The talent of Fr Gerard Kraakman mhm
Faith in three colours
“Can you build the walls? Then I will design the windows”. This is how it started. As always Gerard Kraakman mhm asked the Christians of Nanga parish on the outskirts of Kisumu, Kenya, to do their part in the construction of the church that would be the central beacon of their newly formed parish. They agreed and Gerard set to work to get some suitable designs for the windows on paper.
His first attempt ended in despair and apparent failure after about a week’s intense labour.
“I’m not equal to the task”, he thought somewhat dejected.
But he decided to try one design – St Peter’s boat – in real coloured glass. To his surprise the result was both expressive and pleasing to the eye.
“After that it was all downhill…..”
The church in Nanga, circular in design, is now decorated with a striking set of coloured glass windows portraying a variety of biblical scenes. And a second church in the Bala substation is nearing completion equally embellished with a set of coloured glass windows.
Missionaries come in all shapes and sizes using their God given talents in sometimes bewildering ways – like the rest of us, hopefully.
Gerard Kraakman mhm spent 22 years in the Yimbo district of Western Kenya, based in Nyamonye. During that time he built some 10 churches and chapels with the help of the Christian community.
Each church has some unique ‘Kraakman’ feature. But the coloured glass windows of the two churches he built since he was appointed to start a new parish in Nanga, Kisumu, are his joy and his pride. What better way to give glory to God than through an explosion of colour?
Fons Eppink mhm
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Fr Gerard Kraakman mhm