The beginning of February witnessed a key consultation for BUILD in the Anglican Church of Tanzania (ACT) at Mtumba Training Centre near Dodoma. The purpose: to consolidate the platform BUILD has in the ACT with a view to growth in BUILD training over the next five years, a period proposed by Archbishop Maimbo Mndolwa.
The focus of the renewed, post-pandemic training efforts will be the Lake Zone Dioceses. Some of these dioceses are listed among the poorest in the world and have some of the most acute training needs, but they are rich in faith and believers and churches are growing in numbers. Shinyanga Diocese, for example, is a missionary diocese under the leadership of the former ACT General Secretary, the now Bishop Johnson Chinyong’ole. There the plans are for the planting of 700 new churches.
The plan is that fresh, block-based training will develop at both the Shinyanga Mission and Evangelism Training Centre in the south of the zone, and at Nyakato Bible College in the north close to Lake Victoria. With day release training emerging there and elsewhere in the zone. Having said that, the current Provincial Christian Education Coordinator, the unstoppable Revd Canon Joseph ‘Argwing’ Adida, has already been renewing people’s enthusiasm further afield as well as spreading the word in new dioceses. Previously trained BUILD trainers are coming out of the woodwork and one of those, Mrs Mercy Mungai, will lead the work in the zone as the ACT Lake Zone BUILD Coordinator.
Quite apart from rebooting and refocusing the work, the consultation led to a number of commitments including to local sustainability at specific levels of training. The document that emerged included key commitments, such as:
- To highlight the central importance of local, mainly parish based BUILD learning groups, which are locally sustainable;
- To draw a clear line between those training activities which are locally sustainable, and those that need a mixture of internal and external resources (and that day-release training will be 100% locally sustainable);
- To update the Swahili translations of the early BUILD modules;
- To prepare for and deliver a Training-of-Master-Trainers (TOMT) workshop in the week beginning 4 April at Nyakato Bible School, DVN.
It was symbolic that a number of the participants then travelled on from there, first to Shinyanga, to meet clergy and potential participants, and then to DVN, which is under a new bishop, Rt Revd Zephaniah Amos Ntuza, and finally to Nyakato Bible College to meet students and staff there before they host that initial TOMT event in early April. The Mtumba reunions and commitments are already leading to action.
Featured photograph: the participants, from left to right, Rev Amon Jackson, Kagera Christian Training College; Revd Capt Ben Kibara, BUILD ACK Coordinator; Revd Canon Joseph Adida ACT Christian Education Coordinator & Acting PBC; Revd Dr Alfred Sebahene, Dean of Theology, SJUT; Rt Revd Johnson Chinyong’ole, Shinyanga Diocesan Bishop; Rev Stanley Sewando, Shinyanga Diocesan Secretary; Mrs Faith Chinyong’ole, Shinyanga Diocesan BUILD Coordinator; Mrs Mercy Mungai, ACT Lake Zone BUILD Coordinator; Rev Enock Chibada, Morogoro, Priest, Bible College Tutor, BUILD Trainer; Rt Revd Zephaniah Amos Ntuza, DVN Diocesan Bishop; Revd David Peter Mhina, Tanga Priest, School Teacher, BUILD Trainer. (Photo taken by Revd Dr Jem Hovil, BUILD Partners Trustee)