I hope you are all well. Myself I am very fine here. Meanwhile i feel
at home and I am very happy to help the pupils by teaching
Through help from Germany I got ten laptops. During day time
I am in the classroom and in the evenings I teach the sisters
and the people from the nearby village how to work with a computer.
Every day I am very busy and happy to give the people here
some perspectives for their future.
This is what it means to be a missionary, be able to accept the changes with joy and hope wherever they take us and with the brothers and sister you find. And it’s much easier when I discover with enthusiasm, that also in Krakow I feel at home and like a family member. The community has welcomed me with love, and the meeting of my new companions for adventure has made only increase my desire to get to Africa. An international community, three Polish and one Spanish lady, speaking English and with the intention and desire to learn quickly the Acholi.
We are Monika, Ewa, Asia and Carmen, and despite the cold Polish winter there is a very warm feeling in our hearts and all willingness to walk this path together as a community. We don´t know if it is the desire that we all have but we have connected really good and the atmosphere we breathes is wonderful.
We continue with the training process trying to assimilate and internalize things as necessary as knowing who we are (Comboni Lay Missionaries), our history and what it means to integrate and enter in a different and unfamiliar culture, that we want to approach with the utmost respect.
I think we’re a team that is going to complement quite well, where there is much freshness and the joy of living the Gospel and the Mission, as Pope Francisco is reminding us and that we will try not to forget at any time in our experience in Gulu (Uganda).
It could not have been more positive beginning of this year with my family, the Comboni family, with the Polish laity and the Comboni Fathers in the community of Krakow. Together they manage to transmit the idea, that we all dream, of unity and enthusiasm for a common goal: to follow Jesus next to the last.
Christmas is a presence, a presence of love. This is the style Jesus choose for his mission, this is the style we are also supposed to have in our life as missionaries…wherever we are! Since we came here in August 2011, we have always tried to be a presence that could arouse question marks in the life of the people; It is very hard to give answers because of the differences we have, but at least we can witness our style of being family, doctor, educator, father, mother, husband, wife and Christians.
This is the reason why we always refused to make very big projects, to build structures and so on.
Jesus didn’t come with money…He came poor; Jesus didn’t build temples…a part the temple of His body. Living here now for a quite long time we had the possibilities to compare our style with the style of some NGOs…for us, we don’t have any task to reach, we can just do our work and live our life as best as we can. If we should evaluate the life of Jesus considering the results He obtained, we could say that He failed. But we know that it is not like this.
In the same way, it is not good to see that in the hospital the nurses go on being lazy despite Maria Grazia tries to make them understand that they should be more committed for the good of the patients, or it is not rewarding when you fix a meeting for justice and peace commission and no one comes…but we are sure this is the right way to be present among these people.
So, wherever you are living in this moment, we wish you to be a presence of love for the people around you. Not minding about the results you will get, but trying only to give your best following the plans God prepared for you…in the same way Jesus tried (and succeeded) to do the will of the Father!
We need to feel presences of love around us, we are called to be presences of love among the people.
In our parish there are four groups of CYMG. The abbreviation CYMG stands for Christian Youth Missionary Group. There are 150 young people attending the meetings. They want to act by spreading faith, hope and love among youth. They are involved in many different activities e.g. prayers, Bible sharing, seminars, workshops, debates, games, music, dance and drama, educational video shows, competitions and animations.
They participate in national and regional assemblies. During these meetings they can take part in competitions. This year they took part in National Congress of CYMG in Kampala. Twelve members and Fr. John Bosco competed against other groups from the whole country. They won and became the number one! It was the moment of joy and celebration both for them and the whole parish. Many people from other parts of the country didn’t expect the group from Karamoja to win because this region is considered to be undeveloped. It is also said to be the poorest in Uganda.
In fact, the young who wanted to go to Kampala had to face a lot of difficulties while organizing the journey. It was hard for most of them to cover the costs of transport. Almost all of them weren’t able to pay for it so they had to look for sponsors. I knew about their problems and thanks to the money which you sent to me, we could help them. They are very grateful for your support and generosity and they want to say thank you to all of you!
Sometimes people ask me if I miss Poland, family and friends. Well I reckon it is absolutely normal to miss. There are those days that I wish I could see my family or friends and talk with them, but then comes the thought that I would like it only for a moment, after which I would come back here, to Africa. Those thoughts don’t come too often though as I rarely have time to sit and think and it’s always better to live here and now, because time flies mercilessly. I am writing about longing because few days ago I had my first anniversary of my arrival to Africa, so lots of memories flew over my mind.
To sum up, this year has been rich in new experiences, new people, places and cultures. It was beautiful and impossible to describe to the fullest all the situations, feelings and memories. Anyway most of them you might find on this blog. Thank God for this time!
I’ve spent last couple of weeks working, as usual. The physiotherapy’s area got so much better. During my time here everyone got used to it and now cooperation with doctors and nurses is smoother. It helped me so much to receive the equipment from Poland, for which I thank you once again!!!
A reflection- prayer from our friends Maria Grazia and Marco Piccione, Comboni Lay Missionaries, from Italy.
The Piccio are … Dad Mark (Piccione in fact), mother Maria Grazia and their two children Francesco (4 years) and Samuel (2 ½ years).
They are a family of Comboni Lay Missionaries from Milan and belonging to the group of CLM in Venegono Superiore (VA).
Since August 2011 they live in Aber (Uganda) where they were sent as Comboni Lay Missionaries, fidei donum, from the Archdiocese of Milan to the diocese of Lira (Uganda).
Maria Grazia works as a doctor in the hospital of Aber and Marco is an educator in the orphanage Saint Clare, working in schools and in various educational and social fields.
Francesco goes to kindergarten of the Saint Josephine Bakhita parish and Samuel is a Ugandan child that they are adopting. He lives with them since he was 10 months old.
Their mission project is to share their everyday life -work and family- with the people they meet every day, being a witness of responsibility, commitment and proximity.
This reflection and more can be found in Piccio’s blog, which is the way they use to share their experience every week with Italian friends (and not only) who support them and enable their dream: http://picciouganda.blogspot.it/
Mission is … This is who I am (because of my history, my culture, my skills) and that “being me” I want to share with you;
mission is… to share a revelation that makes me happy;
mission is… when I put my feet out of bed every morning to renew the “yes” that I have said (as a husband, as a father, as an educator, as a Christian) and promise to do my best;
mission is… I do not expect changes in the others;
mission is… I’ve got no will but I do it anyway;
mission is… I have no strength, but I know I can get in an extra reserve;
mission is… I do not have the ability, but I do my best;
mission is… I’m afraid but I trust;
mission is… I can hardly understand you (and understand You) but I make an effort;
mission is… make the prophets of all time continue to live, witnessing all we have learned from them;
for all of this, the mission is… to grow by challenging ourselves;
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