Friday, 7 July 2006

St Paul's Church, Ngotong Ntumbe

We are blessed in Binju-Nkambe with the presence of a Major Seminarian, Franclin Banadzem. He helps to teach doctrine to the Adult Catechumens who have enlisted in Binju. We have some 10 real adults and about 40 unbaptised school pupils coming to our Binju Catechumenate. We also have of varying ages, about 20 First Holy Communicants.
Last night I accompanied the Catechists of the Parish at their monthly formation and meeting, this time held at Ngotong Ntumbe Mission. We had an hour of reflection on the importance of making the Word of God central in our lives and in our Catechesis.
This morning we celebrated the Eucharist in which we baptised one child of a single mother. And then we had discussions on the life of witness and commitment of the Catechist. Poor Catechists! They have to stand alone very often when they insist on the truth and try to promote gospel values. Two Catechists reported they had stopped teaching doctrine because their few, very few Catechumens were not just following any instructions given them.
Well, was I scared celebrating Holy Mass in that Church! Just look at the wall leaning into the "sanctuary"!! And, thank God, it did not rain!!! We would have had to carry the Mass Vesels running across the hills to find the nearest house!
The few Christians, mainly widows and single mothers, have, since I came into the parish, been making a small contribution for the repairs of their Church. After five years of hard struggle they now have savings of CFA 50000 Francs. This is only about one tenth of what it will take to repair their Church. But if we wait longer the whole Church will come down. The women are very hopeful. They have put together a little sand they carry when it rains. They tell me to beging the repairs and see what they can do. I reckon they have more faith than I. I will go with them and begin the repairs work.
When I spent holidays in my home village, Tabenken, last January, the Parish Priest asked the parishioners to make a second collection during my last Mass, to help me in my work at Binju-Nkambe Parish. The Parish Priest tells me the collection came to about CFA 4000 Francs. He is still to forward it to me. I promised the people of Tabenken that I would use their support to repair the Church in Ngotong Ntumbe. With CFA 4000 I can buy three timbers. I hope a miracle will happen. Jesus multiplied a few loaves for the crowds. I think he will step in once we get started. Who knows, he might be wanting to use your purse and your hands. Give Him a chance!!

Robert Tanto.


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