The MCBS missionaries first arrived in Africa on December 19, 2009. Exactly ten years ago. When four MCBS clergymen landed in Tanzania, East Africa, this was the beginning of a great missionary journey. As the missionary journey began in two parishes today and is now in its tenth year, there is a lot of experience in God’s care to say as we continue to grow stronger. The greatest experience is the reach of God’s Word that spreads through us.
Twenty MCBS clergy now serve in Tanzania in five dioceses. Eight parishes and 70 of its substations are constantly striving to grow God’s people spiritually and physically. MCBS clergy serve mainly in three areas. Activities in the parish, educational level, and community-level activities.
Various activities are carried out in the parish to make the people of God entrusted to them as children of the Holy Eucharist. An important feature is that many of the things we do, get started and do, are new to them and a new experience. So people are very actively involved in everything. For example, there was no program of Sunday Bible training for children here.
But wherever our fathers live, it has started, and with our good example, the African princes have started in their parishes. And so we started the Christmas Carol. I understand the history of Pulkut. Eucharistic worship, Eucharistic demonstrations, devotional chanting rallies in the month of Kantha, and the night vigil on the first Thursdays of the month keep the parish with God and the church. In addition, various programs aimed at reviving families are being planned and implemented.
Tanzania’s unique social, cultural and economic features, and the tide of the European occupation, have affected the families. As a result, young women are mostly living together without getting married and having no family. They see such people and teach them about the moral, great and important aspects of family life, and encourage them to come to church and get married legally.
Many areas of Tanzania are educationally backward. Especially in villages. There are no good schools, no children’s learning opportunities, and many parents do not have the financial means to teach. Despite the desire to educate the poor and educate the working poor until the wee hours of the morning to find food for the day, financial difficulties are not possible. Most children, therefore, end their schooling with primary education.
In such a case, children and parents living in rural areas are educated on the need for education and schools are started in the villages. An Evening Tuition Center has been set up in the villages to give more attention to the underprivileged children, thus bringing more children to school.
It also provides hostel facilities to poor and needy children. The St. Bernard Center for Children with Disabilities was founded. Through such institutions, we can become another facet of the Lord’s mercy. Our community service activities are centered around the villages. Various types of welfare activities are carried out in the villages. Twenty wells were dug in several villages in areas where water was scarce. Self Help Groups like Kerala’s Neighborhood Group and Kudumbasree are now working in the villages. One of the initiatives started to promote agriculture was the “bag of corn per sack”.
That is, we give people fertilizer to grow maize. At harvest, they give us a sack of maize. The corn is then used to feed the hostel and school children. Teaching sewing and helping to buy a sewing machine helped a lot of women. Tanzania is a place with a lot of honey. The people of this area usually consume honey by burning the fly. They were taught about the scientific method of honey processing and how to set up bee boxes.
Beekeeping and honey processing are very successful. The villagers are financially supported to raise poultry, goats, and piglets. In this way, welfare efforts in many ways bring people to the mainstream of society. In other words, “the hungry does not buy the fish every day, and slowly and gently gives it to him to fish.”
There is still much to do. The activities undertaken and the mission to be launched will bring him success. It is the only prayer that God blesses us to be renewed in the spirit and move on, without slowing down.