Easter was special because one of our school boys, Ivan Irakoze, was received into the church at the Easter vigil service. See photo below. He had been under instruction for over a year until the day came. We congratulate him on this big step in his life. May his faith become the rock foundation of everything in his future life.
(left) Ivan Irakoze
We had our usual Easter celebration at Mercy House on Easter Sunday, and thank St Vincent de Paul, Victory Park, for the lunch they provided for around 55 people. The joy at the usual Easter egg distribution can be seen in the photos below. As usual, we threw the eggs down from the roof and the young people had great joy and fun catching them.
We are continuing our Saturday morning extra lessons for any refugee scholars who need it. It is becoming known and new kids are arriving. Innocentia (in photo below) teaches Afrikaans and Zulu, and Mr Steven Wanyoike does Accounting, Business Studies and Maths.
Mr. Steven with scholar
Mrs. Innocentia with scholars
Ivan was also one of 4 young people, all from different countries, who presented the Way of the Cross on Radio Veritas on Good Friday morning. See photo below.
Two weeks before Easter we held our second Get-Away weekend of spiritual renewal at Maria Trost, Comboni Mission in Lydenburg. Father Rafael guided us as we explored Laudate Si, the Holy Father’s answer to the problems issuing from global warming. It was very enriching for all who participated. We plan to have another later in the year and would recommend it to anyone, even just getting out of the city hustle is a tonic in itself. Apart from our discussions, prayer times, lovely walks, we had great fun playing Rummikub till 11.00 p.m. We also could purchase vegetables from the vast vegetable garden! The weekend was originally planned for anyone associated with our Mercy work, but is open to anyone. See photos below.
Maria Trost Mission Church
Picking Brother Herman’s home-grown vegetables
Bertraud with Father Rafael
The vegetable garden
The providers of the eggs with guest house in the background
On March 21st, we welcomed the new Comboni provincial, Father Jude Burgers, to Mercy House. He offered up Holy Mass for us in our play centre. He said he wanted to hear Rwandese singing, and he got it! For the first time, we sang the entire Mass in the Rwandese, so the singing was understandably vibrant. As also the dancing at the Offertory Procession. Parish priest, Father Arnaldo, concelebrated, which made the occasion even more special to us. We welcome Father Jude and look forward to his association with our Mercy work. We also wish him well for his new responsibilities. See photo below.
At the end of March, Nozizwe, one of our very active co-workers, took Zeng and Moise to an international weekend conference for young people on topical issues, such as global warming, climate change, human trafficking etc. There were young people there from all over the world and it was an extremely enriching experience for our two boys. They even gave a talk to the large crowd on what it is like to be a refugee. We thank Nozizwe for arranging this and for all the other work she does for us. God chooses the best of people for our Mercy work! Nozizwe is a teacher at the International American School in Midrand. See photos below.
(right) Ms. Nozizwe
(from left to right) Zeng and Moise
On 27th July this year our beloved Sister Fidelis celebrates her 90th birthday. Sister was a most devoted and faithful co-worker at Mercy House for as long as 10 years, 2001 – 2011, until her community moved her to their retirement home in Port Alfred. It goes without saying that this was a great loss to us and until today she is sorely missed.
In honour of her service to us, on the first weekend of June, three of us from Mercy House (Eddie, Riccardo and Diana), went down to the Eastern Cape, to celebrate with her, having a special birthday lunch for her. We stayed with Father Robert, who used to live at Mercy House and who now works in East London. He took us down to Port Alfred where we spent a day of joy with her. The pictures below were taken on the happy occasion.
(from left to right) Eddie, Father Robert, Diana, Sister Fidelis and Riccardo