Saturday, 14 October 2006


It's been a long month since I last wrote something for our weblog. I am sorry for starving our readers. Today I am happy to come back, and with some good news.

Last Wednesday I celebrated what I considered my last Mass in the Ngotong Outstation Church in a dangerous state. I always feared that the wall would one day collapse on me during Consecration or at some other part of Holy Mass.

The small community of Ngotong-Ntumbe did their best to raise a sum total of 63000 francs CFA, just a little under 100€. It took them close to four years to realise this amount. I insisted as best I could, but the people could not just do more. They have, however, done a lot of community work, carrying sand from far away below the hill for cement blocks. Now they have to fetch water from a little brook some about one kilometre away for the brickwork. Carpenters and builders have been recruited from Nkambe and Binju. General labourers are recruited from Ngotong-Ntumbe village. The whole village is celebrating the repairs of Ngotong Church.
All this is happening, thanks to the donation of 138000 francs by Neil McNeil and his wife of Canada. From their own poverty, they decided they could not sit and watch Ngotong Church collapse to the ground. We remember Neil for his brief visit to Binju in 2004. He had to hurry away when he got news his father was dying. Even as his family made the donation for Ngotong Church repairs, his father is still very poorly. We are very grateful to Neil and his wife for their kindness. The Ngotong-Ntumbe community applauded when I informed them about the donation from Neil.

All material for the repairs has been brought to Ngotong: alluminion sheets, iron rods, bags of cement, nails, and so on. We the workers are set to tackle the building next Tuesday and the days following. We have made a final cost estimate of CFA 600000 francs, but have only 200000 francs in hand. We are working in faith. We continue to encourage the Ngotong-Ntumbe community to add to their contribution, and to appeal anyone of good will to come to our help. Every drop of water adds to make an ocean.

Robert Tanto


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