Friday, May 11, 2012

From Fr. David Marriott


The Africa Appeal
St. Columba of Iona & St. Bride of Kildare,
The Traditional Anglican Church of Canada (ACC-OP)

May 2012

More news comes from the little town of Mosho.  The widows’ project has brought results: we have seen the benefit both for the children in these families, but also in the community as a whole, seeing that there is a way forward and that the future can be brighter, especially for the children. It is this that proves the focus of this appeal letter.

In parts of the city of Vancouver, schools have found that they need to set up breakfast programmes for the children: hungry children do not do well in school. What this has to do with Mosho is that there, hungry children did not go to school: if there was no food, there was also no money for even the small school fees necessary. But here is the good news from the widow’s project: there is more food in the community, and a spirit of hope, and we best express this hope for the future in and through our children, with the prayer that they will learn how to avoid the many pitfalls of the past, and bring the society in Sud-Kivu, DRC to a level of stability that we in North America take for granted.

Fr. Steven Ayule-Milenge has a gift of establishing partnership projects with the Congolese government, all of which can provide mush needed impetus for the towns and villages of the region. This particular project is to start in Mosho: and it means that the town will have the opportunity to offer secondary education to local children.

There is a primary school in the town now, but once a child attains 12 years of age, it is time to transfer to secondary school. But there is a problem: the distance to the secondary school from Mosho is 10 Kms: this down the hill to the road along a muddy track, then along the side of the road to school: a challenge daunting to many of us and impossible for the 12 year old new students at the school. Consider that the daytime temperature can reach the high 30’s, with a daytime low range in the mid 20’s Celsius. Below, you can see a typical urban road: this in Bukavu:

So if the city street might seem quite acceptable, the onset of rain can soon turn this urban street into little less than a raging torrent, and where the pavement has already been damaged, the road becomes a quagmire: as you see in the next picture, also in Bukavu.
We might understand that for the children walking to school in a rural area, where the roads are in poor repair, and the countryside more deserted, the onslaught of rain would deter even the most determined from the kilometres of road ahead each morning!
This is the main highway as it leaves Bukavu on the way to Uvira: goods shipped to Bukavu have to traverse this road: loaded on the backs of these overworked and overtired trucks, as they are driven over the Monts Mitumba from Bukavu on Lake Kivu and on down the mountains to the valley where Lake Tanganyika forms the border between Burundi and Congo (DRC).

In Cameroon, the concept of education as a key to the future development of each individual and thereby the society as a whole has been well rooted in the leaders of the church, and especially in the mind of Fr. Alphonse Ndutiye. Once more, we have cooperation between the government and the church, working together to provided opportunity to those who would otherwise miss the chance to learn basic skills in their youth.

However, the church in Cameroon has experienced rapid growth in demands placed by the people of the parishes – so that the idea of growth one parish by each year has had to be set aside, to allow for the development of more parishes necessary to respond to these growing demands.

What this has meant is that there are parishes where the Mass has to be said outside: often under a tree for some shelter: but it means that in the heavy rain, just as in Congo, it becomes very difficult to protect the altar from the down pouring rain. In the early days, we were able to send materials so that Fr. Alphonse could build a shelter over the altar: the people had to be out in the rain, but they would accept this in order to have the possibility of worshiping God in the Anglican Catholic Church of Cameroon.

So what is the need in Cameroon? There are two pressing needs: the first for general clergy and parish support: to ensure that the priests have a decent place to live, food to eat, etc., and the second is for the purchase of roofing sheets, as about $15.00 per sheet, so that each Parish can have a cover built to protect the elements of the Mass. (Of course, these sheets are not discarded, but really form the nucleus of the new church which will be built in good time.)

Donations are to be made payable to and sent to either:

            St Bride of Kildare, c/o 20895 Camwood Avenue,                                                                            Maple Ridge, BC V2X 2N9   
Or:
St Columba of Iona, c/o 11070B Sunshine Coast Highway,
Halfmoon Bay BC V0N 1Y2

 Please make a note that the funds are for the Africa Appeal on the front of the cheque. Tax receipts will be issued by the parishes.

In Christ,
David+

2 comments:

RC Cola said...

I spent some time earlier this year in Kenya with the Anglican Church of Kenya (not ACC, sadly). At the Sunday service, they served tea and biscuits. For many of the people there, it was the only food they would eat that day. Very sad. It was sadder to see that at the parish or sub-parish level, people worked very hard to help each other, while at the diocesan level it appeared that they were busy coming up with revenue generating schemes. While making money isn't bad, especially if it means a diocesan program can be self-supporting, it seemed they had their priorities bassackwards.
The only thing holding me back from going on mission full-time is that during the bubble years I giddily buried myself in debt. Now I am paying the piper, who skims money off the top for mammon. Pray God I can pay off my debt so I can dedicate my life to something worthwhile, such as an African or Asian mission.
(This is not to say that America and Europe doesn't need missionaries...)

Alice Linsley said...

This seems to me to be a very worthy cause. Feeding and educating are works that we should support.