The Diocese has a trifold (body, mind and spirit) holistic approach to its ministry recognising the importance of the health, educational and spiritual needs of the people.
In a country where malaria and intestinal diseases are rife, access to medical facilities is all important. The Diocese has recognised the importance of establishing dispensaries in outlying areas to serve the needs of the people – not only to dispense medication but also to educate the people in hygiene, nutrition and birth control. As funds become available, the dispensaries are often upgraded to include maternity units and become fully fledged health centres. The Trust is keen to support this work.
The Trust has been quick to offer support in education across the different stages of development - classrooms built at nursery schools, equipment provided for vocational training, support for women’s projects (through the Mothers’ Union) encouraging single mothers to provide for their families, individual sponsorship for college and university fees, and assistance with teacher salaries. There is always a need and the Trust works hard to listen to requests made and to prioritise them.
The Pastors and Catechists in Shyogwe Diocese are not only responsible for the spiritual welfare of their people, but also provide leadership in their communities offering advice on such things as animal husbandry, land cultivation, house building, health and educational issues; and also liaising with government departments. Increasingly they need a solid educational base to tackle these issues.
The Bible and Development School at Shyogwe aims to provide this base and is headed up by Pastor Venant. The Trust believes that this is an important facility within the Diocese and enthusiastically supports its work.
Bishop Jered emphasises the importance of ‘training the trainers’. Commissary to Bishop Jered and Trustee, Rev Jim Stevens, offers Biblical teaching to the pastors when he visits Shyogwe Diocese. This is much needed and always welcomed and the Trust has supported these initiatives by assisting in the expense of pastor accommodation.
In February 2015, training sessions for the wives of pastors and catechists took place at the same time as sessions for their husbands. Difficulties in transportation and the associated costs were overcome by holding these sessions in three different deaneries within Shyogwe Diocese. The training was led by Rev Jim Stevens and his wife, Judy.
In November 2015, further training took place. Trustee Greg Moss, and colleague Andy Carswell, delivered training for pastors based on Galatians; Trustee Peter Muir offered support to accountants within the Diocese; Doctor Stephanie Moss, together with pharmacist Karen Carswell, visited health centres and trained nurses in how to use their faith in the work place; and retired teacher and Trustee Jill Muir focussed on the education system.