Comboni Lay Missionaries

Formation meeting and sharing with Father Tesfaye General of the MCCJ

CLM-Kenya

Hello Saints!

Receive the warmest greetings from Comboni Lay Missionaries – Kenya. We hope you all had the best St. Valentine’s Day and a wonderful start to Lent.

We had our monthly CLM-K formation meeting this past weekend from Friday 16th February to Sunday 18th February. This month’s topic was “What is our Identity as Comboni Lay Missionary?” There are three aspects to look at: The spiritual approach, Comboni Charism and the Human aspect.

On the Human aspect, we learnt that Identity grows from discernment. We must all reflect on our values, what matters most, and what we stand for. It matters how you view yourself. Our identity affects the decisions we make. Making decisions without discernment causes strife, unhappiness and discontent with life. We also learnt that our environment affects our identity. In the famous words of Dr. Asfia Qaadir, “Our roots keep us grounded and help us remember what truly matters at the end of the day.”

On the Spiritual approach, we reflected on various scriptures that tell us what God thinks of us. One of my favourites is Proverbs 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Another favourite is 1st Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” If He who created us in His image and likeness thinks so highly of us, how dare we question his judgement? Our identity is in Christ and by his grace and mercy, He has made us worthy.

Lastly, on the Comboni Charism, we reflected on the life of St. Daniel Comboni. St. Daniel Comboni wrote: “We must pray instead that we may save many souls and go to heaven, not alone but with a great crowd of converts.” These and many more words of St. Daniel Comboni speak of his heart and his identity. He made so many sacrifices, travelling back and forth through the desert, the suffering he endured: tropical diseases, hunger, poverty, language barrier, opposition and more. Yet, he did not give up. Ordained as a priest at the young age of 23 years, he went ahead to become a Bishop and later formed the Comboni sisters who helped him with his missionary work in Khartoum, South Sudan. St. Daniel Comboni gave up his life in service to the poor and most abandoned until his death. Every single morning, he lived for the glory of God. This was his identity. As CLM-K, we must fashion our lives to match the great example set for us by our founder. “So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1st Corinthians 10:31.

This weekend was also quite special for us. On Sunday we had a visit and seat down with MCCJ General Fr. Tesfaye and his Assistant Brother Alberto. They were accompanied by Fr. Juanma and Fr. Christopher. It was so lovely sharing further on the topic of identity with them. What made it more special is their experience over the years. Their sharing spoke of the goodness of the Lord. We are so thankful to you General Fr. Tesfaye, Brother Alberto, Fr. Juanma, and Fr. Chris for making the time to meet with us.

On a final note, we wish to thank all Comboni Priests stationed at Holy Trinity Catholic Parish Kariobangi for hosting us for dinner on Saturday evening. We would also like to wish our MCCJ province well during their annual assembly that began Monday 19th February and will run through Friday 23rd February.

1st Peter 1:3-5, St. Peter wrote to the Christians saying: the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade, which is kept in heaven for us. This Lenten season, reflect on the suffering of our Lord and be filled with hope knowing that Christ will rise from the dead and in him we have been made new.

Warm regards,

Cecilia Nyamu, Comboni Lay Missionary – Kenya

Thank you Lord!

LMC Ghana

Yes we must thank the Lord at all times and more especially in some particular moments. It is the case in our province of Togo-Ghana-Benin.

Father Leopold, MCCJ did a great job with the CLM group in the province. With him, we started getting known to other MCCJ as CLM candidates and later as CLM. We have been invited to MCCJ zonal meetings at Accra. We also witnessed the inauguration of the Postulancy at Kaneshie, Accra. With him, we started moving in the province for pastoral and missionary experience. We started at Cape-Coast (Republic of Ghana), we moved to Esse-Ana (Republic of Togo) and participated in the continental Assembly of CLM in Cotonou (Republic of Benin). We have other experiences at Mafi-Kumase which consolidated our CLM vocation. On top of all this is the promise of three members as CLM on the 10th October 2022 and of another one on the 3rd December 2023.

We are so grateful to the Lord for all of this.

The news of his transfer shacked us a bit but even before his departure, we were introduced to a new chaplain in the person of Reverend Father Ephrem Badou. Why shouldn’t we praise the Lord for His wonders for us!

The day the new chaplain was introduced to us, we have two new candidates, Elisabeth Kpanazo and Gabriel Agbeewornu. Wao!!!

What shall I repay to the Lord for all the things that He has repaid to me? I will take up the cup of salvation and I will call upon the name of the Lord” Ps115, 3-4.

For the Lord to continue what He has started in father Leopold in his new mission, for father Ephrem to lead us to become “holy and capable” CLM.

May St. Daniel Comboni intercede for us. AMEN!

Justin Nougnui, CLM.

Happy New Year from Kitelakapel

LMC Kenia

Greetings from Kitelakapel!

We hope you are doing well. We are doing great. We are starting the new school year. Linda and Pius return to schools to teach life skills. I spend more and more time in clinics. I am patiently waiting for my official work permit. Our pastoral work, the Why Blue Sky project supporting teachers, also return to the regular schedule.

Last 3 weeks, the turn of the old and new year, we spent on the road. Just after Christmas, which we spent in Kitelakapel, we went to the Turkana region inhabited by the tribe of the same name. We went there together with Guilia and Hani who visited us again 🙂 . We went to visit two Comboni missions in Lokichar and Lodwar. Built from scratch by the Comboni Missionaries. In the middle of nowhere. In Lokichar there is a church, a school and a center for children with various disabilities. In nearby villages there are further schools built by the Comboni and handed over to the people. Similarly in Lodwar. Schools, chapels, health centers. From people to people. Created with love to serve others.

On Monday we returned from Nairobi. We spent a week there, completing various formalities, but also getting to know numerous projects such as a children’s center in the middle of the largest slums in Africa, run by our friend from the CLM community, or the Kivuli Center street children’s home founded by the diocesan priest Kizito. As an international community, we also participated in the annual meeting of the Kenyan CLM group. Together we summed up 2023 and planned 2024. During the meeting, new leaders were elected and at the solemn Holy Mass, one of the candidates, Mercy, officially became a lay Comboni missionary. It’s amazing how much we feel part of this group.

We have various ideas in our heads and planned workshops. The new year promises to be intense. We will keep you updated on what’s going on with us.

Marzena Gibek

Comboni Lay Missionary –Kitelakapel, Kenya

Happy New Year Saints from Kenya!

Kenya CLM assembly

We from CLM sure hope that your 2024 is going great so far.

We are grateful to God for his grace that saw us through to a new year and that continues to surround us. Our community is growing and we couldn’t be happier! Surely, His love endures forever.

What better way to plan for our new year than to reflect on the year that was? We had our annual CLM meeting this past weekend from Friday 12th January to Sunday 14th January. It is always so joyous being together. Over these three days, we reflected on our activities and brainstormed new ideas for 2024, plus improvements on what we are already doing. We also went through our finances and discussed our income versus expenditure. We are grateful to God for his providence. We are especially grateful for people like you and me whom God has called to support ‘the littlest’ in his Kingdom. In 2024, we pray for more Grace. Grace to give up more of ourselves for the Kingdom, Grace to serve in the most difficult situations and grace to live like Christ did – loving each other without measure.

We also had the commissioning of one of our own. After two (2) years of formation, Mercy Chepoghisho is now a full member of Comboni Lay Missionaries. She has been trained, she is baptised and she is now ready to be sent to do the Lord’s work. We are all so very proud of her. May her faith always light her path.

On Sunday we had the sending of two Comboni Secular for missionary work in Uganda. Lucy and Ruth. We wish them well.

This new year also happened to be CLM election year. As part of CLM constitution, elected leaders are to serve for a renewable two-year term. We are grateful for our leaders who took on their roles very well the past two years. Our new CLM leaders are Fr. Maciej Zielenski – Assessor/ Chaplain, Martin Juma – Coordinator, Maria Ajiambo – Secretary and Mukami Muthee – Treasurer. Martin, Maria and Mukami will be our representatives through January 2026, when we will have the next election. Congratulations to the three.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the MCCJ, who generously hosted us all through the weekend. Thank you for the hospitality and the resources that you availed to us. Our words are not enough, but may our good Lord remember you for your hospitality.

We’ve had a great start to the year, and we are all very hopeful for 2024.

May the Eucharistic Jesus be our strength always. (St. Daniel Comboni – Writing 6044).

Warmly, Cecilia Nyamu

Comboni Lay Missionary – Kenya.