St Frumentius’ Anglican Theological College:  Recruiting a new Dean, building up the faculty, equipping students for ministry

Standing on the Rock
 We were recently in Kenya, exploring partnerships with the Kenyan church and looking for a new dean for our St. Frumentius’ Anglican Theological College.  The Diocese of Marsabat, Northern Kenya, under Bishop Daniel Qampicha Wario, has been reaching out to those who have not heard of Christ in the south of Ethiopia. We visited the diocese to encourage this work and to teach on mission and healing prayer. In the photo above, Grant and Qampicha are standing on the ‘pulpit’ of the first church in Elabor, Northern Kenya, during an outreach to the people of this area. 
Area Assembly, Nov 24th & 25th, 2016
This is a photo of our St Frumentius’ Anglican Theological College Chapel, during our recent, “Area Assembly” the yearly synod-like gathering of our Episcopal Area. At Area Assembly, I received this letter carried by Rev Isaac Pur. It is from the Jum-jum people. There are now only about 200 Jum-jum Christians in the world. Isaac Momma, our Mabaan-speaking priest and the regional dean of the churches in the Assosa region of Ethiopia, is now a full time student at St Frumentius’ Anglican Theological College. He reached out to the Jum-jum who were in Sherkole Refugee Camp, Assosa. This work has been continued by Isaac Pur, now acting Regional Dean during Isaac Momma’s  time as a student. Here is the letter they sent; unedited, yet elegant in its cry for the need for theological education.
“Our Dear Father, 
As a Jum-jum congregation, we are here, ready to make our own church. But the problem is the lack of the preacher or we don’t have anyone who is well trained to preach the gospel. Therefore please we need you to help us by giving us the chances when there is second round for the theology or college.
We join the Anglican church from 2011 up to 2016 but there is no any improvement or any changes. But when you appeared, also our names appeared. Therefore we became happy and happy. And we hope everything will continuous like in this way.
So you know even in our home land we have more than 200 Christian within our tribes without any pastor or even not deacon (preacher). Therefore when you will help us we will be strong and lead our people as our heavenly Father want us to do. 
Our main problem is this. Now we have those who know how to preach like Pastor Isaac Momma and Pastor Isaac Pur and so on. But maybe after the short period of time we will go back to our home land (North Sudan) and Pastor Momma will go back to his home land (South Sudan) and what will we do when we still have no pastor? We will remain as it is like before. For example, as you know, when there is no shepherd, the hyena can do what they want. And we hope you will help us to report all this to Bishop.
Second example: The son can make a lot of mistake when the father didn’t teach him properly.
That is all.

by Jum-jum congregation”

~ Please Pray with us ~
~ With thanksgiving for the ordination of three priests and five deacons at Area Assembly Nov 24, 2016
 For a new Dean of St Frumentius’ Anglican Theological College and for Bishop Grant as he functions as Acting Dean
~ For Egypt, especially as the church has to endure more suffering at the hands of terrorists
~ For the Reverend Sammy Shehata, bishop elect for North Africa (Algeria ,Tunisia and Libya) as he prepares for his consecration February
~ For a new congregation which is developing among the Tama-Koi people and for representatives to the Koma and Shurma people expressing interest in the gospel.
~with thanksgiving for new partnerships developing with the church in Kenya and Djibouti
~ For the Mothers’ Union as they move towards a fully African-led Leadership Training Program
~ For peace and stability in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa
Peter Tut Chol
Peter Tut Chol will be Priest in charge of Holy Comforter Anglican Church, in the Pilwal Mission Centre, supervised by the Rev Peter Ghak

Simon Taidor

 Simon Taidor will be Priest in charge of the All Saints Anglican Church Mission Centre in Nininyang with its eight churches

Stephen Munye


Stephen Munye will be Priest in charge of The Bethlehem Anglican Mission Centre, Pinyudu Refugee Camp with its four churches

Omot Ogud





Omot Ogud, will serve as the Deacon in charge of the Bethlehem Anglican Mission Centre in Abobo with its seven churches

Stephen Choul, will serve as the Deacon in charge of St Peter’s Anglican Church Mission Centre in Matar with its ten churches

Stephen Choul

Daniel Wuor Tap 


Daniel Wuor Tap  will serve as Deacon in charge of the five churches of Jewi the refugee camp, supervised by the Rev Peter Kuel of St Luke’s, Gambella


Joseph Khon will serve as the Deacon in charge of New Life Anglican Church in the Lare Mission Centre, supervised by the the Rev Simon Ker of St Paul’s Anglican Church

Joseph Khon

Gabriel Tut Puok  will serve as Deacon in charge of Church of Christ Anglican Church in the Pinyudu refugee camp, supervised by the Rev Paul Pouk of Jesus Light of the World Anglican Church

Gabriel Tut Puok

Holy Expectancy

In many ways, Advent has taken on a new meaning for us personally. It has always been a time for expectant reflection, but as we now find ourselves in a period of transition between two ministries, the sense of expectation is heightened as we look to the one who loved the world so much that He came and gave His life for us. His coming and giving compels us to come and give too so that others may know Him and His love.
In this season of holy expectancy, would you prayerfully consider joining in what God is doing through us in our new ministry context? There are so many ways you can be part of our ministry – through prayer, through various forms of communication, through being our ambassadors in your contexts, and, of course, through financial support. Also, if you know of anyone who might be interested in our new ministry, please put them in touch with us.

Our personal SAMS page still lists us as missionaries to Ethiopia, and this will change once we have greater clarity on our new situation, but the giving link remains the same.
As always, we covet your prayers.
Thank you so much for all your love, support, and encouragement.
Advent blessings to you all.
May the reality of His birth and its blessed consequence in our rebirth touch you deeply this Christmastide and throughout the new year.

A Lesson in Takkies

Sunday 28th August: Throughout our stay and especially after our Eucharist service on the 28th, we gave various small gifts (e.g.–t-shirts, South African beanies, sweets, games, takkies{sneakers}) to the young people; and I had the nudge that I was supposed to give my training shoes to someone who really needed them. I told one of my teammates, Nkosinathi, that I felt that God was nudging me to give my training shoes to someone who really needed them, but I was not sure how my wife, Nicole, would feel about my giving away a gift she had given me. But Nkosinathi said that I should follow my heart and explain to Nicole when I got back home.


Earlier during our stay, when we had just arrived, another pair of training shoes was donated to a young person; but they were trying to find someone whose foot size matched the shoes so that that person could have them. The days passed, but I still didn’t feel that I had found the right person to whom to give the takkies. Then one day I felt that the person was nearby. I looked around and saw a boy crying. I asked one of the locals to ask the boy while he was crying. I dscn1845was told that he was crying because we would be leaving soon; other youth had received small gifts and he had nothing to remember us by. I asked if he had any takkies and was told that he didn’t have any because they were too expensive; it would take his parents two-three years for them to save up to afford a pair of takkies. To this family, of course, having food to eat was far more important than takkies, so the boy walked around barefoot. I then went to him, giving him a pair of socks and the takkies to try on. He went inside his home to change (he lived near the conference site), and guess what? They fitted as snug as a bug, as though they were meant for him. He hugged me and the smile on his face was so big; if it wasn’t for his ears, the smile would have gone right around his face. I then knew that the takkies were meant for him. I then gave him a short and long sleeve t-shirt to wear. How could I have missed this boy?! He had so willingly helped us carry our buckets of water, luggage, or any other goods during our stay. God has a funny sense of humour; the young person for whom the takkies were meant was right under my nose, and I didn’t notice it.

The people in Toliara were extremely welcoming, nice and prepared to share whatever little they had with us. This was truly an emotional, heart-warming and humble feeling. The many things that we take for granted in everyday life they just didn’t have. The amazing thing was that they were content with what little they had and yet praised God with hymns of praise and dance, sometimes until the early hours of the morning. There is a phenomenal commitment to God here, and I pray that they will never let go of it. I am truly grateful and blessed for the time I spent in Madagascar, and I can honestly say that I didn’t want to leave that God-enriched, humble place. I can’t wait to go back on the next mission trip.

#Madagascar4Jesus blog series: 4
Wayne Curtis

Walking with Jesus into His future…

Who can believe we are nearly at the end of yet another year…and at the beginning of a new one filled with all sorts of God-ordained moments?
Like being seated next to a male stripper on a plane from Johannesburg to Cape Town…
I had a captive audience for nearly three hours as I witnessed to the love of God shown so clearly in Jesus! Wynand and I parted as if we were old friends and I pray now for his journey with Jesus every day.
As you know, Louise and I have been on a journey since leaving Gambela. So many of our dear friends and family confirmed our move that if it wasn’t for the emotional ties with our dear brethren in Ethiopia, the transition might even have been classified as easy.
We have explored different options, but believe that the Lord is leading us to work with an Anglican organisation named Growing the Church, or GtC for short. However, this move is subject to SAMS approval.
So far, we have met with the GtC Director and team members (several times!), the GtC Board, Diocesan Coordinators, and Elders. Tomorrow, we will be meeting the Archbishop and the Suffragan Bishop as well.
GtC works in seven southern African areas: South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, and the island of St Helena.
In many ways, GtC is a logical extension of what we have been doing for so many years of our life in Africa, India, and in the US. Mobilising church members to do what they are called by God to do is very much part of who we are as His servants. (We have included the GtC Job Description below for your perusal.)
God willing, we will return to the US mid January to meet with SAMS Leadership, take a course in Discipleship at Trinity, take a course in short-term missions training at SAMS, visit our children and grandchildren, visit as many of our supporters as humanly possible (what would we do without y’all?!), attend a debriefing session in PA, and seek our more support as the cost of living in South Africa will be higher than that in Gambela. The timing of our return to the field will be contingent on sufficient funding…so we really need your prayers!
Please walk with us as we seek to walk further with Jesus into His future.
We wish you all the most blessed Christmas and the happiest of new years. May our gracious and merciful King grant you all your heart’s desire and may you come to know that His every thought towards you as His child is always for good only and never, ever for evil.
Many blessings and tons of love.
Johann and Louise
Job Description: Johann & Louise van der Bijl –
Joint Coordinators – Training in Mission & Ministry
1.     Leadership Development and Team Formation

W  Primarily to transition GtC into our 28 dioceses through assisting with team formation, and capacity building through appropriate training.
W  Training at least 15 people in each diocese who will immediately begin to pass their training on to at least 10 other persons within one year. This equates to 420 primary people trained in 3 years and 4200 secondary trained persons in that period.
W  The Intentional Discipleship and Disciple-making training process will be the primary means of team formation so as to instil a missional DNA from the start.
2.     Intentional Discipleship and Disciple-making (ID&DM)
W  To develop skilled faculty from among those being trained above who will assist with passing their training on both within their dioceses and regionally.
W  The aim is to spark an ID&DM movement which will grow exponentially and impact virtually every parish. Disciples making disciples is thus a critical component.

3.     Mission Teams – Formation and Training

W  A mark of a disciple’s maturity is that they intentionally reach out to others both within their ambit and beyond.
W  Holistic missional engagement is considered to be one of the best means of growing mature disciples as we seek to fulfil the great commandment and the great commission.
W  Our primary focus will be weekend and short-term missions.

4.     Research relevant to Church Health, Mission and Ministry

W  Specific research in relation to items 1 & 2 above – so that we may serve dioceses in accordance with their needs and context.
W  General research as regards church health that serves our bishops, clergy and leaders, and serves GtC as we seek to be more focussed and intentional in our work and ministry.
5.     Participate in Joint Team Initiatives
W  Anglicans Ablaze Conferences
W  Family Life Seminars

W  Planning, administration & execution