Two from St Andrews visit St Andrews

Img_4014 Posted by David Gough on Thu, 25 Apr 2013 | 4 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

Rev Gerald Macartney from St Andrews Parish, Milltown and Rev Robert Boyd from St Andrews Parish, Killyman are currently visiting their partner Bishop Isesomo and the Diocese of North Kivu, DR Congo where the Cathedral is also called St Andrews.

I’ve accompanied Gerald and Robert on my third visit to the DR Congo. The first was ten years ago, but I last visited Butembo, North Kivu, 18 months ago.

The two clergy have embarked on a reconnaissance mission with the view to returning with a joint mission team from their two parishes in 2015. CMS Ireland, including help from the two parishes, has already supported various projects including feeding and clothing displaced people, rebuilding churches and schools, bee-keeping, supporting an orphanage and providing internet communications.

“People at home have been so generous,” Gerald explains. “They’ve sent us out with gifts of footballs, rugby balls, pencils, medical equipment and gifts for the Mothers’ Union. I was so touched when a brother and sister asked for money to support DR Congo, instead of birthday presents from family and friends.” Gerald was able to share this story with the couple who run the orphanage and they were hugely encouraged by the interest and support in Ireland.

Robert has also been impacted by the experience so far. “This is my first visit to DR Congo and although it’s an extremely difficult country to travel to so far I have not been disappointed with what I’ve seen and experienced. The welcome since we arrived has been warm and friendly and beyond my expectations. The people are so generous despite living in abject poverty. I’ll never forget the scene and sound of the welcome song from nearly 800 children as we entered the school grounds”

Our first full day included visits to the Diocesan offices, the Mothers’ Union tailoring, education and pig projects, a Primary School with 775 pupils and a Secondary School with over 800 students.

Gerald has already been given food for thought with one of the projects we went to see: “Visiting the Mothers’ Union tailoring project where we experienced the difference a few sewing machines can make to the lives of women, has in itself made our visit worthwhile. This could be one area that Milltown Parish might possibly assist.”

Comments

Roberta Macartney said Sun, 28 Apr 2013 06:51AM
Good to hear from you all, pray Sunday services go well for you. Look forward to hearing all about it when you return. God be with you all.
May Boyd said Sun, 28 Apr 2013 07:33AM
I'm so glad we are able to hear from you each day. Everyone here will continue to pray for your safety for the rest of the visit. You're all never far from my thoughts.
Doogan family said Sun, 28 Apr 2013 11:44AM
Glad to hear from you and praying that God will bless you and those you meet.
Linda and Eric Patterson said Sun, 28 Apr 2013 09:22PM
Glad all going well for you - heard you had 3 hr service today. We will remember you in our prayers. Safe home.

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