Masasi Newsletter - Christmas 2012

Dear friends, benefactors, brothers and sisters in Christ.

May the light of Christ, born in Bethlehem shine upon you now and always.

I am writing my last Christmas Newsletter as the Diocesan Bishop of Masasi; firstly to thank you for your endless help and the support you have given to the Diocese of Masasi, and secondary to thank you personally for the gifts and support you have given to me and my family.

I know that is was often a sacrifice to help the people of Masasi and on their behalf I thank you very much. Many people have shown their generosity during my time as Diocesan Bishop and continue to do so as I come to the end of the episcopate which ends on the 27th February 2013.

I previously wrote a letter to the Friends of Masasi concerning my retirement so that you would know of my plans and begin to help and pray for the Diocese. I now ask that you help and pray, through God’s grace, that the Diocese will elect a new Bishop who will be ready to lead and move the Church of God in Masasi forward.

I shall retire when I am in my seventeenth year as Bishop of Masasi. During this time I tried to fulfil God’s mission for the benefit of the people of Masasi, following in the footsteps of my predecessors. I understand that God gives each leader a special task to accomplish, and that is what I have tried to do. I extend my thanks to all those who have come before me through UMCA and now USPG the missionaries of all categories who worked to improve the Diocese of Masasi, often in difficult circumstances. They struggled a lot, came across dangerous situations but through their faith in God they managed to persevere through the difficult times. Without love for God and commitment they could not have fulfilled their mission. Among those I specifically want to remember are:
a) Those who were responsible for health services
b) Those who brought education
c) Those who brought the Good news.

All these groups helped the people of the southern area of Tanzania to see and receive the love of God. We are thankful to all the missionaries who heard and received God’s call. Some of those who came have laid their bones in Tanzania while some have returned to their homes and died there. It is not easy for anyone to give his life to the unknown and without the love of God it is impossible. Through these missionaries the Diocese of Masasi received the Good News and we are where we are now because of them and the message. Thank you so much brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Diocese of Masasi is big. During my episcopate I tried to fulfil God’s mission and vision throughout the entire Diocese. I understand that there is still a lot to be done, especially in relation to spirituality and stewardship, to help people understand who they are and to whom they belong. This is particularly important for the new generation which faces a lot of challenges. I ask you to remember the Diocese of Masasi in your prayers as it begins, throughout all the parishes, to start a renewed effort to address the challenges facing the Diocese.
I also need your prayers as I prepare to retire. I know some of you have heard of my retirement via the Friends of Masasi or through personal conversations but now I ask for all your prayers. Especially as I try to finish constructing my retirement home. I thank God for all those who have contributed to my new home and retirement through the Friends of Masasi, Minchinhampton Group, thank Johnson, and Dutch Doctors, Mick and Val, Tim Brooke, Saskatoon, and Montreal. These friends have enabled me to move forward and start to plan for retirement, and begin building a place to retire. The process of building has been very difficult and slow and after a number of setbacks I was advised to build a small house for a watchman to live and to supervise the building and ensure that building supplies were not stolen. I have almost finished the small house now. I was also advised to build a water storage tank to harvest water during the rainy season instead of purchasing water for building or personal needs. This has been accomplished and now I can continue to work on the house itself. I ask for your prayers and thank all of those who have helped me for their love and support.

My postal address will be different in the future as I have set up a new P.O. Box 368, Masasi – Mtwara Region, Tanzania.

I wish to visit the UK after Christmas in 2013. If possible I would like to come in January and to pay my respects to those who are no longer living.

In finishing, I would like to give thanks to you all.

Thank you and God Bless you all.

+Patrick Masasi