoa church in the early 90s and then Hilary and I joined the Kondoa team for 6 years, 1998 to 2003. Hilary and I and kids had worked for 6 years with the Tanzanian Wagogo people at Hombolo, 160km south of Kondoa, before arriving in Kondoa. A short distance away yet so very different. And then in 2001 Kondoa became its own diocese. It had strength as it started, there were many places supporting this new diocese. The Bible School has been a very pivotal centre for the development of the diocese, a place where keen young Christians could come and grow their excitement and learning of Jesus. Many of those people in the outlying villages in the Kondoa district have not been given the chance to progress their education much beyond the first 3 or 4 years of primary school, some not even that. Having a Bible School within reach for them that will teach reading and writing through the scriptures was something else. When we first arrived in Kondoa, Given and Lilian were my fellow teachers at the Bible School. The Bible School students joined with us as we worked with a contractor to build a kindergarten on the Kondoa Anglican centre. These were exciting times for the church in Kondoa.
However these times did not last and the diocese has been reduced to a small portion of that exciting potential.
But David and Jen and I saw in May that excitement which comes as supporters from far and wide again gather under God to lift his work up. The celebration service of Bishop Given’s installation was united in its message; God has begun a work of renewal. You may have read where Bishop Given immediately called a workshop for all pastors and wives and from that has set a goal to help those pastors wives to read and write well, who struggle to do so now, that all couples can truly be enabled to be called help mates.
- I go on the 1st August to participate again with Bishop Given and his team to continue the work of God started years ago by his servants.
- Pray that the many stakeholders wishing to participate in the rebuild of the diocese can form a great network so that God’s work will continue as a whole in this diocese.
- Synod is to meet in September, pray that the plans are endorsed and acted upon by the whole diocese.
- Pray that pastors can share the resources provided for their ministry in ways which will lift the whole work of God.
- The Bible School is a great focus of diocese development and Christian discipleship, pray for its rebuild. There are already students waiting for the opportunity to study. We need a new structure for the school and finance.
- Bishop Given is an evangelist and a visionary; pray that a team is given him that frees him to fully use his talents.
- Pray that the budget for the work ahead is realistic, and yet faithful and trusting of God’s vision for the diocese. Pray that my budgeted needs are met.
- Pray that my 6 weeks with Given helps with the team building of the diocese.
- Pray that Hilary is given the peace that passes all understanding as she remains in Christchurch while I go to Kondoa.