Thursday, October 9, 2008

Our ministry with the youth needs to go deep in helping the Congo experience the love of God. To achieve that, we had an idea of upgrading our Centre into a college offering diploma in Christian based social education. We thank the Foster Wood Foundation for the money to build an administrative bloc that will contain four offices, a library and a computer laboratory. The building will be completed mid nevember. It is the best house ever built in Mahagi and showing the glory of God. The whole town talks about the work done by Architect Kafe Mugisa who was Judy's sunday school boy.

Rev. Bahemuka is the Director of the Centre. He is involved in the youth ministry since its creation by Judy when a secondary school teacher in 1988. It is good to know God and have Jesus as a Saviour, but it is better to experience him at a younger age!
The Centre has brought a big change in the life of the church in Mahagi and the whole province. When I came to Mahagi, I found a congregation of ten to twenty members. But now the church has hundreds and most of them are children and youth. There is big foundation laid for the church in Mahagi in particular and the Congo. When youth leaders we train go back to their dioceses, the youth work is lifted up.


Judy Acheson is now the Provincial Youth Coordinator. She is based in Lubumbashi and travels all over country in difficult and insecure situations.


The Mahagi Youth Leaders Training Centre was opened on the 15 august 2004. The Rev. Bahemuka Mugenyi William and Ven. Ungula Uga Stephen designed the curriculum, the organisation of the Centre. Rev. William has a degree in Education from Congo, a bachelor and masters degree from Makerere and Uganda Christian University. Ven. Stephen has a certificate in Youth Ministry from Carslile College. The first three months course trained 12 local church youth leaders. The second trained 10 youth leaders from southern Sudan and Congo in English. Then we got funding from Foster Wood Foundation to start a nine month course. We have so far organised three nine months courses. We thank the Foster Wood Foundation that has accepted to support the other three nine months courses starting from the 25 october 2008.


When Judy came to Congo in 1980, as a nursery teacher she started with the Sunday School. The kids grow up and became teenagers. But the church could hardly cope up with the behaviour changes of the youth. There was a need to develop a new approach to minister to the young people. That when Judy moved from Sunday School to Youth Ministry in the Diocese of Boga. The key tool used was the love that needed to approach the youth, thus the name Agape. Very fast the ministry moved from the Diocese of Boga to the whole province of the Anglican Church of Congo.
The ministry changed the lives of many, involved the participation of many young people to help others, transformed the life of the church that became lively. There was a need to train those who are committed in the ministry and have a qualified team to help Judy.
That led to the creation of Mahagi Youth Leaders Training Centre commonly called Agape in 1998. The work was delayed by the insecurity in the region, by God's grace it was opened on 15 august 2004.