All Content Copyright emyvale.net
Fr. John Page 6.
Back to Page 1 HERE
Hi Everyone, It seems ages since I have written an update on life here – not sure if it is my own laziness or also the fact that I am also waiting for unusual events to happen here before writing something. Two quite amusing events happened recently. One happened during the preaching in the Church by the other priest from Tanzania who works with me in the parish. Last year, his brother died in a motorcycle accident in Tanzania. He was a passenger on the motorcycle. The man driving the motorcycle was drunk and was going too fast and hit a bump and lost control of the motorcycle. His passenger, Fr. Nolasco’s brother was thrown off the motorcycle and badly injured. He died in hospital a few days later. The driver of the motorcycle was arrested but released shortly afterwards. He then went to the house of Fr. Noalsco’s brother - Cornelius – to offer sympathy to the family and to say how sorry he was for what had happened. He then joined the family in helping with the preparations for Cornelius funeral. Fr. Nolasco was telling this story in Church a few Sundays ago as the theme was “ love your enemy -do good to those who hate you”. He was using a translator as he doesnt know the local language very well. The person who was translating for Fr. Nolasco, stopped, looked at Fr. Nolasco and said “ Are you serious”. “You mean the man who was responsible for your brothers death was at the funeral and helping the family”. “ if that had happened here – he would have been killed by the next day after the death of your brother”. Fr. Nolasco told him to continue with the translation and stop giving his commentary on the preaching !!! But Fr. Nolasco then asked the Congregation if they agreed with the translator or did they appreciate what the family had done. All of them, except for one young student, agreed with the translator and said that the person who caused the accident and the death of Cornelius should have been killed right away. Revenge is very strong in this culture. The Christian understanding of forgiveness is very difficult for the tribe here that we mainly work with. But in time things will change. The second story is about the leper community that is in our parish. Leprosy, especially in the past, has been a big challenge for the people here. We have over 300 leper people in this community. Many missing toes, fingers and parts of their faces. I went there before Christmas to arrange to bring them food to celebrate Christmas Day. They were delighted to be getting food to celebrate Christmas as hunger was a big issue for them. I then said to some of them that they should be making more efforts to grow their own food. One woman then showed me her hands and said “Fr. Many of us have no fingers to hold a spade”. Me being smart and thinking they didnt understand english I said “ Then use you heads”. Which the woman replied to me “ Fr. If we had not been using our heads – we would not have survived up to now” – and a big laugh out of her. Despite their great hardships – they have a great sense of humour. We have a new Unity Government in South Sudan – but it is difficult to see how it can succeed as there are 5 vice presidents – we have our own Unionists and Nationalists here !! Despite all the different challenges, our work is going on fine. We have 3 main primary schools that we are concentrating on, plus food distribution projects, parish training programs and supporting girls education. We really appreciate all the support we get to continue the Mission here. If Covid 19 doesnt hamper my travels plans I hope to see many of you over the Summer months. Blessings. John Below are images Fr. John sent showing the pain and suffering of people who seemed to have sufficient problems to negotiate without the added dreaded leprosy. We are not even half thankful for our comfortable lives.
A man in the Leprosy community with missing fingers and foot.
Leper women with missing fingers.
Delivering food to the leprosy community with Mother Teresa sisters
Getting food loaded up for distribution to displaced families.
All Content Copyright emyvale.net
Fr. John Page 6.
Back to Page 1 HERE
Hi Everyone, It seems ages since I have written an update on life here – not sure if it is my own laziness or also the fact that I am also waiting for unusual events to happen here before writing something. Two quite amusing events happened recently. One happened during the preaching in the Church by the other priest from Tanzania who works with me in the parish. Last year, his brother died in a motorcycle accident in Tanzania. He was a passenger on the motorcycle. The man driving the motorcycle was drunk and was going too fast and hit a bump and lost control of the motorcycle. His passenger, Fr. Nolasco’s brother was thrown off the motorcycle and badly injured. He died in hospital a few days later. The driver of the motorcycle was arrested but released shortly afterwards. He then went to the house of Fr. Noalsco’s brother - Cornelius – to offer sympathy to the family and to say how sorry he was for what had happened. He then joined the family in helping with the preparations for Cornelius funeral. Fr. Nolasco was telling this story in Church a few Sundays ago as the theme was “ love your enemy -do good to those who hate you”. He was using a translator as he doesnt know the local language very well. The person who was translating for Fr. Nolasco, stopped, looked at Fr. Nolasco and said “ Are you serious”. “You mean the man who was responsible for your brothers death was at the funeral and helping the family”. “ if that had happened here – he would have been killed by the next day after the death of your brother”. Fr. Nolasco told him to continue with the translation and stop giving his commentary on the preaching !!! But Fr. Nolasco then asked the Congregation if they agreed with the translator or did they appreciate what the family had done. All of them, except for one young student, agreed with the translator and said that the person who caused the accident and the death of Cornelius should have been killed right away. Revenge is very strong in this culture. The Christian understanding of forgiveness is very difficult for the tribe here that we mainly work with. But in time things will change. The second story is about the leper community that is in our parish. Leprosy, especially in the past, has been a big challenge for the people here. We have over 300 leper people in this community. Many missing toes, fingers and parts of their faces. I went there before Christmas to arrange to bring them food to celebrate Christmas Day. They were delighted to be getting food to celebrate Christmas as hunger was a big issue for them. I then said to some of them that they should be making more efforts to grow their own food. One woman then showed me her hands and said “Fr. Many of us have no fingers to hold a spade”. Me being smart and thinking they didnt understand english I said “ Then use you heads”. Which the woman replied to me “ Fr. If we had not been using our heads – we would not have survived up to now” – and a big laugh out of her. Despite their great hardships – they have a great sense of humour. We have a new Unity Government in South Sudan – but it is difficult to see how it can succeed as there are 5 vice presidents – we have our own Unionists and Nationalists here !! Despite all the different challenges, our work is going on fine. We have 3 main primary schools that we are concentrating on, plus food distribution projects, parish training programs and supporting girls education. We really appreciate all the support we get to continue the Mission here. If Covid 19 doesnt hamper my travels plans I hope to see many of you over the Summer months. Blessings. John Below are images Fr. John sent showing the pain and suffering of people who seemed to have sufficient problems to negotiate without the added dreaded leprosy. We are not even half thankful for our comfortable lives.