Some news of Jean-Louis Godinot (Mpundu) who was attacked by a crocodile in December 2014.


Jean-Louis GodinotAs some might have heard, I was caught by a crocodile on the 20th December. I was taken three times to the bottom of the river which I was crossing swimming. Fortunately, I managed to pierce one eye of my enemy, which left me with a left hand in very bad condition. I was very lucky to survive.

In the hospital of Kasama, they did not realize that there were some smashed and dislocated bones. I got plenty of injections and antibiotics. But it was not enough as an infection started. When we could make a new radiography, the doctor discovered the disaster and told me that I was starting a ‘scepticemy’ (general infection of the blood) and that I could get as well a ‘osteite’ (infection of the bones). I was advised to go home.

Crocodile-farm-August-2014-12I left Lua-Luo for Lusaka on the 7th January. The following day, I was admitted in the afternoon in a hospital specialized in the traumatisms of the hand. I was operated on the 11thJanuary. I was told that there was a possibility of cutting my index. But they succeeded to keep it. They could remove all the smashed bones, which were in a bath of pus. I could leave the hospital on 16th January and be taken care by one of my sisters who is a nurse. Antibiotics, pain killers and five injections a day. And many exercises for re-education.

I will visit Patrick Bataille in Paris on the 9th February. Then, I went on the 29th January for a review. They could remove the stiches. But they want me to be still on antibiotics (oral and injections) till the 16th February. Then, 2 weeks without antibiotics and new visit at the hospital on the 3rd March.

I was very disappointed, I had hoped to be back in Zambia beginning of February. But the doctors will not let me go before they are sure there is no danger of a new infection of the blood or of the bones. They are still ‘cultivating’ in laboratory the germs they found. Crocodiles do not brush often their teeth!

Right now, I am at my twin brother’s place (the doctor). Then I will go to visit my other brothers and sisters, as long as I can get my injections.

Here, it is cold and we have snow. I feel sorry for my confreres of Lua-Luo, for the students, especially those of St-Matthew’s team: Paul, Bishop, Cyprian, Gildas and Edmond. I should be back around the 8th March.

Greetings to all of you, and many thanks for your prayers,

 Jean-Louis / Mpundu. (I might be without internet from time to time…)

St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Zolozolo, Mzuzu, Malawi


Zolozolo July 2014 07_modifié-1We are pleased to inform you of the creation of St-Thomas the Apostle Parish, Zolozolo. This new Parish will cover what is presently known as Zolozolo Sector of St-Peter’s Cathedral and will include Choma and Bigha of St-Augustine Parish. The Missionaries of Africa will take care of this Parish and to this effect we have appointed Rev. Fr. Richard Deschênes as Parish Priest. For the smooth transition, the new Parish team will work closely with both St. Peter’s and St. Augustine’s Parishes.

Parish Team members: Fr.Richard Decshenes, Sr. Anna, Fr. Filiyanus Ekka, Domnic Banda and Br. Richard Dery

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Mafrwestafrica – Lettre du 31 janvier 2015


cropped-mafrwestafrica-02.jpgAujourd’hui, les Missionnaires d’Afrique de l’Ouest vous proposent de visiter de nouvelles pages sur leur site www.mafrwestafrica.net :

Dans la rubrique « Actualités » :
« Lettre de Laghouat Ghardaia, Janvier 2015 »
, la dernière édition de la publication de ce diocèse d’Algérie, écrite par Mgr Claude Rault- (lire la suite) 
« 20ème Anniversaire de la mort des Pères de Tizi Ouzou »
. C’était il y a un mois que cette commémoration a eu lieu, puisque c’est le 27 décembre 1994 que les 4 pères ont été assassinés. (lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Témoignages » :
« Partager et vivre l’Evangile » : 
une publication du Supérieur Général des Missionnaires d’Afrique, le père Richard Baawobr. (lire la suite)
« Jésus nous libère » un article du Père Bernard Delay paru dans Voix d’Afrique du mois de décembre 2014 : quel dialogue entre la foi chrétienne et la religion traditionnelle du peuple Sénoufo ? (lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Dialogue interreligieux » :
« Semaine pour l’unité des chrétiens »,
 qui s’est tenue du 18 au 25 janvier 2015. Nous reproduisons quelques textes soumis par le conseil pontifical pour l’unité des chrétiens. (lire la suite) 
« Les chrétiens du Niger soumis à la violence 
» Il est difficile de comprendre le pourquoi de la violence des actes anti-chrétiens commis par de nombreux manifestants, tout particulièrement à Zinder et Niamey. (lire la suite) 
« Quel dialogue islamo-chrétien aujourd’hui ? »
 quelques réflexions qui permettent de considérer sous divers angles les événements récents qui mettent en péril ce dialogue (lire la suite)
« 50 ans du PISAI » L’Institut Pontifical d’Etudes Arables et islamiques célèbre ses 50 ans d’existence à Rome (lire la suite)
« Bulletin ARCREn° 107 du 29 janvier 2015 » quelques extraites de la dernière édition de cette publication de l’Actioni pour la Rencontre des Cultures et des Religions en Europe (lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Justice et Paix » : 
« Le Pape François et les migrants »
, la journée de prière pour les migrants a été fixée au 18 janvier 2015, même si le message du pape dans ce domaine date du mois de septembre 2014. (lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Vu au sud, vu du sud » :
« L’Afrique et les écoles primaires » 
un article qui souligne les difficultés que rencontre l’enseignement des enfants en Afrique subsaharienne, mais laisse percer l’espoir d’une bonne évolution. (lire la suite)

Maize and Ivory, report about the life of the people of Chiawa village in Zambia


Maise and Ivory 06 - CopieMaize and Ivory, by Barbara Brustlein, pictures by Jörg Böthling.

Barbara and Jörg spent few day at Woodlands at this time of the rainy season in 2014. We are privilege to publish in SAP Blog their article published Missio Mafazin, Jan./Feb. 1/15, 2015

People live in a buffer-zone where humans and wild animals cohabit just outside the Lower Zambezi National Park. The farmers are allegedly profiting from the tourists attraction only to be threaten by elephants and hippos which are destroying their crops.

Every night, while watching their fields in turn, Starfred Chimwanja, 56, and his wife Mebo are paying attention to any sound. It has been like this for weeks. “The corn is ripe. If we go to sleep this evening, our field will be stripped bare”, says Starfred. So, they stay awake, armed with a shot-gun to give warnings against the intruders: elephants, porcupines, hippos and baboons. Those animals are attracted by the ripe corn. Chiawa, their village, is situated just outside the Lower Zambezi National Park. From the point of view of the farmers, the game management authority of the National Park favour the animals rather than assisting the farmers in protecting their crops.

Maise and Ivory 01Only few safari-tourists are coming in this rainy season. Roads turn into ponds of mud. Even four wheel drive vehicles cannot pass. Being only at two hours drive from Lusaka in dry season, Chiawa is secluded or cut off at this time of the year.

In a couple of weeks, when the rainy season is over and some roads can be used, the tourists will come and fill the lodges that are located alongside the slow stream of the river Zambezi like pearls on a string. It costs 200 dollars per night in a lodge which are only accessible by speedboat.

The tourists are an important source of income for many people such as Dasmat, a 40-year old man with the AK-47 in his hands. He is usually employed by one of the lodges to escort holiday-guests on their tours. As the luxury lodges are still more or less empty, he is currently busy with his second job: “I protect animals from poachers and I protect people’s fields from the animals.”

Dasmat is paid by the Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA). How is he performing in his task is highly controversial. “A wild elephant devastated our field for three days” says Ekrin Mpona, 43, a local farmer. Only when our crops were completely smashed that a ZAWA man shot the elephant down. She stands in the middle of her field pointing at the remains of her crops as well as some huge bones of the elephant. “People cooked the meat of the elephant and celebrated for four days”, says Father Paul Sakala. “That is terrible. Someone has to see the point of view of these people. They have always been here and they have to survive from their land.”

Father Paul, 55, has come from Lusaka. He has been sent as a priest to the surrounding of Chiawa four years ago where humans and wild animals are expected to coexist.

He lives at the shore of the Zambezi in a renting house provided by the Chief of Chiawa, a Lady-Chief called Christine Mambo. A flock of visitors stands waiting in front of her house. The 64 year old lady is sitting on a white plastic chair some metres in front of her house door. Her advisors are on her left and right sides. The people who are waiting are overweight White people in khaki trousers and half open shirts. “Investors from Zimbabwe or South Africa”, guesses Father Paul who is familiar to see crowds around the house of his influential neighbour. “This land belongs to the clan. Nothing is agreed upon without the signature of the Chief.”

Before the investors are allowed to speak, they have to go through the traditional greetings of respect. One of the advisors is showing the correct movements while the visitors try to imitate him. Christine Mambo watches silently without moving a lid. “This is a world of its own”, says Father Paul. “Those who do not respect the traditions are leaving empty hands.” That is obviously not the intention of today’s visitors. Each one performs the exercises according to the procedure. Will the visit pay off? The Chief says: “You all want to build lodges and build them alongside the Zambezi. We have really got enough of them. But the country is lacking infrastructures and people have no jobs. I would still see some possibilities there.”

As a matter of fact, 18,000 people live in and around Chiawa, their ancestors’ land. The National Park is within its boundaries. “Foreigners come to see our elephants. But they don´t see the damage that they cause”, says the Chief. “But without the park, we would be without wildlife anymore. How can you convince people that they should stop poaching when they can make quick and good money doing it?”

The government wants to make money too. In 2010, Zambia wanted a limited opening for ivory trade but did not succeed. If they had been successful, it would have been fatal for the elephant population. Animal rights activists were relieved.

What shall be done to make people and wild animals coexist around the National Parks? Some demand that the government supply them with electric fences. For Father Paul, this is not a solution. “It may be good in some cases but people forget that they will be fenced themselves like in a zoo”. That’s not too implausible as some lodges offer jeep-tours around the village. According to Isaiah Museto “the tourists come to look at us like animals in a zoo”. Museto works at the local court. He is also a member of the village council. “It is annoying but what is really upsetting us is the issue of land property traditionally under the ‘ownership’ of the Chief acting on behalf of the community. The government wants to get rid of this concept. If happening, we would be left unprotected”.

“I am honestly sorry for the local population”, says Davie Visser, 55. “They go nowhere and there is a number of reasons for that.” Visser gaze glides from the terrace behind his house over a vast field covered with ripe corn. Zimbabwe is on the other side of the Zambezi. The view is fabulous. It used to be his family home for three generations until Robert Mugabe confiscated the land and chased them all.

Crossing the river, Visser rented a fertile land and started rebuilding his existence. “I also have the hippos in my fields every night”, he says. “And since the baboons have no natural enemies like leopards and lions anymore, thing have gotten terrible with them.”

There is nothing that the farmers have not tried to keep the animals away: drums, burning chili, plastic or tyres. At the end, animals got used to anything. “They follow ancient routes. One can make them choose another way but it will only be in somebody else’s field. We have to face the fact that we live with animals and will always lose part of our crops”.

Visser adds: “There´s one more thing. What I have achieved so far, a Zambian could never achieved it for a very simple reason. With the first signs of success, his relatives are in front of his door asking for their share.” Father Paul nods while the framer speaks. Four years in these surroundings have taught him to be thankful for the achievement made. “Hopefully, in one or two generations, the people in this surrounding will no longer be poor workers instead of a lucky few who profit from rich tourists. It is also my dream that they will protect wild animals.”

A big challenge for the people of Chief Mambo. Chinese firms are not building roads for nothing. Indeed, copper and gold lie beneath the hills of Zambia. It is the case where Starfred Chimwanja and his wife Mebo cultivate. Some signatures on a possible contract and the night vigils to guard the field would be history. What would it means for wild animals is a different story. “The most terrible predators are humans”, says Davie Visser while looking at the Zimbabwean side of the river Zambezi.

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Pope gives go-ahead for SA’s first saint


The Star LogoPontiff invited for a visit to coincide with beatification

By Anna Cox from The STAR – Thursday January 29, 2015

SOUTH Africa is set to have its first saint and martyr Benedict Daswa. Last week Pope Francis authorised the signing of the proclamation for the beatification of Daswa, a lay person from Limpopo who opposed witchcraft. The ceremony could take place as early as October.

In honour of the occasion, the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference has invited Pope Francis to come out for a pastoral visit to coincide with the celebration.

Usually the pope conducts only canonisation ceremonies, but it was felt that because it was such a special occasion for South Africa and because the country had never had a formal papal visit before, it would be the ideal time.

Archbishop of Joburg Buti Tlhagale said it was a momentous occasion for all South Africans, and especially for the country’s 4 million Catholics. “This is the first South African saint. We have been waiting to have our own saint for years. Having our own saint means having our own spokesman in heaven – a model of someone who believes and dies for his faith.

“Most of the time we hear about this – but it happens in other places and other times. This time, we have our own martyr who lived in the same time and country as ourselves. It is most striking and inspiring. “Once the country wakes up to this, they will realise what an achievement it is to have had someone among us who stood up for his faith amid great opposition, against the cultural convictions of certain people, and openly opposed witchcraft in a bid to stand for his faith”, said Tlhagale.

Preparations have started for the ceremony, which is expected to take place at the Thohoyandou Stadium in Limpopo. “We will be encouraging Catholics from all over the country to be there”, Tlhagale said.

If Pope Francis accepts the invitation, the government would have to be consulted as the visit would involve a head of state, and proper security would have to be provided. “However, if the pope cannot make the beatification ceremony, we hope he will come next year for the canonisation – the invitation is an open one”, said Tlhagale.

Daswa, 44, was born in Mbahe village in Limpopo. He became a Catholic while training to become an elementary school teacher. Daswa eventually built a church and a school there, becoming its principal.

He was opposed to witch-hunts and took a stand against them because they were leading to the killing of innocent people accused of witchcraft. Daswa rejected the use of muti or traditional medicines for protection against evil or for success in business, marriage and other areas of life.

Benedick Daswa
Benedict Daswa, who died for his faith, is likely to be beatified in October.

In 1990, Daswa refused to give money towards the hunt for a witch. A few days later, on February 2, he was stoned and bludgeoned to death. The diocese of Tzaneen opened an inquiry into Daswa’s death that ended in July 2009.

It resulted in 850 pages of testimonies from people who witnessed the life and death of Daswa. This was forwarded to Archbishop Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, after they were signed by the then-bishop of Tzaneen, Hugh Slattery. Chancellor Father Andre Bohas MSC was the postulator in Daswa’s beatification and canonisation cause.

The Catholic Church has purchased land at Mbahe and is hoping to develop a R25 million pilgrimage and shrine site in his honour. The process has taken 15 years.