Singida Missionary Experience.
“Now that very day, two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them. (Luke 24:13-15)”. This Post-Easter Scripture passage not only points to the great Paschal Mystery that we had celebrated in April, but it affirms and assures us the Grace of God’s love and protection. Christ is with us even amidst the confusions and darkness of our lives.
Jesus Himself draws near and walks with us in our joys and sorrows. And this is what impels us to trust in him through faith. Being a missionary, working in Singida, the central part of Tanzania, and reaching out to the poor people, it is explicit that it is the love of Christ in the people that urges us on.
Through my experience as a missionary, I must admit that the greatest gift a missionary can give to the people he is working with, is to learn their language and culture. In order to have a wider horizon in terms of knowing how to relate well with them, how to reach out to them effectively through listening to and sharing their joys and sorrows.
Makiungu parish has a relatively big number of Catholic Christians, this calls for patience and perseverance in accomplishing a number of pastoral activities. This is possible by creating an inner space for God, appreciating others and growing each day through learning experiences which give us hope and joy that Christ walks with us each day. Despite the challenges our Christians undergo, more so, the current situation of Covid-19 that has hit the world, making people to observe the so-called social distancing, we try our best to be in solidarity with the people, and striving to promote the spiritual bond in different accessible ways.
Appreciating the giftedness of those around me, accepting and learning from the positive challenges, dedication, responsibility, prayers, working with zeal and courage, and indeed responding to different situations accordingly are among the few aspects I cannot just ignore or take for granted for being effective in reaching out to God’s people.
One thing I have come to appreciate is that for an effective mission to be successful, the basic purpose for which God created us must be expressed, lived, celebrated and shared. The basic purpose why God created us is: to know him, to love him, to serve him and to be happy with him forever. This is the foundation of our life of prayer, faith, sacraments, and the basic principles of Christian living.
I therefore pray for each one of you, that we may continue encountering the Lord in ways of our life, and that at every moment of our lives, let our prayer be: Dear Lord, I pray to see you more clearly, to love you more dearly, and to follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen.
Fr. Marcellus Okoth Ochola, SAC