“Blessed the Mother who gave birth to you”

 

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“As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you” (Lk 11:27).

In the world today, their are many men and women who have left everything behind and dedicated their whole life to imitating Christ and serving humanity selflessly each day. These are the missionaries who work in and out of their home countries.

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A missionary leaves his parents and kin unattended and goes out to serve other people with an undivided heart. Sometimes these men and women work in so remote and far distance lands from home that they rarely even get information about the welfare of their aging or sick parents.

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However, God always takes care of these mothers and fathers of his servants in many ways. When the missionary goes out there to serve, there are others who are left behind and closer to his home. Visiting these families is a wonderful gesture to make them feel part of the mission of Christ. to make them realize that they have contributed enoumously to the mission by giving birth, bringing up and educating a son or a daughter, who now serves the Lord in far distance land.

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It is in this spirit that our Provincial Superior Fr. Anthony Amissah, has set out to visit the families of the confreres working away from home. On behalf of all these families, JamboKenTan would like to thank him for this good gesture.

Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD.

The Shadow of my Tree

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Earlier on I wrote an article about: “Trees do not rain,  they are planted”. Well another misguided conviction that many peope have is that one cannot plant a tree and enjoy its shadow.  They say trees take time to grow.

This is a myth and not true and this is why.  It is only about two and half year that I planted the Christmas tree in the picture above, in Emboret Simanjiro, after cutting down the trunk of one which was dead and dry.  Last Sunday I went back there and enjoyed its shadow.

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Some years ago we planted some trees in Soweto parish, in the middle of the Soweto slam and if you go there now you will be amazed at how big they are. This year only with the youth from Matepes we planted some trees. Here is how the look now.

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The kind of weather pattens we are experiencing now – prolonged droughts and too much rainfall – is a clear sign of and environment that is reacting to the destruction of trees by us humans.

Let us all take responsibility and plant some trees for us and the next generations to benefit from them.

Fr.  Lawrence Muthee,  SVD

Ad Gentes in Action

 

 

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Archbishop Isaac Amani entering Loiborsiret grounds

When I was a little boy, I admired the Consolata Missionaries Fathers who worked in my parish, and I wanted one day to be like them. I especially was thrilled by their mastery of my mother tongue which they spoke with ease though with an italian accent. During those days, a missionary meant to me a white bearded man who drove a strong Land Rover that could never get stuck in mud. As little boys we used to enjoy pushing vehicles stuck in muddy roads for a few shillings fee. This happened especially during the April holidays because it was always wet.

 

Little did I know that I will also become a missionary and work in similar situations, driving not a Land Rover but Land Cruiser.

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The newly blessed Loiborsiret Church

In Simanjiro District of Manyara Province, North East of Tanzania, The SVD missionaries run two parishes that cover an area of 200 Sq/Km. The population is mostly the Maasai people and so the area is called Maasai Steppe. I got an opportunity to work there during my Diaconate Experience. The Maasai people are generally kind and generous. Once they receive the faith, they hold it fast.

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Blessing of the altar

Loiborsiret is one of the 26 outstations of the Good Shepherd parish run by SVD Missionaries. They have been constructing the Church building for the last 4 years. on Sunday 13, May 2018, was the day full of joy and celebrations. The new Archbishop of the Archdioces of Arusha where Simanjiro parish lies was visiting to Confer The Sacrament Confirmation as well as blessing of the Church building.

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Pokea muhuri wa paji la Roho Mtakatifu – Receive the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit

No one would easily believe that this Church has been built by the contributions of the people themselves, considering the conditions in which the ppeople live there, majority of whom are normadic pastoralists. The Catholic Church has been present in this area for the last 50 years yet the evangelization is still regarded as primary. During the last 16 years of the presence of the SVDs, many steps have been made toward the growth of the faith. The biggest challenge is illiteracy and poverty.

The Sunday’s occasion brought together people of all walks of life from the area, especially some prominent people who hold important positions in the government and in the society. Among them was Mr. Ole Sedeka, the Provincial Commissioner of Jombe province and Mr. Toima who was once a Member of Parliament of the area.

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The Archbishop and indeed the leaders who spoke, stressed a lot on the importance of taking the children to school if the community wanted to make quick progress.

It was an experience of its kind. We congratulate the people of Simanjiro and especially our confreres Fr. Michael Shaji and Fr. Albert Fuchs who have been working tirelessly in this mission.

Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD.

The International Fruit

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From left: Fr. Hugo, Fr. Erick. Fr. Tony, Fr. Taneo and Fr. Geoffrey

Avocado is a fruit that can be found in many corners of the world. It is know for its healthy fats and other nutrients. It has many uses. Some of them include: manafucturing of cosmetics, making soap and eating as a fruit of or in cooking. Different cultures eat the avocado in different ways. Here in Tanzania, people eat avocado either directly as a fruit or they eat it with bread or in food. In Kenya, people add salt to it and eat as a fruit or with “Githeri”. In Spain, they put honey on it and scoop with a spoon while in Ghana they mix it with chilli and make a hot paste that can be either put in food or applied on bread. In The Philiphines they add some sugar on it while in Argentina they add vinegar. I mix it with eggs and little flour and I make a pancake. How do you eat Avocado in your culture?

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This week we were graced by the visit of our provincial superior, Fr. Anthony Amissah, who came on an official meeting to the new Archbishop of Arusha Archdiocese. Also there was a delegation of confreres from Nairobi who had come to attend the funeral of the father of our Philosophy student from Maasai Parish in Simanjiro, Br. Boniface Motika.

It was on wednesday during lunch and there was avocado or “parachichi” as it is called in Swahili. We were confreres from Argentina, Kenya, Ghana, Philiphines and Indonesia. All had a slice of the sweet fruit and each was eating it in his own way. It is after seeing this that the Provincial remembered how he had once used the example of how people eat avocado, to demonstrate how different the cultures can be yet work together as one people. We all joked about it and we were happy.

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The avocado fruit reminded us that our mission remains the same but each one of us contributes something different just as the avocado remains avocado no matter how it is eaten by different people from different parts of the world. We are missionaries from all over the world and our spirit of interculturality has enabled us to work together for the kingdom of God here in Kenya-Tanzania province.

We want to thank all the confreres who brought some laughter and warmth in our mission here in Arusha.

Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD

Trees do not Rain, they are Planted!!!

 

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Trees are one of the most important component of our ecosytem because they play a very important role in maintaining the cosmic balance. Some of the functions of trees include: Purifying the air we breath, Providing a cover that prevent soil eroion, breaking strong winds that help in reducing the damage on crops and infrastucture, they attract rains and conseve soil moisture by there shade. All these uses are only possible when the trees are alive.

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However, human beings tend to ignore these important functions of the trees and capitalize on other uses that are only possible with dead trees. I would rather not mention them here. Planting trees is not a hard thing to do, but taking care of them until they grow needs commitment.

After cutting the naturally grown trees that we did neither water nor take care of, it is now not time to lament about the changing climate, which is the repercussion of our actions, but rather the high time we started planting more trees and taking care of them seriously. It is our responsibility to secure the well being of the next generations since we are the ones who have destroyed what we inherited from our fathers. Each one of us need to take an active role in caring for the environment.

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It is in recognizing this important responsibility that Our SVD run Immaculate Primary School in Mihang’o, Nairobi, led by the school director Fr. James Mburugu and over 50 community leaders set on a tree planting exercise on Saturday 14, 2018. We at Jambokentan would like to applaud them for putting into action the tree-planting-campaign that for many only end in big television shows and words that never translate into actions.

Involving the young children in this exercise will also inculcate in them the sense of collective responsibility in taking care of our common environment. We only urge them to make sure that these trees do not die but rather grows into a forest.

Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD