In school one of the most precious times apart from classtime is the breaktime. Breaktime is a time to refresh and re-energise; it is a time to refill as does the traveller who runs into a fuel station with an empty tank and leaves assured that the journey will proceed smoothly. Apart from refilling and refreshing, breaktime is also a time to take stock, evaluate and refocus. It was in this light that the “young” young members (under two years of appointment) from Kenya and Uganda, gathered in Kampala for three full days to refresh, re-energise, evaluate and refocus on their mission, the mission of Christ to preach Good News to all and welcome all to the kingdom.
All five of us arrived safely to a warm welcome at our guest house in Kampala, and enjoyed a cool evening with some services which our parish places cannot afford, or which out of simplicity we don’t have in our mission areas.
The first full day was a day with the Lord as there is no adequate refreshment which does not come from the lord just as there is no new energy for mission if our good God does not grant it to us. The theme of our recollection was ‘finding God in the suffering and pain encountered in mission.’ Fred Yangnyi mhm led us gracefully through our recollection day and sure it was fruitful and re-energising.
Day two, facilitated by Bernard Phelan, was even more lively as we listened to the individual experiences of each other and heard of the culture shock which surely for us beginners in pastoral work plays a lot. The good or the bad news is that there is joy and pain everywhere. And we are able to learn and contribute to every culture, be it in the dynamic areas of Shauri Moyo-Nairobi, the mission area of Luanda, the hot and agile Panyangara-Kotido or the remote and calm outskirts of Loyoro. And we all experience and deal with it at different times given the ability and the situation, particularly enriched by our own individual cultural heritage and the missionary openness to change and grow.
The third day focused on practical inputs from Philip Adede. Among other things he briefed us on how to apply for, manage and report to the BCC fund. In all we were helped to be ready to face and deal with the most disparate of circumstances with a constant readiness to love and serve especially amidst challenges. It was truly a refreshing moment and back to our different destinations now we keep that spirit alive.
Ignatius Tanjua mhm