I was privileged to be part of the ceremony that took place at Lavigerie house in Chipata. Among the clear and worth learning ideas that came from different speakers, I found it valuable to share some sentiments that came from the Bishop of Chipata Diocese, George Zumaile Lungu.
THEY EDUCATED US IN FAITH
(We are the products of the missionaries of Africa)
“We awe sincere gratitude to the Missionaries of Africa for having brought the faith to Chipata. What else should we say than thanking them greatly, pray for them and the fruit of faith they have planted in us” (Bishop)? In the process of uttering the above words, Bishop Gorge Zumaile Lungu was pleased with the presence of the Missionaries of Africa in his diocese.
BEING FORMED IN THE AFRICAN POT
(Missionaries of Africa Brewed in an African clay-pot)
Just from his articulation and facial expression one could easily feel a sense of joy in the heart of Bishop George Zumaile Lungu. The Bishop in his words expressed gladness and appreciation to the Society of the Missionaries of Africa for placing a formation House in his diocese. Again he was pleased to discover that his Christians are proudly involved in the formation of young men in readiness for the mission. In as far as the Missionaries of Africa participated in the education of faith in Chipata diocese, George Zumaile Lungu believes that today, the hands of his Christians are forming Missionaries of Africa. The above was in recognition of the families who, without hesitation, opened their doors to welcome Missionary of Africa students in their families. The Bishop believes that the period students stay in families is as well an experience of formation and transformation. Again he was proud of some Christians who dedicated their time to go and teach some courses in Lavigerie formation house. For him, all the involvement of his Christian families is being part of the formation team and that is what he calls brewing a Missionary of Africa in an African clay-pot.
ROASTED IN THE HEAT OF OCTOBER AND SOILED IN THE MUD OF DECEMBER
(Quoting one of the missionaries)
“I am the commander in chief of this diocese. As a commander I have to know where big fire is coming from. So I will be careful in the manner in which I locate responsibilities. For you Missionaries of Africa always remember your first charism; primary evangelization”. In saying these words, the bishop encouraged the young men who finished candidate course to take formation more serious because the task ahead is not for frail individuals in as far as Missionary life is concerned. He emphasized that the society they were joining has a charism that has no jokes at all hence, adequate preparation and prayer is a necessary value.
With the above recognition and recommendations from the Bishop, I consider being reminded of the Missionaries of Africa purpose and keeping the zeal that was born at the beginning of this society. In respect for time and space, the society is playing significant roles that maybe acknowledged and appreciated in little occasions. In all mission involvements, Glory to God for inspiring Cardinal Charles Lavigerie and the entire Society of the Missionaries of Africa with the continuing concern for salvation and wellbeing of humanity.