Monday 5th Arrived Addis Ababa
Onward to King's Conference Centre in Bujumbura. Met by Ildephonse and Juvenal (General overseer of the 600 FECABu churches) with bunch of flowers! Conference all paid up and deliveries made ($1500 in cash for food and accommodation for 50 delegates at Rooted in Jesus seminar + new reconditioned laptop for Ildephonse + 15 sets of second hand football kit + 2 footballs with pump).
We are hosting a Rooted in Jesus Conference for 50 specially chosen church leaders. I am part of a team of 5 to launch this interactive group course in discipleship within the 600 FECABu churches
Rooted in Jesus (RinJ) was conceived in 2002 in Tanzania and now runs in about 20 African countries and languages with over 30,000 participants. It is a programme from Africa for African churches which is renewing the church. It makes converts and turns them into disciples who disciple others.
RinJ does not require education or resources on the part of those who take part. In it trained leaders facilitate small groups within churches to enable each participant:-
1) to have a close and effective daily relationship with God
2) to become an active and responsible church member who helps others grow in character & ministry
3) to be a blessing to their local community through witness, service & prayer.
The aim of the Conference which runs from 8.30am- 6pm is to launch 50 RinJ groups in 50 local churches through the leaders we have trained. We expect lives to be impacted by the course teaching on the work of the Holy Spirit in repentance and renewal; healing, forgiveness and learning to pray and through the memorization of Bible verses which is an essential part of the course.
A good first day to the conference. All 50 pastors were present by 11am (started at 8.30am) including our 6 interpreters.
The teaching on personal growth leading to church growth by taking disciple training seriously seems to have struck a chord. The lesson on 'God knows you and loves you' was hungrily received.
The other part which was very seriously received was the one in which they each commit to pastoring their own discipleship group back home as if the members are their sons and daughters.
Ildephonse organizing the whole seminar from a practical point of view.
A good day! Everyone fully engaged. Teaching on receiving the Holy Spirit and gifts and repentance and renewal elicited great response.
Ildephonse was working like 3 men!
Juvenal agrees the agenda for the leaders' meeting next week.
Unwell but able to be seen and given antibiotics and painkillers for an infection.
Followed by resting at the conference Centre.
The RinJ day passed expectations and many are realising that leading a group requires different skills from preaching. Hoping to be on my feet for certificate and commissioning ceremony in the morning.
We have finished in style with certificates and the first two books presented and with each of the 50 pastors praying a prayer of dedication to the task.
I am recovering from the infection.
We went to the Congo border and had a soda by the lake. Preparing now for Monday.
Paul travels to Burundi tomorrow, via Brussels.
We preached in 4 different FECABU churches today with a combined attendance of 1,200+, (including Kinama where I preached at in 2004!) I did my message on persistent prayer, with Joselyne helping to act out the story of the importunate widow.
Now preparing for tomorrow's programme. Paul & I are planning to help the Council of Elders to communcate well with the younger, more educated leaders and to offer Scriptural guidance.
Discussions held with the Council of Elders as planned. The great theme here was the "passing of the baton" from one generation to the next.
Some downtime to recover energy before Paul and Peter return to UK.