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COMMUNITY EXPERIENCE IN MINTAL

Frère Christian Ngoura SM

Frère Christian Ngoura SM

COMMUNITY EXPERIENCE IN MINTAL

From 9th to 16th January 2017 I had the opportunity to live in the community of the Marist Sisters of Mintal. The community was thus constituted of Sr. Terube, Sr. April and Sr. Lilibeth; who were involved in different ministry. She brings a Marist presence to the Sick, bringing them peace and consolation in suffering; another one in the pastoral care of prisoners, and another in teaching in Holy Cross College. During the one week I spent with them, I went through all their apostolates.

Day 1: With Sister Terube, we went to Agdao for the session with Agdao mothers. We also work with the children of the preschool. The Marists Lay of Sydney joined us to entertain the Ladies and the Children. A good time together with these children who only want a smile to feel loved. For the session, I drew a lion while giving the explanation that symbolizes the Lion in Cameroon. And finally we dance the Lion song. On our way home, we stopped at the hospital to visit our brother Jaime who has been admitted for few days. In the evening we went to Matina for another session. Bo Dumas expert in a Pelvic floor physiotherapist take time to pass some knowledge to the sisters on how to take care of it in order to prevent or cure problems with incontinence and prolapse which is so common in women.

Day 2: We went to the hospital with Sr Terube for the visit of the sick. We prayed with three patients. I had role to play in the prayer before the mass. At 11 O’clock, we have the mass with the residents. After the mass we take lunch with the Chaplain a Carmellean Priest and some volunteers. It's was in a climate of joy and sharing.

Day 3: It’s was a cooking day for me. The menu included chicken and rice. I went to the market with Sr Terube to buy the groceries for cooking. It was a great challenge for me, because it was the first time to cook for the sisters of different countries. Despite the lack of some condiments I fought for a good tomato sauce, fried chicken and rice. All of us liked, seeing that all the food is finished.

Day 4: I went with Sister Monica to the Badjao, Centre Refugee Pre-School. We spent few time with the diring the breakfast. Later we joined Sr. April in City Jail Annex. She has a computer class.  I spent a good time with the guys. I take time to listening to each. Many told me why they were detained. They were curious about Africa. I learn allot more about the Philipino culture.

Day 5: Day planned for the renewal of the visa which went successfully. In the evening we went to the Marist center for street children (Balay Pasilugan). This evening was organized, to say goodbye to the Lay Marists Australia who were at the end of their visit in Davao. An opportunity to express myself as well. I loved it because it is beautiful to see the brothers and sisters of the same family together for the same cause.

Day 6: I went with Sr Lilibeth to the Holy Cross College. She teaches the course on the Sacrament to the Catechist. I was invited to share how we celebrate the sacraments in Africa. The lesson after this sharing was: "For preparation of the sacraments, it always depends on where we are located and whether the Occidental tradition or Oriental we must adopt to the preparation to the sacraments.

Day 7: The Sunday was a rest day and I want to Mass at the parish. I was preparing to join the Novitiate house the next day. But after the mass, I took time around the church to talk to people.

Day 8: Return to Eden. After breakfast, Srs Lilibeth and April accompanied me to Toril. It was for me a great joy the Novitiate after time of orientation. I made a new friend this day, who is a tricycle driver.

This community experience enabled me to be very active and involved in the Marist Sisters apostolates. I had a good time of community sharing and community prayer with the sisters. I thank them for the hospitality and their concern for me. They were happy to have introduced me in their community and ministries.  I would have to return there again sometimes.

Christian Ngoura.

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