Yearly Archives: 2016

Training for transformation in Wabigalo, Kampala

While every community on earth needs spiritual and social transformation, that need is more apparent in some places than others. Kampala’s densely populated Wabigalo area (or slum, as it is known locally), is a case in point. So it was inspiring to experience first-hand the welcome that BUILD is receiving there as an opportunity for training and transformation.

Canon Simon Sibomana, the exiled Archdeacon of Bujumbura, Burundi, is leading the Anglican sub-parish there (name and location used with permission). Simon may be far from home, but that means his story is in fact typical of those in Wabigalo. The area sits above the industrial area on the east side of Kampala, an area characterised by its stacks of containers, and is close to the end of the railway line that used to arrive from Nairobi. Not surprisingly, over the years the area has become something of a melting pot, not only of Ugandans from across the country (in particular the west), but also of immigrants from western Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, DR Congo and South Sudan.

Therefore, Simon and his family identify strongly with the local community, and with the other leaders who live and work there. The church at the heart of the sub-parish is run by a team of around half a dozen of these men and women. The story of one of them, a local trader called Boaz Benywanira (pictured above with his family), is typical of local church leaders in the area: along with his wife, he generates his own livelihood, he has an infectious faith and extraordinary commitment to building the church in this overlooked corner of Kampala, and he has a thirst for learning.

So while Wabigalo may be overlooked by Kampala City Council, its potential for current and future mission is extraordinary. As a result of BUILD training, local leaders are learning the good news afresh in all its wonder from the Scriptures and can see its implications for them, their families and their local community. From the beginning, BUILD has had a strong, gospel based strand of social transformation, which is taught as integral to understanding, living out and sharing the message. For instance, an early unit on how to share the gospel equips people to understand it not only as a testimony to share and a message to communicate, but also as a change to demonstrate. The curriculum then systematically builds on that in a range of ways as it progresses through the modules.

In addition, as lives are being transformed in a place where people move from everywhere-to-everywhere, the hope is that they will carry the message and the training with them. As a result, Wabigalo is certainly not a place that will be overlooked by BUILD, as it becomes an important centre at the grassroots for urban training and mission.

Economic and theological empowerment for migrants from Malawi

A previous post described the beginnings of BUILD training for pastors of African initiated churches in townships around Cape Town. It pointed to the potential for training to spread through networks of migrants due to, rather than despite, the economic realities they face. This entry describes how locally sustainable, self-propagating BUILD training can reach leaders and churches that other forms of training cannot reach.

Despite New Testament models of mission and church development, here in the West our default vision of the church remains one in which full-time leaders who have received full-time training spearhead growth. While that model is true in some contexts on the African continent, for the most part a very different set of realities exists, in which church leadership and training for such leadership is a spare-time or part-time occupation. In this context, economic migration – a concept that is often portrayed in negative terms, not least in the media and by political leaders – has the potential to play a key role in driving and sustaining training.

This potential is evidenced by stories of Chancy, Bonex and William, Malawian migrants and non-formal BUILD trainees in Cape Town. As Mareka Nolo, a BUILD trainer in Cape Town, recently reported: “Chancy is one of the ministers at a Rivers of Life church in Vrygrond, Cape Town. He is also one of the many economic migrants from Malawi. Chancy first came to South Africa four years ago, leaving behind his wife and two daughters with the hope of finding greener pastures so he can best care for his family.”

When asked about his reasons for being in South Africa, Chancy explained: “It was not my initial plan to come to South Africa, and I never thought I would leave my family behind, but due to our weak economy many of us struggled to find a job and we were unable to feed our families. South Africa was the only option I had in the end and I took a chance to come down here. I now work as a gardener here in Cape Town and I am able to provide for my family back home. My plan is to go back to Malawi one day when I have saved up enough money and buy a piece of land so I can grow and sell vegetables to care for my family.”

Quite apart from blurring the distinction between ‘forced’ and ‘economic’ migrant, his story gives insight into the lives of thousands of families in southern Africa, and the economy of remittances that support them. But Chancy is also hoping to train church leaders when he gets back home, something that Bonex’s story also underlines.

Bonex is also from Malawi and is working as a gardener. He, too, is serving as a local church leader in Vrygrond and has not seen his wife and children for almost three years: “I cannot afford to go and see my family in Malawi because I have to support them and send tuition fees for my daughter at college. My dream is to return home and start a fishing business; I want to save up for a small fishing boat. I also want to pass on what I have learnt from BUILD, as I believe many pastors in Malawi need such training.”

William has taken this a step further. William was a pastor in Vrygrond for two years, but returned to Malawi late last year to start BUILD training in Chikwana, in the south of Malawi. William has been running workshops almost every week training local church leaders, and has a farm where he grows rice and sweet potatoes to support himself and his family. He writes, “Most of the churches here need training, and I have been reaching out to a couple of them and training their pastors. For those who are far I often borrow my friend’s motorbike to reach them and do some training with them, and other local churches have asked me to come and preach on Sundays.”

These stories bring together into one space insight into the fundamental economic realities facing migrants, the realities of church life and leadership at the grassroots, and the need for basic training for those who want to lead churches. But they also point to the need for a very different approach to training – one that is rooted in local realities, and therefore one that can be delivered and can spread organically. BUILD is doing just this: it is ensuring that migrants, if well mentored by BUILD leaders like Mareka, can be empowered theologically to create and then sustain simple training networks.

A new ‘formal’ BUILD initiative is launched in Kenya

The ‘formal’ aspect of the BUILD work has seen considerable development. At first trainers were being trained on the Uganda Martyrs Seminary site as a deliberate, but secondary, outcome of what was first and foremost a series of participatory-curriculum-development workshops. Many of those then pioneered more local training-of-trainers work, particularly in Uganda and Rwanda. That all led on to the same college offering a Diploma in Biblical Studies, Practical Theology & Leadership Development based on the modules created there (described in March 2015). Now, in Kenya, a diploma with the snappier title ‘Bible, Theology & Leadership’ is being taught.

How does this ‘formal’ aspect fit into the BUILD work? A quick search of this blog reveals the repeated use of the terms ‘formal’, ‘non-formal’ and ‘informal’ in relation to BUILD training. However, while there is an implicit presentation of this threefold typology there is no explicit explanation of what is fundamental to the structure of BUILD. Hence this post.

In the discourse around training in the global South there is an understandable tendency to separate out formal ‘academic’ theological education (which meshes with national education systems), from non-formal ‘grassroots’ approaches (that are structured carefully, but sit separate from those structures). And those approaches often lead to or include the vital informal training and outcomes that serve the mission of the church. BUILD, from the outset, has sought to integrate these three elements, not least in order to help bridge the gulf that local church leaders and theological students perceive exists between the academy and the local church and its mission.

Linked to this, BUILD has sought, in the context of the extreme needs for capacity building, to integrate multiplication into the same system. The presupposition behind that is this: only a small minority can afford the time and money for residential training (or have the privilege of the educational background required to enter and cope). And the institutions only have the capacity to serve this minority. Whilst in the West it might be excusable to organise training around an arithmetic of addition, in most parts of Africa it is indefensible if the privileged few who do make it to college are not trained to multiply up the impact of their training. The few must be equipped to equip the many, and their training must be tailored to do so in deliberate ways.

That is the intention of the formal, training-of-trainers element of BUILD training: not only are select students strengthened in their own theology and practice, they are deliberately equipped to train others at a non-formal level. Therefore BUILD welcomes the initiative and partnership of Butere Diocese and AICMAR (the African Institute for Contemporary Mission & Research), in pioneering the new Diploma in Bible, Theology & Leadership, based on the BUILD curriculum, which incorporates lessons learnt from the earlier efforts in Uganda.

26 students arrived for the training, representing seven dioceses in western Kenya and two in Tanzania. It was the first of four, three-week, residential blocks that will take place over the next two years, with the incremental development of local training initiatives and other requirements in between. And they have been taught, from the word go, using a picture of a productive mango tree, that the foundation of BUILD is the ‘formal’ training of trainers (the roots), the focus of BUILD is the ‘non-formal’ equipping of church leaders in local groups (the trunk and branches), and the fruit of BUILD is the ‘informal’ impact those leaders then have on other leaders, congregations and communities (all the fruit and leaves and shade the tree brings).

It will be interesting to see if the immediate knock on effect is for them to increase themselves tenfold or whether some manage “thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown” (Mark 4:20), and whether we will witness an impact of 260, 780, 1,560 or 2,600 others being equipped as a result, not least when the formal, non-formal and informal aspects are all factored in.

BUILD takes root in Southern Africa

Part of the beauty of BUILD has been the organic way it has spread within Africa’s Great Lakes Region through local linkages there, particularly within the Anglican churches. But it is now encouraging to see some ‘leakage’ both geographically and denominationally.

The focus on East Africa and its Anglican provinces is to be expected given BUILD’s roots in the Church of Uganda. This focus has been reinforced through the way in which Church has managed the programme: one intention has been to keep it as a programme of churches in order to spare it from negative aspects of NGO culture. But those provinces are keen to serve other churches and to learn from how BUILD might work elsewhere.

It is exciting, therefore, that there has been some welcome take-up in Southern Africa, specifically with training taking root in Cape Town, a natural hub at the tip of the continent that attracts people from across the region. In addition to economic migration from South Africa’s Eastern Cape there is significant movement from Malawi, Zimbabwe and elsewhere, and that diversity is reflected in the townships of the Cape.

Mareka Nolo, who lives and works in Cape Town shares that, “we have been equipping pastors and church leaders in two townships around Cape Town: Imizamo-Yethu and Vrygrond. Both these places have alarming rates of unemployment, high crime, alcohol abuse and killings. These townships have become centres of gravity, with thousands of economic migrants flooding in from Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia, which makes the places diverse culturally. The number of church plants have increased enormously over the years due to this immigration. So I work in a place that is surrounded not only by taverns but also by churches.”

He continues to explain that, “we have been meeting with pastors and church leaders from different denominations within these townships, many of them come from Pentecostal backgrounds. Although many of them have been in ministry for a while, most of these leaders have never had the opportunity to go to a Bible college or to receive any Bible training. Most of them did not even complete high school which makes learning tougher, and a great deal of patience is required when teaching.”

Mareka gives three examples of leaders who have been empowered by the training: Henry, Chancy and William. “Henry Blessing Phiri is the bishop of about five Churches and BUILD has enabled him to equip pastors of those churches. His understanding of the Bible and ability to preach has improved enormously.

“Chancy Bizweck is a believer in one of the local church in Vrygrond; he never used to get preaching opportunities, but since started coming to our training, Chancy has been given opportunities to preach and the church wants him to be one of its pastors.

“Finally, William Hodges was a minister at Rivers of Life Ministries in Vrygrond. After two years of attending BUILD training he recognised the need to go back to Malawi and pass on what he has learnt to other Church leaders there. He is now running BUILD workshops in different locations in Chikwawa, in the south of Malawi, and nearby Blantyre, and he has been well received by local church leaders there.” That, perhaps, is a story for another blog post.

Building the leadership capacity of scattered churches in rural Kenya

Until recently David Okoth helped lead St Paul’s Parish, Malela, in western Kenya. St Paul’s is set in the fertile region close to Lake Victoria and is typical in many ways. This means it is exemplary when it comes to BUILD’s work. St Paul’s nine congregations are spread around the villages and, for the parish staff, “the distance between these churches is simply not manageable and pastoral work is far from easy.”

However, those who can lead, teach and care for these congregations are already in place: the lay readers who are scattered around the parish and committed to their local churches. The first names of those twenty-two local part-time and volunteer workers might make the picture more concrete. We are talking about Annah, Caroline, Dishon, Edwin, Florence, George, Jael, James, James, Jane, Jared, Martin, Maurice, Mercy, Mildred, Peter, Richard, Robert, Salome, Sulman, Syprose and Tereza.

Because they are present but undertrained the simple act of gathering them together regularly in a local BUILD group has had a dramatic impact as they develop their skills in handling the Scriptures, reflecting on the gospel and growing as leaders: “The group has mastered skills of sermon preparation and they are now doing well in preaching, and their growth in confidence is being noticed as well as their spiritual growth. And this has all led to congregational growth as people are being truly converted to Christ.”

Furthermore the parish and diocese are encouraging the group to continue working their way through the BUILD training modules and there is local commitment “to mobilise funds for the sustainability of the programme and the participants’ contribution towards the programme is a positive indicator of that commitment: this has amounted to 50,000 KES [500 USD] together with donations in kind from the Christians.”

David’s work has been noticed: he has been moved to another parish where it is hoped that he will build the capacity of other scattered churches and their leaders that would otherwise be neglected.

Striking gold at the grassroots in Kiryandongo

Those prospecting for mineral wealth might be able to narrow down a search area through existing maps and survey data from the comfort of their own laptops but sooner or later they have to get their hands dirty and take actual samples if they are to strike literal or metaphorical gold. Theological education is not dissimilar: it is only when training actually goes on at the grassroots that local discoveries are made, findings that are pure gold if they unlock potential for learning and opportunities for mission in a specific locale.

This is one benefit of BUILD, which encourages local, non-formal training as an integral part of its programme, over and against more centralised and traditional forms of training. Take the critical issue of language and learning in Kiryandongo in northern Uganda. Last month’s blog entry highlighted the work of BUILD in Masindi-Kitara Diocese and noted a group led by Robert Angopa. Robert is a bi-vocational lay-reader and head-teacher in Kiryandongo District some distance from the nearest town. What language might be most suitable for learning there?

One might expect the answer to be Lunyoro, the language of the Banyoro. Even the central cathedral in nearby Masindi-Kitara town speaks of that as “our local language” to quote the description of worship there. Or it could be English, as an option for the more educated who use that official language. Or it could be Luganda, in which trade is transacted across the country. Those from other member states of the East African Community might suggest Kiswahili, that other lingua franca; however, that is sometimes perceived as the language of the army and police from previous and best forgotten eras. So it might be a surprise to find that Kiswahili does provide a uniting, shared language in that specific location.

Despite its relatively remote location Kiryandongo feels a little like a Uganda within Uganda or an East Africa within Uganda; its fascinating history that has led to a high degree of ethnic diversity. In addition to the Banyoro, the immediate area is home to Acholi, Alur, Baganda, Bagisu, Banyankole, Bakyope, Banyore, Iteso, Karamojong, Langi, Lugbara and other groups. There have been ancient migrations as well as much more modern ones: the Bakyope, for example, are said to have moved to the area from what is now South Sudan in the 1950s and 60s. And more recently still Uganda has hosted refugees in the relatively open settlements of Kiryandongo, which are so central to the district’s life and economy.

It is no wonder then that typical small groups such as those Robert oversees have at least five first languages spoken within them and, in those groups, Kiswahili becomes a language of choice with over eighty percent of participants actively using the language. Quite apart from immediately influencing the language for learning this has a range of implications. For example, here is an area that offers the opportunity to demonstrate dramatically the very heart of the gospel of reconciliation and its power to break down barriers and walls of hostility. And here is an overlooked place that could provide a surprising platform for mission across boundaries within the district itself, beyond into neighbouring ones, and further afield. Overall, theological education needs to be done in ways that are locally researched and sensitive to the location if those who need it most but can afford it least are to be reached. And if it is, we may find ourselves hitting rich veins of spiritual wealth in some of the most unlikely of places.

Masindi-Kitara, Uganda: A model BUILD diocese?

Masindi-Kitara Diocese is the home diocese of Archbishop Stanley Ntagali. Its current Bishop, George Kasangaki, recently thanked God that “the BUILD programme has come to the Diocese.” However, it was a local member of a BUILD group who shared that “we want to see BUILD in Masindi-Kitara as a model for other dioceses.” And there are many ways in which it could serve in that way, not least because it lies 220 kms north of Kampala, away from the perceived centre of resources.

First, there are acute training needs in its 36 parishes with their 320 daughter churches served by 52 clergy, and they recognise  the need to train those who care for local congregations, “the ones who spend most of the time with the people.” One of the parishes in which there is a BUILD group has one clergyman serving 26 daughter churches helped by seven elderly lay readers. The youngest of those seven is now 62 years old, most should have retired, and they have been waiting patiently for others to be trained up. And there are a wide variety of other needs across the diocese: for example, the need for teachers to be trained as lay chaplains in 150 or more primary schools.

Second, groups are developing and working effectively in very different settings. Wilfred Alinaitwe is equipping a group using St Matthew’s Cathedral as a base in the urban centre of Masindi town. There the group of 17 individuals is made up of two clergy and five lay readers, with 10 other lay leaders with a wide variety of responsibilities in their local churches. But Robert Angopa is leading a group in a very different, rural setting eight kilometres from the main road in Kiryandongo District, and Barnabas Balikagira heads up another in the Parish of Bweyale deep in the village.

Third, there is support not only from the top-down but also from the bottom-up. The support of Bishop George has been noted and his diocesan staff are behind the programme. But so are the local clergy who are supporting the training groups in the parishes. For example Rev Jackson Labejalola of Bweyale has been encouraging a group in his parish and taking pride in the work that is being done: “This is a God blessed programme that reveals God’s word and equips leaders in how to serve God’s people.”

Fourth, it is having an impact. For example, Rev Labejalola went on to share how his lay reader’s preaching has been transformed: “His preaching today in our church is far, far different to before, and the reports from the daughter churches are that their church teachers are also preaching better than before.”

Finally, local energy is going into mobilising groups for training: it has been good to see T-shirts with BUILD logos being produced locally by churches from their own resources and worn proudly in order to spread the word.

All the signs are that Masindi-Kitara will indeed be a model for other dioceses.

[Based on a report of a recent visit to Masindi-Kitara by Canon Stephen Kewaza, the Provincial BUILD Officer for the Church of Uganda.]

BUILD on the edge of the Democratic Republic of Congo

No offence to the Welsh but “an area the size of Wales” is often used as a convenient measure to grasp. For example, when looking at environmental impacts – whether rates of forest destruction or the scale of ice loss – Wales, at around 20,000 square kms, is a user-friendly unit.

It was interesting, therefore, to walk across the Rusizi River, which separates Rwanda and the D R Congo, and to pass from a country a little larger than Wales, which has eleven Anglican dioceses within it (four of which are in partnership with BUILD), and into a single diocese that is over four times the size of Wales. Bukavu Diocese covers nearly 84,850 square kms of the DRC’s 2.345 million.

Walking into the DRC at that point is to also walk into Bukavu city, a city that has undergone population explosion recently. A city that is still listed as having perhaps 250,000 people now hosts far more. Early in 2014 estimates were of over one million inhabitants, but some now say they are being conservative when suggesting that it contains at least five times that number in its growing and increasingly informal expanse. That in turn is due to the continued and intractable insecurity of North Kivu province, much of which lies within Bukavu Diocese.

It was therefore encouraging if a little daunting to chat with Bishop Sylvestre Bahati and to hear that “for Congo we need a new strategy for such a big country” when it comes to building the leadership capacity of the Church. Bishop Bahati explained why he sees BUILD as an ideal solution in a country with a unique blend of scale, insecurity and transport issues, which mean that traditional forms of training are sub-optimal. The diocese has three local bible schools serving its eleven archdeaconries, 85 parishes, 121 clergy, 235 evangelists, 460 catechists and 97,860 Christians. And there “the priorities are evangelism, church planting and the training of leaders.”

BUILD is at a very early stage. I spent time with our Biblical Studies, Practical Theology and Leadership development student Jean-Pierre Mukambilwa Watuna, the evangelism coordinator for the diocese (pictured above). Jean-Pierre, using local resources, has begun training four different groups with a total of 54 members, which was beyond expectation given the logistics. But due to distances most of the groups are meeting occasionally and he is looking for ways to build on this without losing momentum.

The fifteen lay readers and leaders in his urban parish of Kadutu, Bukavu, meet regularly however. They are “very receptive, learning in Kiswahili and wanting to continue in their teachings – they simply did not know about the ministry and the word of God and how it applies to leadership positions, now they know what is required”. He has also met with a dozen pastors in Nyamilima Archdeaconry near Goma. He shared that they “were full of joy, receptive and asked for more, as they come from troubled and traumatised areas of North Kivu and for them to get together is rare. This has helped them to gather and to pray together”. Finally he has been meeting with fifteen church and departmental leaders in Kabanda Archdeaconry and a dozen others in Chai Parish. And he is looking forward to meeting with the eleven archdeacons to share the vision with them. Pray for him and for Josephat Musseo and Jean Paul Matabaro, young men in the youth and evangelism departments who are keen to come to Uganda for the block training.

North Kivu Diocese itself, northern neighbour of Bukavu, has recently ‘downsized’ with the new Kamango Diocese being carved out of it and its new Bishop Daniel Sabiti was recently consecrated. Canon Stephen Ssenyonjo Kewaza, BUILD Officer for the COU attended and Bishop Sabiti shared with him that, “we are determined to work with BUILD in the enabling of our church leaders in leadership and bible knowledge for an efficient ministry in this new diocese”. Pray for BUILD as it seeks to respond in the eastern DRC, one step at a time.

A measure of success: “the number of trainees is increasing continuously”

This blog reported a year ago that “BUILD training is spreading steadily and successfully from diocese to diocese in Rwanda.” It gave qualitative impressions of that growth in the four dioceses in the south west quadrant of Rwanda – Shyogwe, Butare, Kigeme and Cyangugu. Those local reports and comments represented an encouraging measure of success, particularly when coupled with the analysis of the spread, which has been driven locally – BUILD is a resource in the hands of local church leadership rather than a programme of a parachurch NGO, reliant on external resources.

Near the end of the post Aimable Mutabaruka’s comment noted that, “those who have been trained are training others and as a result the number of trainees is increasing continuously”. But what are those numbers? Is that aspect of success being measured? Much or even most of the numerical impact is off the radar because of its informal nature. Those who have been trained non-formally have later reported that they shared the training informally; at one end of the spectrum one local evangelist claimed to have passed on basic aspects of the training to a hundred and seventy others. But it was helpful to hear last week that to date, across the four dioceses, 973 individuals have been recorded to have received non-formal training. In addition, a core team of seventeen have received more formal training as trainers and drive the process, which conveniently takes the number to 990 we know of.

In order to give a more granular feel to the 973 a breakdown in terms of numbers and locations is as follows. 75 have been trained non-formally as trainers in training teams for the four dioceses: Shyogwe 18, Butare 18, Kigeme 21 and Cyangugu 18. At an archdeaconry level 422 local-facilitators have been trained: Shyogwe 140 (20 each in these archdeaconries Shyogwe, Gitarama, Hanika, Nyamagana, Ndiza, Nyarugenge, Runda); Butare 164 (with this split: Bugina 35, Gikonko 26, Huye 20, Mpanda 21, Mutunda 20, Nyanza 24, Remera 18); and Kigeme 118 (Buyenzi-Nyaruguru 29, Kigeme 29, Mugombwa 28, Bunyambiriri 32). Cyangugu, the further and latest diocese to take up the programme is yet to take it to this level, and so there is considerable room for growth there.

And with growth in mind, almost half of the 973 are the 476 local level pastors and evangelists who have been trained at a parish level in Shyogwe, the original BUILD diocese. In Shyogwe these 476 are distributed as follows: Nyarugenge 80, Nyamagana 60, Gitarama 38, Ndiza 148 and Hanika 150. The plan is that the other dioceses will follow suit at this level, which could therefore lead to a three-fold increase in the overall figure for those trained non-formally in the near future.

All this is an encouraging measure of success. The measure of success is long-term transformation. We continue to pray for and work towards in partnership with these churches in various ways, including through a visit to all the dioceses next week, and to Cyangugu’s neighbouring diocese of Bukavu over the border in D R Congo, which is now picking up the vision.

“BUILD has empowered me!” Fertile soil and growth in Uganda

At the beginning of any BUILD training-of-trainers course, participants are asked to write down and share a thumbnail of their vision for equipping others. Not surprisingly, these can vary dramatically. One participant from a course that started in 2014, David Kiryankusa, produced a sketch that combined simplicity, integrity and clarity. David is a ‘typical’ parish priest in many ways, serving in the Church of Uganda’s Mityana Diocese, in Uganda’s lush, fertile and productive Buganda region. This is what he wrote:

“I look after ten daughter churches with ten lay readers. I have the opportunity to train the lay readers in my parish. Those ten lay readers would start groups in their churches and train them also. I would also supervise the lay readers while these trainings take place and help them where necessary.”

Fifteen months later, not only has David met his target, but the impact has gone much further. The workshops he organised at regular intervals throughout last year were consistently attended by eighteen lay readers, and there have been a range of other outputs. For example, as he explained on the phone yesterday, “the Lord is great because we have now mobilised 78 children for Sunday school”. And last week he mobilised a youth conference to which 227 young people came. Of those, 67 gave their lives to Christ and 92 renewed their faith, an extraordinary response by any standards. And he has other plans for growth: “as Module 4 Unit 13 teaches about leading small groups, I am now expecting to start a number of Bible Study groups”.

Given his vision and his ability to implement it, it is no surprise that this month he was put in charge of overseeing more churches. As he reported, “Praise God, BUILD has empowered me! Surely the programme has improved my leadership skills; most especially in the areas of preaching, stewardship, counselling and strategic leadership, the building of God’s people. Because of BUILD’s prayers, encouragement and support my Bishop has considered me trustworthy and promoted me to be an Archdeacon. I have now moved from having one parish to overseeing six with about 75 congregations.”

And David longs for more of an impact asking for prayer and partnership “so that I may become God’s tool to do his will in this large ministry, and prayer is needed to get capable leaders for this great mission. Let us join together and build the body of Christ that is the Church.”