Sr. Helena Ogen
It was a time of discovery for me as well as of affirmation. As a missionary in EA for over 40 years as well as an educator what marked me most was the input by Alphonse Quenum depicting all that the African continent has lived and suffered and indeed is still suffering. (The live ’visual aid’ for this was our ’black Brazilian Sister.)
I was challenged to re-read more deeply the same history here in East Africa and I remain awed to realise more profoundly the amazing resilience of our African brothers and sisters but I do wonder about the hidden scars that so many must carry.
The great focus LIFE seems to have enabled them to come through so much with not only hope but with joy. Hoping and praying that the pessimistic world view of the continent can be gradually changed into a more positive one by the vigour, determination and vision of her sons and daughters and by our own brothers and sisters with whom we spent such an invigorating 10 days.
Sr. Anna Sarah
This was an experience of its own, very special ! What I liked most was the deepening of the knowledge I already had concerning African anthropology. Then the talk by sister Josée on how to develop this humanity. I felt quite proud of the capacity this woman had and her gentle but sure way of transmitting knowledge. As she was sharing I felt that each one of us can contribute something if we are totally committed. The Bishop’s sharing (Mgr Lebulu, archbishop of Arusha / Tanzania) was attractive, inviting and full of prophetic and optimistic vision of the future. I felt the humble pastor addressing the flock. Finally the Assumption Family was for me deep grace. The presence of our founders / foundresses was mystically felt. How I prayed that we all be committed to spreading God’s Kingdom ! And may it be so ! I am very grateful that I was one of the participants. From the bottom of my heart I thank the steering committee : Sr Isabelle and her companions, without forgetting Fr Luc. They were very concerned and cared for the well-being of each one. They gave themselves totally to the success of RIAD. We worked peacefully, joyfully and lovingly.
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the Congregation and to the Province for giving me the opportunity to participate in the RIAD which took place in Nairobi Kenya. I came to this meeting with a certain curiosity and longing to discover what it was all about.
Being the host I was thrilled to wrlcome my brothers and sisters from all over the world. This time it was not only the Ras but the “six” families.
Sessions began and we listened to one another and to the resource persons who gave us talks on different topics suc as : African anthropology, the Church in Africa, Justice and Peace in the Great Lakes etc. All was good and enriching.
Among many things that touched me is the experience that I would like to share with you. One evening, a group of participants from Brazil, colombia, Korea, Chile and Vietnam was asked to share to the big group their impressions on Africa, what they knew before coming over or what was taught in schools in their countries. For several of them it was the first time to come in contact with this Continent. Africa is perceived as a wild continent, full of viloence, dangerous, poor, miserable, hardly anything positive. To some extent it is true, but Africa is not only darkness as others call it “the dark Continent”. Fortunately, their personal contact with Africa and its people was positive. They realized that there was another face to it. They discovered the beauty of Africa and of course of the Africans. Yes, Africa has something to offer to the world, her warmth in relationships, her hospitality, her love for life and her sense of celebration.
As an African, after hearing all this, I am left with a challenge, a responsibility to work harder to make my Continent, my fellow Africans to accept and to assume their history. I know it is more than for there is also the question of color.
I am proud to be an African and I appeal to my African brothers and sisters to love and to accept with gratitude what God has generously given us and to realize that beneath the black color of our skin, there lies the beauty of the Master piece of God’s creation.
Thank you for holding RIAD in Africa. It has been an eye opener to some and it gave them a glimpse of a new culture which was unknown to them.
Sister Agatha Emmanuel
First of all I appreciate the way RIAD was prepared and I thank all those who were involved in the work of preparation.
The 25th July 2006, Sr Isabelle and Fr jean-François came to visit us at Singa Chini / Moshi. We were so happy and full of joy to see them. The 26th July evening, we went together to spend the night at Arusha. The AA welcame us warmely for dinner and we found other brothers and sisters there. I felt this sens of unity among the Assumption family.
In the morning 27th July, we took a bus to Nairobi. I was touched when we arrived in Nairobi, we went to the Orantes’ for lunch as their convent is near the University where the RIAD was held. It shows how we are close to each other and the spirit of family grew among us.
The RIAD was very successful and I learned a lot. There was perhaps too much input in French ; it was difficult to follow for English speakers.
I was struck also by the presence of representative of the Pope, the Apostolic Nonce who came to celebrate the opening mass. He is a humble man. He encouraged us and told us to work for the Kingdom of God. After mass, he came in the dinning hall to greet people and he was happy to see a good number of us from all over the world.
The “six” Assumption families were present including the Missionary Sisters of the Assumption from South Africa.
I felt very much the sense of family spirit we created in living together ; we had time to talk, to know and to appreciate each other.
I was moved by the Rwandese process for the Reconciliation (Sister Solina, RA). God gave the sisters that grace of going forward to Him who is Light and full of love and compassion. Because the sisters were open and transparent to each other, God touched them and healed them. God is great.
The sharing of Sister Ernestina, PSA / Brazil was very painful. She is black herself and she told us how the Blacks were rejected in Brazil from childhood because they were not free. When she was a child and a teenager, it was in the law of their government that black people couldn’t go to seminaries for priesthood or sisterhood as they were not free, being from slave parents. The white Brazilians forget that we are all created by one God and He loves the Blacks as he loves the White man.
The talks were very rich and educative, the form of questions and sharing in the small groups helped me a lot to understand more and go deeper with what had been taught. I am very grateful.
The topics were well thought and the input was good. I liked the first topic of the human person. I was also touched by the concern and interest of the whole group about Africa : you could see the eagerness of each person to wish Africa to have our own identity ; to re-read our history in order to get to know ourselves ; to appreciate our culture and our realities ; to know our Church and stand by that faith, not being Christians during the day and something else at night ; to be economically self-sufficient (Religious life in Africa, by Josée N’galula) ; to work with other Nations gor the promotion of our Continent ; to love our people, be available and work with them ; to be good formators in all levels.
The team worked extra-hard to see all was good. Thank you. Thank you for choosing Kenya.
Lire la présentation de Sr Isabelle Roux >>
Lire les témoignages des soeurs de l’Afrique de l’ouest>>
Lire les témoignages des soeurs de l’Afrique centrale et Rwanda-Tchad >>
Lire les témoignages des soeurs d’Europe >>