We have received Christmas Greetings from Bishop Mathayo Kasagara, Bishop of Lake Ruka Diocese in Tanzania.
Bishop Mattayo visited us back in September 2011 and we are delighted to stay in touch with him.
If you would like to send him personal greetings,
Dear Revd Malc, Greetings from the Diocese of Lake Rukwa.
I hope you, your family and the whole congregation of Bishop's Cleeve are all doing fine and also looking to have a great day of Christmas. I thank God that we are doing fine here in our diocese. So as part of your family we wish to send you our greetings this Christmas season:
HAPPY CHRISTMAS and BLESSED NEW YEAR, 2012
From THE KASAGARA FAMILY
Joshua, Caleb, Barnaba, Happiness & Naomi
We praise the Lord for sending our Lord Jesus Christ as a baby so that He could become our Saviour!
I still remember and value your support
God bless you all
Bishop Mathayo with the St Michael's Rock Solid Group
Bishop Matthayo's full Christmas Letter is below, or you can read it here
Message from Bishop Mathayo Kasagara, Diocese of Lake Rukwa: Christmas, 2011
Does Christmas make any difference to life in Lake Rukwa Diocese? We emphasise the gathering together of the Christians and enjoy long services with plenty of hymns, carols and offerings. So our services are well attended. Some people can afford a new outfit, but not many.
Of course the event of Christmas, the Son of God relinquishing heaven and “making himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant”, (as the NIV Bible puts Philippians 2:7), makes all the difference in the world, when coupled with the equally amazing and even more important events of the first Easter. Without these two great events where would we be?
This photo shows how the Mpanda church looked during the evangelistic rally in September. The people are celebrating on what it is hoped one day will be the floor of the new church and this, of course is our “Cathedral Church”! To the right is the pastor’s house, standing inside the foundations of the new church. To the left is a temporary canvas awning adjoining what remains of the old church, also inside the new foundations.
Will there ever be money enough to demolish the old and build the new? Who can possibly tell? Currently many are rapidly losing hope on this project. As I said in a brochure I sent earlier: “The Church is not strong and our parishes struggle. Even though there are other denominations, the Gospel has made little impact and many people, even those with tenuous link with a church, are controlled by superstition, witchcraft and local medicine. They are fearful of curses, evil spirits and genies, and trust in charms and amulets.” It’s always there, just below the surface. Recently we heard of an albino baby born locally. Immediately the father saw this as a money-making opportunity and has disappeared to find the witch doctor who will pay the highest price for the baby’s body parts! Mother and baby are now in hiding. Many albino people have been mutilated and/or killed for their body parts which some people believe have magical properties. But Church planting continues in the Diocese.
A few weeks ago this church, many miles from Mpanda, was partly demolished in a violent wind. The walls are up again and they say, they’ll “be in by Christmas.”
At the time I send this newsletter, I will not be in Mpanda. I’ll be driving, in our Landrover Defender, to Dar Es Salaam for important Church Meetings with the bishops. Editha is at home and soon our two children, learning in Morogoro, Barnaba and Happiness, will be home for Christmas and will be a great help to us, looking after the cows and poultry.
With our best wishes for the New Year.
May God bless you as you share in our service for our Saviour.
Mathayo & Editha and the children, Joshua, Caleb, Barnaba, Happiness and Naomi.