The Rev Dave Morgan took the goodwill of St Mark’s, Sadleir with him in April as he headed off to Rwanda for GAFCON IV and a tour of rural Tanzania. What he was most looking forward to was meeting the young Bible college student his church supports.

It started on Thanksgiving Sunday at St Mark’s two years ago – which is the day when the congregation supports an evangelical mission group, such as Anglican Aid or the Aboriginal Evangelical Fellowship. That year, St Mark’s was encouraged to support a student at Bunda Bible College in the Tanzanian Diocese of Mara. 

“We were raising money to put on a homegrown youth and kids worker, so we said to Anglican Aid, ‘Is there someone in Africa who has a heart for youth ministry that we could give towards their training?’” Mr Morgan says. “Anglican Aid said, ‘Well, there is this guy Frank Siage at Bunda Bible College – he's just about to start’. So, by the grace of God, we were able to raise all of the funds needed for his three years of tuition.”

Fast forward two years and Mr Morgan was one of the participants on a tour to Tanzania that included the college where Mr Siage is studying.

“We got to Bunda Bible College in the morning, we got off the bus and walked in and there was all this singing and celebration as we arrived because Archbishop Kanishka was there,” Mr Morgan recalls. 

“The college choir sang and there were a number of different people speaking. Then Eddie Ozols, who organised the tour,  got up and started interviewing Frank. He did that via an interpreter because Frank's English is not great. Eddie said, ‘Dave Morgan's here – why don't you come up?’ So I gave Frank a hug straight away. It was such a delight to meet him.”

Mr Siage had been married only days before so his wife Esther was also there, and Mr Morgan says the time together was “a real joy”.  

“After the chapel service, I spent about 10 minutes having a conversation with Frank and his wife. There was a friend of theirs who had good English, so he helped me chat with them.”

Even though it was an emotional meeting halfway across the world from the western suburbs of Sydney, Mr Morgan doesn’t think such cross-border support should be unusual.

“Sadleir isn't a wealthy church, but we are still much better off than our brothers and our sisters in Africa and we have a significant opportunity to support them,” he says. 

Another delight for Mr Morgan at GAFCON was meeting the Rev Joseph Ruzengiza, who is the head evangelist and trainer of evangelists in the Diocese of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

“Last year we supported them for Thanksgiving Sunday to purchase $5000 worth of Swahili bibles and prayer books as they work towards planting 50 churches over the next five years,” Mr Morgan says. “I didn't know whether Joseph would be at GAFCON but realising he was, and meeting him in person, was probably the biggest highlight of the conference for me. 

“One of the things I love about being the pastor at Sadleir is the heart of gospel generosity God has given his people here towards the needs beyond their particular patch. I thank God for his ongoing work in them."