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Diocese of Antsiranana
(Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean)
A preparatory prayer on the site of the theological centre
Photo No. : P071203-4
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Part of the congregation at the ceremony
Photo No. : P071203-5
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An assistant brings cement for the foundation stone
Photo No. : P071203-6
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Bishop Roger prepares to lay the the foundation stone
Photo No. : P071203-7
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UTO helps build the Pastoral and Theological Center of Antsiranana Diocese

December 3, 2007

[Diocese of Antsiranana - Indian Ocean] The project of a Pastoral and Theological Center in the Diocese of Antsiranana materialised as the foundation stone was laid on Sunday 2nd December 2007 by Bishop Roger Chung Jaomalaza; the Very Rev Jaona Lehibe, Dean of the Cathedral of St Matthew, and Prof Gareth Jones of Christchurch University, who was leading a training conference for the clergy and evangelists of the diocese.

The project of a pastoral college in Northern Madagascar was initiated in the 1960s, and that first college was built in the rain forest in the village of Marodimaka, although it was inaccessible for more than half a year due to the rainy season. That pastoral center disappeared due to cyclones and the great isolation of its location. Nothing is now left of the old college. The new centre is built in the Anglican Cathedral compound right at the heart of the town of Antsiranana.

The Pastoral and Theological Center of Antsiranana Diocese received help from UTO, the United Thanks Offering, even when it seemed that the project was an impossible one. It is planned that the center will be completed in a year's time. Bishop Roger Chung Jaomalaza once again follows the example of Nehemiah who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in the midst of great opposition.

When Bishop Roger built the new cathedral, which was inaugurated on 17 June 2007, modern-day Sanballats and Tobiahs (Neh 4:1-3) harrassed the church leaders and took the Anglican Church to court on false accusations. Bishop Graham Cray of Canterbury was in Antsiranana Diocese to witness the verdict given by the court magistrate, who discarded all the false accusations on the eve of the inauguration of the new cathedral. Alleluya! Nehemiah's spirit lingers on in Antsiranana Diocese.

Please pray that God's favour be upon this project, which will resource and enable the people of God both clergy and laity for a more effective mission and evangelisation. (Neh 1:11.)