Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mission Training Centers in Tanzania

Mike Rodewald  Regional director of Missions  LCMS  Africa reported about his visit in November to the East of Lake Victoria diocese

In Tanzania, in the East of Lake Victoria Diocese, the church is growing there through Mission Training Centers (MTCs) supported by the LCMS Mid-South District and LCMS World Mission. Students come for classes from outlying villages two days a month for a two-year period to be taught by a pastor. At the end of this time, most graduate as evangelists. Each evangelist is provided a bicycle and is expected to go into an unreached area and begin a new congregation. Some go for further training and, depending upon the training, are ordained as deacons or certificate pastors. There are ten of these MTCs set up around the diocese with an average of ten students (depending upon the month) in each center.
When visiting another parish, Mike witnessed  Bishop Andrew Gulle baptizing  44 adults and children who had been preparing for baptism! This particular congregation was established by one of the evangelist graduates of an MTC on August 1, 2008, and now has 625 members.
Another interesting thing he learned was how another church practiced stewardship. One Sunday of every month all bring their offerings to support all the church workers in the diocese. Those who don’t have money bring farm produce or other items to church. After service, everyone gathers outside the church and an auction is held. Those who have money pay above value for items but, in this way, everyone is able to support the church within their own capacity.

Mike & Cindy Rodewald
46 Farmers Folly
Lynnwood Pretoria 0081
South Africa