Graduates from Bishop Makala Training Centre in Negezi, Tanzania
The good news is spreading in Tanzania expediently and the pastors rely heavily upon evangelists to assist them in serving their many congregations or answering the call to go into new areas to plant churches. The pastor will identify a man in his church who is gifted and called a “man of peace.” After his selection, he will commit to attending periodic trainings sessions at the Bishop Makala Training Centre in Negezi. This training will last for two years as he continues to serve, sometimes being sent out to new areas. Once a teacher from a remote location walked 35 miles into town to request a pastor or evangelist to come into his area to preach the gospel. When an evangelist is sent he may have to relocate or travel a long distance to serve. They may travel by public bus, bicycle, motor bike or on foot. Their dedication to spreading the gospel is notable.
The people who travel on short term mission trips appreciate the work of the evangelists. They not only accompany them to the areas where we do bush evangelism and act as interrupters, they are the ones who have prepared the way. They know the people and they are the ones who have ploughed the rough ground and prepared the way for the planting of the seed for the harvest. The graduation ceremony shows the pride the diocese and their whole family has in their accomplishment. I notice how the wives make special dresses alike for the occasion. They are proud as well.
Bob Allen, LCMS Mid-South District Mission Leader comments, “The Southeast of Lake Victoria Diocese is doing a great job training Pastors, Evangelist and Deaconesses they have a goal to train 38 new Pastors and 113 new Evangelists by 2019. Another program at the Negezi training center that has been very successful is training widows how to use a sewing machine so they can support their families. What great work the SELVD is doing!”
Read more about the work of Tanzania at http://elct-selvd.org.