Thursday, February 24, 2011

Graduation Day In Tanzania

Click on photos to enlarge

Mission Station, Emirates Airport, Dubai, Persian Gulf

The last week in Tanzania was very busy. Fr Francis was teaching at Christ the King Anglican Church, for 16 evangelist pastors in the center of Geita, Tanzania. Brother Nathan was teaching to around 25 evangelist pastors in Mwanza, at Nyakatto Bible College.

At the direction of the Archdeacon of Geita, an exam was administered to the students at Christ the King and only those who passed the exam would successfully pass the course. The students worked hard to prepare for the exam. Their efforts were rewarded when all students passed the exam with a grade of “B� or higher. They rejoiced and celebrated.

Bishop Kwangu and his wife Mama Mary, and Brother Nathan traveled to Geita on late Saturday in order to be a part of a graduation liturgy on Sunday. The Bishop celebrated the liturgy and Brother Nathan preached the sermon, a word of encouragement on responding to the love of God and his plan. The congregation applauded the sermon.

Certificates of Achievement were awarded to the students in Geita. The Bishop congratulated each student and awarded the certificates. Later, gifts were give to Fr Francis, Brother Nathan, and to Bishop Fick, Father General of the Missionary Society, who sent Fr Francis and Brother Nathan to teach in Tanzania. The congregation danced in praise of the Lord and everyone stayed for a festive luncheon after the liturgy. After the luncheon, Bishop Kwangu, his wife, Fr Francis, and Brother Nathan returned to Mwanza to complete the teaching there.

On Monday, Brother Nathan completed the teaching at Nyakatto Bible College. The students sang and praised the Lord and celebrated, thanking Brother Nathan. Tuesday, Fr Francis and Brother Nathan had dinner at the Bishop's residence where Bishop Kwangu thanked all who made the teaching possible, and asked Brother Nathan that teachers come again next year. He especially liked how two teachers made concurrent classes in Mwanza and Geita possible and hoped that concurrent classes would be possible next year.

Then, the long journey home began on Wednesday with a flight from Mwanza to Dar es Salaam on the coast of the Indian Ocean. We are now in Dubai, on the Persian Gulf, awaiting our flight from Dubai to New York City, a flight that takes fourteen hours.

It is very important that all who helped support this trip in prayer and finances know how grateful the people of the Diocese of Victoria Nyanza are to you and to know how this program is working. It is working well.

Three years ago, over forty churches which were led by evangelists held services that were essentially free form services, with readings selected by the pastors. Now, the evangelists vest in a white alb and a cross. They use the readings of the day as assigned in their Anglican Prayerbook. The service takes the form of Morning Prayer and when a priest visits, includes Holy Communion. The sermons are an expression of the readings of the day and the people are taught the basics of the faith, as experienced in the Anglican Church. The ministry and teaching is deeper and more detailed. More churches have been started and more buildings are being constructed. This ministry contributes mightily to the growth of the Gospel, to the growth of Christianity and to the growth of the Anglican Church in Tanzania.

As always, we are grateful to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, (Mungu, Baba, Mwana, kwa Roho Mtakatifu).

Asante sana! (thank you very much)

Fr Francis and Brother Nathan Dunlap

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pictures From Africa or What Anglicans Look Like

click on any photo to enlarge

Fr Francis sent along a few photos.
We thought you'd like to see the faces of some of those students.

Update From Tanzania

Dear friends and family,

May the peace of Christ be with you.

We have completed the second full week of teaching here in Mwanza. It has been a very busy and good week here. We have been studying "The foundations of sacred scripture", a course which examines the history of how we got the Bible, some basic elements of Bible study, and an overview of each book of the Bible. The class continued to be very attentive and "came with me" very well.

Last week I mentioned that what they lacked in knowledge, they made up for in enthusiasm. However, I should make it clear that the students know their Bible very well and are very sharp. If I accidentally misquoted a verse or contradicted myself, they would catch it immediately and point it out. This was good, for it meant I had to stay alert!

At this point our plans are to travel with Bishop Kwangu to Geita on this Saturday to join Fr. Francis. He has finished teaching his class there. We will stay to attend church on Sunday morning and return together to Mwanza that afternoon. Fr. Francis will be joining me for my final day of teaching on Monday. Tuesday will be a day of goodbyes and preparation for our return. Wednesday morning we will begin our long journey homeward. I expect to be home next Saturday evening.

The food here has been quite good actually. Mostly rice, potatoes, veggies, greens, tomato soup, beef or chicken, and fruit. I don't want to scare off any potential missionary teachers! I have received great care here and the people I have had contact with have all been very friendly and helpful.

Once again, thank you for your interest and prayers. God is at work and it has been a very good trip so far. I hope to send out a final report after I arrive home.

Peace, Nathan Dunlap

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Real Saint Valentine

The first representation of Saint Valentine appeared in a The Nuremberg Chronicle, a great illustrated book printed in 1493. [Additional evidence that Valentine was a real person: archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to Saint Valentine.] Alongside a woodcut portrait of him, text states that Valentinus was a Roman priest martyred during the reign of Claudius the Goth [Claudius II]. Since he was caught marrying Christian couples and aiding any Christians who were being persecuted under Emperor Claudius in Rome [when helping them was considered a crime], Valentinus was arrested and imprisoned. Claudius took a liking to this prisoner -- until Valentinus made a strategic error: he tried to convert the Emperor -- whereupon this priest was condemned to death. He was beaten with clubs and stoned; when that didn't do it, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate [circa 269].

Saints are not supposed to rest in peace; they're expected to keep busy: to perform miracles, to intercede. Being in jail or dead is no excuse for non-performance of the supernatural. One legend says, while awaiting his execution, Valentinus restored the sight of his jailer's blind daughter. Another legend says, on the eve of his death, he penned a farewell note to the jailer's daughter, signing it, "From your Valentine."

St. Valentine was a Priest, martyred in 269 at Rome and was buried on the Flaminian Way. He is the Patron Saint of affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travellers, young people. He is represented in pictures with birds and roses.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Report From Mwanza - Tanzania

Dear Friends and family,

Greetings in the Name of Christ.

We have made it through our first full week of classes for Bishop Kwangu. We have completed two courses so far. "The Beliefs, Teachings, and Practices of the Historic Christian Church", What has been believed by all Christians, everywhere, for all time. And, "Introduction to Apostolic Ordained Ministry", a course that examines the qualifications and duties of ordained ministry along with the Ethos and Ethics of Christian Ministry. I am averaging about 25 students in class eah day.

The ones who live farther away are staying in a simple dormitory on the compound, while others come by bus from their homes. As you know, Fr. Francis is teaching in Geita, about 2 1/2 hours away. 

The weather has been pleasant and sunny. About 80 at night and about
 90 during the day. It has rained twice since we are here. This is 
the "rainy season" which means everything is green and growing well.
 I see many gardens throughout the city wherever people can find a spot
 of ground to grow something. I am told that later in the year
 everything will be brown from the heat.

There does not seem to be any traffic rules to follow except drive on the left side of the road and avoid getting hit. Other than that, do as you wish! The African people seem to be very patient with this system of traffic and I have not seen any accidents.

The students of my class are very involved, listening carefully and asking many questions. Their questions cover a broad variety of subjects pertaining to Christian doctrines and ethics. I have to rely on the Holy Spirit's guidance to give them the best answers and advice. Sometimes progress is slow because of the many discussions, but this is good. It shows that they are thinking and leaning well. As they say here in Tanzania, "the students are coming with the teacher".

The people have been so kind to me. I am humbled by their attitudes. What they lack in knowledge or possessions, they make up for in enthusiasm. They are ordinary people doing the best they can with what they have to care for their families and to do God's work. The African people work very hard and are very industrious.

The average person makes less than one dollar a day. As anywhere in the world, there are problems to deal with in the churches and in society. But God is at work here and the Gospel is being spread by these evangelists. We are here to help equip them to do their work better -- and they are grateful.

 May the peace of Christ be with you.

Nathan Dunlap

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bishop Hewitt Reports

Forward in Faith/North America – at the Council Meeting, 1 – 2 February, at the Bethany Retreat Center in Lutz (Tampa) Florida, we contended with snow and ice storms and delays from northern and western parts of the Country. But we pulled together and worked on Council membership, preparations for the June Assembly in Belleville, IL. and the need for FiF/NA and FiF/UK, the Federation, and the ACNA, to “travel in convoy.” Forward in Faith, as an organism in the Church to live, teach and witness to the fullness of the Catholic Faith, aims at being a new Oxford Movement. The Rev. Dr. Kevin Donlon was elected to the Council as an adjunct and advisor for theology and ecclesiology. He and his parish, the Church of the Resurrection, in nearby Odessa, hosted a supper for us, and an Evensong and Benediction for the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord.

Bishop Paul Hewitt, Diocese of the Holy Cross, reporting.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tanzania Report

Dispatch One: Mission Station City of Mwanza,

on the shore of Lake Victoria

Feb 03 2011

Our journey to Mwanza. First, Dar es Salaam, the city of peace, welcomed two missionary teachers from the MSJ. The temperature was hot, upper eighties and nineties. The city was crowded. The traffic was slow. But, like Paul in the Mediterranean, we traveled on. No shipwreck, no chains, no tossing things out of the plane. Nine thousand miles traveled at 35,000 feet in the air. Safe arrival in the mega-city of Dar es Salaam, on the coast of the Indian Ocean.

On the journey. Lines to wait in. People to watch. Many languages. Different styles of dress. Made friends with some folks from Chile – they did not understand our English and we did not understand their Espanol, but we communicated. Prayed with some Nigerian Catholics, Ibo Tribe, for safe travel back to their homeland. They made the sign of the cross in the same way as we do.

Brother Nathan and I, talked much on what and how and why and where and who and what if. Western, Eastern, Anglican theology, authors, spirituality. Put away the clothes for the cold weather – short sleeves are the uniform of the day. Got long sleeved shirt back out again as the planes were well air conditioned.

Nathan met our taxi driver in Dar es Salaam who has served us for six years, Edison. Edison and Nathan exchanged contact information for future ministry trips.

Flight to Mwanza. Dar es Salaam was hot. Mwanza was cooler. It is rainy season – low temperatures in the seventies, maybe even high sixties. Nathan and I met with diocesan bishop, Rt Rev Boniface Kwangu. His plan, Nathan teach in Mwanza, at Nyakato Bible School, all new students, teaching lesson plans starting with Course 101. Fr Francis travel to Geita, several hours away, and teach former students, advanced lesson plans. Fr Francis will rejoin Nathan on Feb 21for closing meeting with the bishop and journey back to the USA.

Nathan made arrangements for interpreters, for housing, for financing, and for sustenance. He learns well. Bishop Kwangu recognized the future and acted accordingly.

We rested in Dubai. We rested in Dar es Salaam. It was good to arrive rested in Mwanza on Thursday because we start teaching on Friday!

So, the work has started. Teaching simultaneously in two locations. Your prayers and financial support has birthed classes in two areas, concurrently. The OFM ministry grows. Thank you God. Thank you God's people.

Fr Francis Wardega

Br Nathan Dunlap

Contact Information

11195 S. Grayling Rd.
Roscommon, MI 48653

Telephone: 586-264-6044
msjanglican "at"