This colourful building is the new cathedral for the Diocese of Lake Rukwa in Tanzania.
Eight years ago, the newly-formed Diocese of Lake Rukwa had only had one small church building and one congregation of about 30 people. Since then, Bishop Mathayo Kasagara has worked tirelessless to encourage mission and evangelism to a largely unreached region. People have turned to Christ and new churches have been planted. At the end of October, another milestone was reached as the first cathedral was opened in the centre of Mpanda.
Paul Hunter shares, 'The opening of the cathedral was an uplifting occasion, an outpouring of thanks and celebration. The work was almost finished by the opening date and many guests from far and wide joined with the local congregation in dedicating the building to the glory of God. In all, there were more than 800 people in attendance and the local congregation took great pride in being able to see what they had spent so much of their own time and resources to build.
Completing all the finishing touches has left the diocese with further bills to pay. It is one of the poorest dioceses in one of the poorest countries in the world. But, after some initial gasps and sighs when hearing the size of the task, what we saw was a growing determination. We, synod decided, must be the answer to the problem. As a result, this last Sunday, in every church in the diocese, fundraising events took place. It didn’t raise a great deal of money, but it was a step in the right direction, on a long, hard road.
Paul Hunter has been running a course to provide foundational training for lay leaders of local churches in the Diocese of Lake Rukwa. At the end of December 2018, Paul will return to the UK ahead of taking up a post with the Diocese of Blackburn.
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