EASTER – THE POWER OF LOVE AND MERCY

Easter celebrates the resurrection.  It is the victory of life over death, grace that overpowers sin, mercy that replaces judgement. It is our Christian celebration par excellence.
The paschal candle for 2015 has been lit.  It stands for the risen Christ who brings light and warmth to the world. Jesus is the new fire, prefigured in the burning bush that appeared to Moses; he is the column of light that marches ahead of the Israelites on their journey through the desert; he is the fire that burns in the hearts of the two disciples of Emmaus. He is the blazing flame that bursts into our darkness and warms our cold nights.
Jesus lives, he defeats death, he blots out our sins and heals our wounds. He is with us until the end of times. He walks with us and precedes us in the most unexpected corners of the world. He meets us in the face of the poor and challenges us in the suffering of the refugees and asylum seekers; he strengthens us when we are discouraged and encloses us in his embrace of love and mercy.  We rejoice and we are glad, because Christ is alive.
Father Jeremias

EASTER JOY

This year Easter was again celebrated meaningfully and joyfully.  We attended the Holy Week services and those of Easter Sunday.  Thereafter our joyful celebration at Mercy House was well attended and, as the photos show, the children had immense joy from the visit of the Easter bunny and catching their Easter eggs.  A big thank you to CALTEX for arranging the visit of the bunny to us, also to those who actually brought him.


MALVERN YOUTH VISIT

On 28 February a large number of the Malvern Youth group, and St Vincent de Paul Society visited Mercy House, providing a delicious luncheon and playing with our children. Everyone enjoyed the occasion very much, as the photos show, and we were happy that they got to know who we are. 
    

OUR FIRST RECOLLECTION DAY

As a thank you to our Mercy House supporters and co-workers we are planning intermittent spiritual input, in the form of occasional full-day of half-day recollection days.  These are only for those who are interested in this, no pressure being put on anyone who, for one or another reason, may prefer not to attend.  Our first one was held on 7 March at the Comboni Centre in Pretoria, being attended around 20 participants.  Father Jeremias gave a very inspiring talk and Father Gunther assisted in other ways. We thank both these fathers for their support and help. The photos below were taken in the chapel and at the lunch.

A WARM WELCOME TO OUR 3 NEW CO-WORKERS

We have started a Saturday morning learning assistance programme.  In February Innocentia started helping our scholars with Zulu and Afrikaans.  

In March, Alphie Dumbutshena started helping our adults with English, and finally, on 28 March, Thope and Blanche commenced classes in English, Maths and whatever else our scholars might need help with.  We are immensely grateful to these enthusiastic new co-workers and so are their students, who are really excited about the assistance they see they will get. 

THE LORD HEARD OUR PRAYERS!

 Thanks to a notice in the Edenvale parish bulletin, our electrician, Desire, managed to get a job.  We thank the Edenvale parish for helping us with this notice, and also Jose, his boss, for giving him the opportunity to prove himself.  Prayer “can move mountains!”

JOHN’S CAKES

John came to us when he was only 8 years old.  The photo above shows him then with Sister Fidelis. He is now in his early twenties! In the meantime he went through his schooling where he studied catering and was made head boy of Greswold school. He got a job at Waterfall Retirement Village in their bakery and has already been given a promotion.  His enthusiasm cannot be stilled: in addition to this, he now plans to start doing catering, in his spare time, from home.   

We were able to find him some financial help to get his “home catery” going and our co-worker, Michael Jacobus, has mentored him admirably to get this small business off the ground.   Our thanks to his sponsor, who wishes to remain anonymous, and to Michael for his meticulous and selfless guidance, and every good wish to our John whose determination and enthusiasm will get him far. Good luck John, we are proud of you!

OUR ENGLISH FOR REFUGEES PROJECT

The first course we have done this year has just reached completion. There has been a very good attendance and already 30 refugees have enrolled to start the new course which commences on 13 April. This programme certainly is much-needed and highly successful.

OUR LATEST ARRIVAL

Our last new arrival was a baby in November! This time it is a young teenage boy, Eric.  We welcome him and see that he is already very much part of the family. We are grateful to have the opportunity to help him and hope and pray that his time at Mercy House, will be happy and blessed.

WE WISH ALL OUR READERS THE GRACES OF THE EASTER SEASON.