Comboni Lay Missionaries

1300 days of…

LMC RCA

…FRAGILITY

LMC RCA

The parish of Saint George in Mongoumba runs a small dispensary to help the structural deficiencies of the Central African health system and the non-existence of the welfare state. Here the Comboni Lay Missionaries carry out the service of welcoming life, “to make common cause with the most abandoned”, “to embrace the whole human family…, to hold in our arms and give the kiss of peace and love to our unhappy brothers and sisters”, would say St. Daniel Comboni. Newborns, children of all ages, young people, mothers, fathers, elderly people, find in the small dispensary a point of reference, a home more than a hospital, where they can be recognized as human beings, listened to in their pain, cared for in their suffering. Every day, day and night, at all hours, we met the mystery of our human fragility, we experienced human limitations and we returned to the great existential question: “Where is God in suffering and pain, when we need Him most??”. Even doing the best of our abilities and possibilities, sometimes, not to say often, we lost the battle with life, we had to surrender to the awareness that we were not omnipotent. There is a human limit that we cannot overcome, we are fragile, however… faith remains… in other, Other with a capital O, and when we touch the bitterness of defeat only tears and prayers to God, Father of all humanity, remain…

…BROTHERHOOD

LMC RCA

St. George’s Parish in Mongoumba runs a school to support the Central African educational system, which is cancelled every time war breaks out, in order to guarantee a minimum of education for the new generations. St. Daniel Comboni writes: “…I think it is more useful to invoke the action of the missionaries for the education of the young blacks of both sexes in various institutes… this education must aim to prepare in the pupils to become the future apostles…”. As a Comboni Lay Missionary, I have tried to transform the school into a small oratory, especially the one in Ndobo, 5 km from the center, near the pygmy camps. The oratory is a house of regeneration, a space of brotherhood, even without having mega-structures, and mixing school lessons with dances, manual workshops, games, music, the school of Ndobo, a small red brick building surrounded by forest, had become a place of social promotion, human growth and evangelization. The transformation in oratory style worked, “…the Plan works…”, being present every day, and almost all day long, working on time and not on space, created relationships and bonds, we became a big family, we all became brothers and sisters, and we were able to talk about Jesus, our Brother, and to witness God, Father of all humanity: “an infinite myriad of brothers and sisters belonging to our same family, having a common Father up in heaven” …

…FRAGRANCE

LMC RCA

The day began early: 5.30 am wake up, just enough time to wash my face, have breakfast and then I leave, at 6.30 am already out of the house on the road to Ndobo, on foot, with the backpack, the radio for dancing, the football bag, frequently with the computer to watch movies, on Monday with the box of clean aprons to start the week. While people were having breakfast on the side of the road, before going to work in their fields, I walked through the village and after about 50 minutes, I arrived at the school and we started the day by playing ball, dancing and jumping with the music blaring, blasting through the forest. If during the week I went to see the children, on Sunday they would take the opposite route, they would come to the parish; and if it rained, they would arrive all muddy, soaking wet and shivering with cold. We had time to wash our hands, faces and feet, to put on clean shirts and shorts, to receive from Cristina (CLM from Portugal) talcum powder and a splash of perfume, and off we ran to church, leaving behind us a trail that spread through the air. After Mass, we had breakfast together with hot milk, cocoa and cookies, the place was filled with the sweet aroma of chocolate, then we continued with music, dancing and games: “it was an attempt to find a probable way in order to begin a measure of regeneration” would say St. Daniel Comboni, it was our look of closeness and proximity to make present the joyful and tasty fragrance of Jesus, our Brother, and of God, the Father of all humanity…

Simone Parimbelli, CLM Mongoumba (CAR)

Campaign on the harmful effects of mining activity on health and the environment

Piquia
Piquia

Today, October 29, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), together with Justiça nos Trilhos (Justice on the Rails), launched a campaign to alert the world’s citizens who unconsciously consume the products of mining and steel companies that for more than three decades have been deteriorating the health and polluting the environment of the community of Piquiá de Baixo, in the Brazilian Amazon.

The campaign marks the 30th anniversary of Grupo Ferroeste in the municipality of Açailândia and invites everyone to support the struggle for the rights of this community, to which the companies and the State have closed their eyes for so long.

To know more: https://bit.ly/3kFKur8

Domund (World Mission Sunday) 2020

CLM Ethiopia

This Sunday, October 18, the Church celebrates Domund, the world mission Sunday; a day to keep the missionaries present more than ever, those people who, from their vocation, gave a “Yes” entrusted to God to leave their homes and go to very unknown places; places that have ended up becoming their homes, communities that have welcomed them to share life from faith in the Good Father and fraternity as sisters and brothers, because of our condition as Sons and Daughters of God.

It is a good time to pray intensely for them, to remember, to be questioned by their life testimonies and to support their missions and projects.

Because as baptized we all feel called to go out and share with what we are the Good News of God’s Love.

Come on sister!, Come on brother!, the mission awaits you, and it begins deep within you, to leave you overflowing.

Here I am, Lord, send me.

Central Africa Republic – Help for “DA TI NDOYE” Medical Center

RCA
RCA

Central Africa Republic – Help for “DA TI NDOYE” Medical Center

Comboni Lay Missionaries, serving on the mission in Mongoumba, are young people who want to dedicate part of their lives to work among the poorest and most abandoned of this world. However, it is not always as easy as it sounds. We create an international community here and participate in the life of the parish in collaboration with the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus (MCCJ).

RCA

Our mission in Mongoumba in the Central African Republic is situated right on the border with Congo-Brazzaville and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our service is primarily to integrate people living in the depths of the forest – Pygmies with the people of the village. We go to small villages situated in the forest to provide at least basic medical help to these people, together with our local health center employee, we conduct short lectures on diseases occurring here, personal hygiene, we introduce simple catecheses that can be applied to their lives, as well as we give moments of carefree childhood to the youngest through games and fun.

RCA

Pygmies are a tribe that the local people of the village consider cheap or free labor, they are pushed to the margins of society, but unfortunately that’s the reality here. Integration is the most important task for us, but it is hard to talk about integration, when it often happens that Pygmies are not willingly admitted to the hospital to dress wounds, test for malaria, or even show the slightest interest in their health. They are sent home or to our mission.

On our mission, we have a small health center that is not in the best condition and a rehabilitation center called “Da ti Ndoye”, which means “House of Love”.

RCA

The project aims to modernize this rehabilitation center that has existed since 1985. We would like to combine it with our health center to create one complex offering many possibilities. It is one of the few rehabilitation centers to which patients come from the entire area of ​​the M`Baiki diocese. In addition to restoring the physical building, we would also like to renew our missionary animation through physical work for the benefit of the local people by giving the most precious gift – health.

RCA

Depending on the financial possibilities, we would like to:

  • replace the water sewage system; clean and disinfect the water tank or replace it with a new one; clean the well; purchase a generator for pumping water, replace water supply pipes;
  • install solar panels and batteries
  • purchase a power generator
  • renovate the kitchen (replacing worktops, installing tiles)
  • renovate the toilets (cleaning the walls, installing tiles, replacing doors, purchasing equipment)
  • make a ramp for wheelchairs and install railings on the porch
  • replace the ceiling throughout the building, clean and renew the walls
  • equip the offices with the necessary equipment
  • purchase the most necessary drugs
RCA

BUDGET

Drugs and dressing materials: EUR 4,000

Equipment for physiotherapy: EUR 2,000

Construction materials:  EUR 12,000

Equipment for health center: EUR 5,000

Solar panels and batteries: EUR 5,000

Water pump and generator: EUR 4,000

Employees: EUR 3,000

Transport of materials: EUR 1,000

Sewage: EUR 2,000

TOTAL 39,000 EURO

RCA

If we manage to receive an extra money, we will use it for medicines and the health care and development programs for the pygmies’ population.

RCA

Donations can be done to MCCJ account in your country with annotation: Medical Aid Center “DA TI NDOYE” in CAR. CLM Mongoumba.

CLM in Central Africa Republic