CFC-FFL has 3 full-time missionaries working in Malawi responsible for the mission work for the continent of Africa – Tony Correia, his wife Maria Correia and Stephanie D’Souza – a consecrated single. The mission in Africa commenced in 2014.
January brought new challenges with Tony coping with his stroke in Goa and Stephanie coping with her near-fatal accident in Malawi. But God has his own plans which any day overcome the enemy. We had two young able and zealous missionaries from Goa – Aaron Gomes and Reuben Carvalho join Mission Africa.
February saw the return of Stephanie to Goa for her much needed medical treatment. Tony, Reuben and Aaron held the fort and got familiarised with schedules and people concerned with the Malawi mission. They were immersed in the supplementary faith formation program for the 140 odd Seminarians in the small St. Paul’s community.
March brought the young missionaries face-to-face with the tough language Chichewa and our newly appointed Fulltime Pastoral Worker (FTPW) for Malawi Mr Julio Jumbe moved in with them, thus mutually helping each other through the conducting of Live Christ Share Christ (LCSC) programs, Live Pure programs for youth and the imbibing of Malawian Culture.
April saw Tony going totally blind in one eye and we had to rush to India and have his eye surgery. It took a full month for complete recovery. Through this time Reuben and Aaron carried on the programs all by themselves growing in the skills of cooking, housekeeping and maintenance.
May Tony and Maria made it back and all the scheduled programs were carried out in full swing: youth training, General Assembly, Faith Camp preparations, Seminary interventions besides LCSC sessions.
June bid farewell to our young missionaries who returned to India. Tony and Maria attended the International Core of Seniors meet and took part in the Anniversary celebrations in the Philippines. Thanks to our generous benefactors we were able to introduce the two Country Coordinators: Lucius Mandala and wife Asiatu Mandala for Malawi, and Benedict Dzreke for Nigeria to the worldwide community
July brought about the much-awaited realisation of Mission Botswana, besides the regular monthly programs in Malawi. The hunger and thirst of the brothers and sisters in Botswana were palpable. Under the able leadership of Country Servant, Jun Jun Iligan, and his wife, Jing Jing – a living example of Proverbs 31, they had waited in faith and prayed for someone to reach out to them for seven years before our visit to them. When we arrived they eagerly devoured every word of the LCSC, Liturgical Bible Study (LBS), “Prayer Warriors”, “Intercessors”, “Living as a People of God”, and “Household dynamics” sessions. They stayed behind after the daily sessions for their One-on-One conversations and passed on whatever they received to others around them. A very elderly couple regularised their marriage after we visited and prayed with him as he was supposedly on his deathbed. The priest in charge – now appointed parish priest – Fr. Tony Rebello, from Fatorda Goa, was an epitome of humility attending every session from start to finish, taking notes and inviting people to make the most of the inputs. Stephanie returned to Mission Malawi abler now to cope with the schedule though still in pain and needing some physiotherapy
August was the mission to Tanzania. We got this opening through a session we gave to priests of the Missionaries of Mary Immaculate, an Indian congregation working in Africa, who were on retreat in Malawi. Our FTPW Julio Jumbe and his wife Lucia Nkhata formed the team along with Tony and Maria. Together, we visited four different parishes.
In Dar-E-Salaam, we gave a variety of programs to different sections of people. LCSC to parishioners, Catechists, Associations and even to a group of fifty kids. Several sessions on “Living our Vocation to Evangelize” to Religious Sisters, Postulants, Seminarians and School Teachers; “Live Pure” to parish youth, schoolgirls of St. Anne’s convent and the Cannosa Convent, and girls and boys from two different Rescue Homes for street children. Besides sessions on Intercession to Parishioners in three different Parishes and the LBS to four different outstations of one parish.
September brought us back to home base Malawi. We were blessed with the visit from our Country Servant A.V. Jose who could personally evaluate our work accomplished since mission Malawi was established. He visited the Malawi Servant Council and met with the members individually; he saw one of the LCSC local language teams in action at a new LCSC site; he interacted with our Youth leaders, Women’s team leaders, and also met with Tony and Stephanie on a one-on-one basis.
He was very pleased with our Community Spirituality of daily prayer, intercession and Eucharist besides weekly Adoration
October schedule had mission Nigeria and Ghana on the cards. Mission Nigeria is ongoing with our brethren who took part in the LCSC during our last visit in August 2017 clamouring to be trained in the way and life of CFC-FFL
We have been exposing them to Vision and Mission of CFC, an appreciation of the CLS and purpose and dynamics of Households besides a session on “Family Financial Planning” and other sessions on married life. Their zeal is amazing. We left them with instructions on how to conduct the CLS, Household meetings and Chapter meetings. God grant them grace to build His Kingdom in Abuja.
As this report goes to print, we are on our way to mission Ghana along with our Nigeria Country Servant Dzreke who happens to be a Ghanian. Hoping to revive the old group that was being looked after by a couple from the Philippines but long since abandoned due to their severe health problems. Healthcare in Africa is a big challenge.
Stephanie holds fort and carries the burden of the programs scheduled for Malawi along with the locally trained teams which carry on with the different LCSC programs in the parish outstations and Live Pure to schools.
Stephanie’s presence is much appreciated especially in the youth activities. She plays a major role in shaping the minds of the organisers so as to transform the Youth programs to become spiritually enriching.
The recently held Diocesan Youth day celebrated on Oct 13 was just the latest case of her working with the organizers behind the scenes besides her physical presence to conduct Bible quizzes and other games. Despite, our frailty, God continues to use us and, praise and glory to Him, souls return to His Kingdom!