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                                           ST JOHN THE BAPTIST

Dandanda Mission is the fruit of the work of many priests and catechists that from the early 1950s started spreading the faith and the good news among the people. Dandanda Mission is found in Lupane District which is mainly the Ndebele area, but they are other languages found there like, Tonga, Shona and Nambia. we are very greatful for all those who hardly worked and continue to work in this area.

In the beginning Dandanda Mission was an outstation of Tshongogwe Mission and later on the it became an outstation of Jotsholo Mission. At that time Jotsholo Mission was a very big Mission with almost 42 communities. And so due to the distances and the difficulties of visiting the communities, the priests together with the bishop started to think about the possibilities of opening a new Mission. this was to help the priests to be much more closer to the people.
The first building in Dandanda Mission was done by Cadec in 1984, consisted of two small rooms that were used by priests when they came for pastoral visitation in the area. they also layed the foundation of what they thought could be a church, but due to lack of resources the foundation was not developed for many years.

In 1998 the then bishop Ignatius Prieto got some money to build the church. using that foundation, the community together with the help of the priests namely Fr Nyathi and Fr Dube who were working there managed to construct the church. The church was blessed by bishop Prieto in September 1999.
The reason why the Mission is called St John the Baptist is that, during the building of the church, the then vicar general of Plasencia diocese in Spain together with a group of friends visited Jotsholo Mission and they came to see the building of the church. they were so happy with the building of the church and they promised to help in the building. Since the name of the vicar general was John the Baptist so the church was named after him. another reason was that Fr Dube was the one in charge of the building, the patron saint of his diocese is also St John the Baptist, so he thought of giving the Mission the same name.

It was in 1999 when bishop Ndlovu proposed according with the diocesan pastoral plan to build a new Mission in Dandanda. The building of the new Mission was entrusted to the care of Fr Serafin Suarez who is known as Fr Dube.

At the beginning of 2001, with the help of the church in need, he managed to drill the borehole and in May of 2001 he started to build the priests house, which was completed in September of the same year. He was also appointed to be the first parish priest of Dandanda Mission.
In November 2001 bishop Ndlovu accompanied by archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo and with the presence of many priests and religious from the diocese together with the faithful, the mission was blessed in a colorful celebration. From that time Dandanda Mission took 29 communities from Jotsholo Mission. Some of them from Lupane area and some from Binga area.

The mission remained with the church and the priest`s house for some years. In July 2002 the new church together with the dometries  were constructed and the old church remained as a hall. In January 2003, in another colorful celebration, the new church together with the other buildings were blessed by bishop Ndlovu.

Looking in the registers they are 888 people who have been baptized, 105 number of marriages and 322 people have now been confirmed under Dandanda Mission.
In 2013 the new Mission of Lusulu was opened so since some communities where near the new Mission, 12 communities from Dandanda Mission were given to Lusulu Mission. At the present moment Dandanda Mission have 19 communities. the church is not growing very fast due to the number of escalating sects and other churches which are found around the Mission.
Since the beginning of the Mission, a good number of priests and deacons have worked in this Mission.

The following are the Names of the priests and deacons who worked in Dandanda Mission
* Fr Serafin Suarez ( 2001- 2005) (2009)
* Fr Vusumuzi Ndlovu( 2001-2003)
* Fr Nemesio Frías( 2005-2009)
* Fr Nicholas Nkamba (2005-2007)
* Fr Xolani Ndlovu( 2007-2009)
* Fr Luis Carlos( 2009-2014)
* Rev Deacon Philani Ncube( 2011)
* Rev Deacon Kujani Mpofu (2011-2012)
* Rev Deacon Kolwani Nyoni (2012-2013)
* Rev Deacon Brillie Tshuma( 2013-2014)
* Rev Deacon Luyando Trust Mweembe( 2014)
* Fr Jose Luis Lazaro (2014)

We are so greatful to have this wonderful mission which is there at the service of the people . Please continue to pray for Dandanda Mission.  

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