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FAMILIES ON MISSION EXPERIENCE IN KENYA Great Lessons, Touching Experiences
Friday, January 13, 2017

THE 25-member  uganda delegation that attended the Families on Mission Conference  in  Kenya  starting  on the 11th of november 2016 arrived  in  Karen  after  the opening  ceremonies, which included Holy Mass celebrated  by  His  Lordship Bishop Kamau of Kenya, had begun. 


The  theme  of  the  events was  TOGETHER  WITH  JESUS, and this was echoed all throughout  the  eight-day conference.  The conference featured  family  presentations on what creates a strong family,  with  the  individual families present given time to sit together and review what was  said  in  the  talks.  These included making family resolutions,  a  family  household prayer  and  a family  dream board. 


The delegates participated in  worship  at  St.  Francis Church  in Park  Lands, nairobi, and then set out for the Build My Church activities at Muringa  St.Joseph  Catholic Church.

 

The  delegates  cleaned  the church premises and the surrounding area.


What did we learn from this Build My Church activity?


In the mission, we all have a  role  to  play  .We  complement each other more especially through the family.


The Lord will provide the resources needed for mission as  long  as  we  have  the  will to  serve.  This  was  evident when we started moving the soil  with  almost  no  tools. eventually the residents saw the good work being done so they came in to join us and even brought  the  tools  we needed  like  wheelbarrows, spades, etc.


When we do our part and put  Christ  at  the  center  of the  mission, we  will  always inspire  others  to  join.  This was evident to the residents of Muringa. When we left the place,  they  were continuing the work themselves.


Afterwards, the first batch from uganda  had  to  return while  those who  were  left continued with day two at the Huruma home of the elderly.


While  at  the  home  we cleaned  the  quarters  of  the sick  and elderly  men  and women,  cleaned  the  compound and cleaned their individual rooms. We shared food with them, chatted with them and  entertained  them  with music  and  dance  performed by the  different  delegates from the different countries.


Many  of  the  elderly  were sick,  lonely,  and  desperate, with  no family  members  to give  them  care.  They  were genuinely glad to spend time with  us.  We  offered  them some gifts like soap, toiletries and some food. 


Day  3  -  Park  Lands  (St. Francis Church). 


All of us—parents and children—cleaned  the  church, mopped  the floor,  wiped the  windows  and  benches. The  church  compound was cleaned, as well as the nursery school at the church. At the end of  the  task,  we  shared lunch  with  the  community members who joined  in  the work with us.


We also visited the Sisters of Charity Home in nairobi. There,  we found  disabled children  but  we  could  see God’s  love  in  them. This  is the  legacy  of  St.  Teresa  of Calcutta.  The  caretakers at the  home  were  committed to  serving  these  helpless children without reservation despite  the  imaginable  discomfort. Some of the children were very young babies, others  were  pregnant mothers who  were  either  helpless, abandoned or raped. 


When  one  listens  to  the stories of many of these people,  it  is hard  to  hold  back one’s tears. This visit became very  significant for  us  as  a family,  as  we  were  able  to reach out to others as much as possible without counting the cost. It is not easy but with the grace of God, we believe we can do something similar together with other families. 


Our Lesson 


Considering  our  five healthy  children  and  how we had been always there forthem as parents, I realized  that  the  Lord  is calling us to “pay it forward” (pass on the love, care and mercy to others who  need  it).  In  a  way, AnCOP (Answering the Cry  of  the Poor)  is  the venue to do this. As CFC, we can begin by taking a closer look at our immediate  community following the guidelines of AnCOP.


The Families on Mission  Conference  has taught  us  a  great deal. We learned that the CFC community  in  Kenya is  doing  all these  programs on a regular basis and so this is AnCOP in one form.

 

The  next  two  days were  free  days,  devoted to  cultural experiences which  included  visits  to the museum, snake park and the Bomas of Kenya (traditional homesteads). We also had a safari tour/ game  drive,  visited  the Giraffe  center,  Kazuri workshop and visited the elephant orphanage.


Global Day Of Service


The Global Day of Service was the final day of the families on mission, where we all visited the Remand Home for Children  found in  Lower Kabete, Kenya.


The  children  in  this home are there for various reasons: theft, drug abuse, lack of discipline, being  out  of  school, some  are abandoned, some  forced  into  marriage  and  a  few  with murder cases.


At the Remand home, we started with a teaching  session  aimed at informing people about the importance of caring for those in need. Then we  set  off  to  clean  the compound,  the  rooms and field together with the  children.  Later  we interacted with the children. The delegates realized that there is really a  need  to  build strong families in order to prevent the situations that the children of Remand home were in.


Before Going Home


All the delegates attended  the  Holy  Mass celebrated  by  His eminence  Cardinal  John Njue  at  the  Minor  Basilica  of  Holy Family in nairobi. In his homily, he urged all families to  have  Christ at  their center and commended CFC  for  the  good  work of evangelizing families.


At  the  end  of  the conference,  International  Kids  for  Christ (KFC) coordinator Adrian Enaje urged the families  to  go  home with three important Swahili  words  namely: HURUMA=  MERCY, FURAHA=  JOY,  and PENDO =LOVE.


The  call  is  for  each individual (me and you), for the family and definitely  for  the  community,  to  live  out  and share God’s love, mercy and joy to others. (James Ssemwangu)





 

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