Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, with a population of 26 million people, 40% of whom are under the age of 14. About half the population are Christian, and most of the rest follow traditional religious practices, which are strong and distinctive. According to Operation World, ''discipleship and biblical training are the greatest needs of churches. There is little by way of structured training or teaching for ordinary believers. Pray for new grassroots movements that are accessible and relevant to all Christians and that can be multiplied and reproduced throughout the country.' Rooted in Jesus is helping to meet this need. It is used in Malagasy.

For a video report on Rooted in Jesus in Madagascar by Revd Richard Morgan please follow the link. The report was filmed in Madagascar in March 2013.

For an interview with Ven Jean Flobert after the Rooted in Jesus Junior training conference in the Diocese of Fianarantsoa in August 2017, please follow the link.


Diocese of Fianarantsoa (from 2011)

There are 6 Anglican dioceses on the island, and in November 2011 Rooted in Jesus was introduced to just over a hundred leaders from two of them: the Diocese of Fianarantsoa and the Diocese of Toliara. The Diocese of Fianarantsoa was founded in 2003, and has 14 parishes. The conference in Fianarantsoa was attended by the 14 clergy and 32 lay leaders 2011.

The diocese hosted a follow-up conference in March 2013 to support existing leaders and train new ones. Participants reported that every parish had established two groups, and some of these, particularly in the coastal deanery of Nosy Varika, had seen remarkable numbers of people coming to faith - one leader reported that 124 new Christians had come out of his groups, and two others also reported over a hundred coming to faith and then receiving baptism or confirmation. Others shared stories of people being healed or touched by God in other ways. Bishop Gilbert, and Diocesan Coordinator Canon Jean Flobert, place a high priority on Rooted in Jesus, seeing it as a key part of the strategy for growth within the diocese. We were delighted to see Fianarantsoa's new cathedral rising brick by brick beside us, and to be given T shirts celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the diocese.

In October 2016 the RinJ Coordinator wrote to say that there were now 32 Rooted in Jesus groups meeting in the 19 parishes; many of these had completed all four books of the course.

In August 2017 a Rooted in Jesus Junior conference was held in Fianarantsoa, attended by 84 Sunday School teachers and facilitated by a team from the UK and Tanzania. The conference was followed by a choir festival with both visiting and local choirs taking part. Ven Jean Flobert will be responsible for overseeing both the adult and Junior programmes.

In January 2018 Flobert reported that RinJ Junior is now in use across the diocese, with over 1200 children in 76 groups, most of which are completing Book 1. The adult programme is used as the standard material for confirmation preparation. In March 2021 a new parish was inaugurated following the expansion of Rooted in Jesus into new areas, and in October 2021 a further Rooted in Jesus training conference was held for the Sunday School teachers.

Diocese of Toliara (from 2011)

The Diocese of Toliara is a missionary diocese which was formed from the Diocese of Antananarivo, achieving autonomy in 2013 under the leadership of Bishop Todd McGregor. Toliara is located in the south west of the island and is growing rapidly from a very modest beginning with just three priests to a network of churches with a growing number of clergy and lay leaders.

In November 2011 the diocese hosted 4 day Rooted in Jesus training conference for the 3 priests and an additional 47 lay leaders, including two representatives from the Diocese of Antananarivo.

In March 2013 the diocese held a follow-up conference, held just 2 weeks after the worst cyclone in 35 years, in which many families had lost their homes.

In August 2017 the diocese hosted its first Rooted in Jesus Junior Conference, facilitated b a team from the UK and from Tanzania. The conference was held in conjunction with a huge Bible competition, with children attending from all over the diocese. Sunday School coordinator Nolavy Osoro ran children's activities during the day, and the competition was held in the evenings, with the four category winners announced on the final day. 45 Sunday School teachers attended the training, with the children joining us for some practice sessions. Deanery representatives were appointed, and classes will begin in September. The conference concluded with presentations from the children's choirs, and an inspiring performance of Miaraka, a modern day musical of Mary Magdalene written by Revd Patsy McGregor and Collette Maurel and presented with astonishing professionalism by local young people.

The Rooted in Jesus Junior programme was launched across the diocese in January 2018, and has generated huge enthusiasm and growth amongst the children participating. A rolling programme of training and support for group leaders is now provided regularly in each parish. In early 2021 nearly two thousand people turned to the church and committed themselves to Jesus, and nine new churches have been planted in the Amboasary region. Rooted in Jesus will be translated into the local language of Antandroy, and 70 new leaders trained to disciple the new believers.


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