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Diocese of Antsiranana
(Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean)
The Revd N Darby, Prof Gareth Jones, Bishop Roger Jaomalaza and the Revd Chris Race at the Grand Hotel
Photo No. : P071203-1
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The trainees display their graduation certificates
Photo No. : P071203-2
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Gifts are presented to the training leaders and the bishop
Photo No. : P071203-3
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Fruitful Training for the Clergy and Evangelists of Antsiranana Diocese
December 3, 2007

[Diocese of Antsiranana - Indian Ocean] The training sessions in the Diocese of Antsiranana, led by Prof Gareth Jones and the Revd Christopher Race on 30 November to 1 December, were greatly appreciated by all 150 clergy and evangelists present. This was the second major event of the year 2007. All the sessions were held in the newly built Cathedral of St Matthew, which was inaugurated on 17 June this year. The Ruth Women prepared excellent food for all the hungry clergy and evangelists.

Bishop Roger Chung Jaomalaza, in his opening speech of the conference, used the text from 1 Peter 2:9 as the theme verse for the coming years in the diocesan vision for mission and evangelisation: but you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood , a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. This Diocesan training launches the leaders out into the deep waters of the adventure of proactive mission in northern Madagascar and beyond.

The powerful witness of the life of the Revd Christopher Race, who is now a lecturer at Christchurch University in Canterbury, moved all the ministers in the session. He grew up in Botswana and Zimbabwe and is fluent in the African language of the area. His mother, who was a missionary in Southern Africa, was murdered in 1989 prior to the fall of the apartheid regime in South Africa. The bishop of that diocese was so "shattered and upset" that he was unable to preside over the funeral, and the grieving Revd Christopher had to officiate the funeral service of his mother. Of such intensity was the quality of the sessions.

The Diocese of Canterbury plans to keep encouraging the growing evangelisation taking place in the Diocese of Antsiranana.