Canon Rev. Johnson Chinyongole is the General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Tanzania. In his assessment, the church has had impact in the Tanzanian community at 3 different levels.
Mindset transformation is the first level of impact where people are beginning to release that the solutions to challenges facing the church are owned by the church leaders and congregants in Tanzania. Formerly, the bishops would think of how to get donor support and partnership with help from outside but today, they are looking inwards for solutions to their problems.
The place of interdependence still remains but the clergy’s eyes have been greatly opened through the Samaritan Strategy trainings to know that answers to their problems are to be found within their own environment.
To this effect, the Anglican church of Tanzania has opened doors for Samaritan Strategy to go to every corner of Tanzania. The local Samaritan Strategy chapter in Tanzania- SASTA has got a room through the ACT synod that made a decision to devolve the church into 5 development zones.
So far SASTA have done workshops in 4 zones but more work still needs to be done to help transform mindsets.
The main approach used is analysis of where the church has come from, where it is today and where it wants to go. All this topics are taken from the vision conference materials.
The strategic planning of the development work has been taken from the Samaritan Strategy trainings and people are realising that they are sitting-living poor millionaires.
The second level of impact is tangible change and transformation in the community. Those who have gone through Vision Conferences do their thinks in a very different way from those who have not. The group formations of village banks is phenomenal change in Tanzanian communities.
To date, Canon Chinyongole is a member of the Dorcus Group where they have Muslims as part of the members and whenever people are faced with challenges, they help one another regardless of the religion or background. More and more of community transformation programmes are being managed by the church with very high levels of faithfulness and accountability.
From the Samaritan Strategy training in Tanzania, more and more people are now using the locally available resources to make a difference in their own churches and communities. People are engaging in farming, small scale business, savings and credit to make a difference in their lives.
“Many have trained on SSA and become trainers and wherever the facilitators are going, they are making changes,” affirms Canon Chinyongole
The wife to Chinyongole testifies that solutions to challenges is in working together as a team.
the way to come out of the difficulties is found in 4 levels of social support, learn the practice of saving, learn to plan and working hard to attain to the set goals and last but not least is faithfulness to make repayments of the loans.
She has become an inspiration to the formation of savings credit groups in the Anglican Church whereby she has initiated new innovative groups for Pastors wives. These groups have diversified and have started playing volleyball and plans to engage other groups like the wife's of parliamentarians.
From the SSA trainings, the church has really been inspired to live the full four dimensional growth parameters for wholistic change.
Morogoro has become a diocese that is self-sustaining. It is self-propagating, self-proclaiming
Participatory methodologies that looked at how best to deal with the challenges of poverty in the communities have borne fruit with time.
At the diocesan level, the local churches don't depend on foreign aid. The local church has worked well to build their own Churches and other facilities, have addressed the issues of from the local church to the diocesan level. 30% of all contributions from the parishes goes to the diocese.
For instance over 140, 000 was is raised from all the dioceses to the bishops office at Morogoro I the financial
The people are motivated to give be a use they know to whom they are giving to in Morogoro Diocese, each congregation has been tasked to organising a missions week where the people are built in the most Holly faith. This is done by targeting the leaders and groups in churches with proper trainings to impact the rest of the body of Christ.
The executive of each diocese have all been reached with the SSA message. They are sensitised on the challenges, what they can do to address the challenges and because of that there is more Opportunities for SSA work in the dioceses exist and there is need for CMS-Africa to take a proactive role in taking the message to communities. The challenges is on how to create facilitators in each diocese one per parish. The Anglican Church of Tanzania has 6 zones and it would be great to have training programmes per zone.
Recently the Anglican Church of Tanzania organised a forum for various church leaders and Paul Kibona the CMS-Africa Representative in Tanzania was given a chance to do a VISION Casting.
As CMS-Africa Tanzania has the best example to make a difference in the coming days.
VISION Conference model to be incorporated as a compulsory model for all the students at Mutuba Teachers Training college. St Philips Theological College and a number of other Provincial Bible colleges