Hearing tests, church visits and final farewells

Bukavu_diocese__5_ Posted by bukavu 2016 on Wed, 27 Apr 2016 | 2 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

Last Friday, 22nd April, we visited Chirunga church. We met the pastor who was also the head teacher at the school next to the church. In the morning the school is a primary school and in the afternoon it is a secondary school.

From here we travelled to Bagira parish where we visited the building they used for their services and also visited the school building. Meanwhile Ann and Prue visited the Heri Kwaetu Centre, and Ann was involved in hearing tests for children there. Ann came back with very touching stories of some of the children whose lives have been devastated by the war.

Prue and her husband David are missionaries with CMS Australia and work in Bukavu and live on the compound where Bishop Bahati lives. Matthew stayed in their accommodation throughout our mission trip.

On Saturday we visited Kadutu church where we were greeted very warmly by the pastor and the parishioners. As we travelled out of Bukavu toward the Anglican church at Miti the scenery was just beautiful with Lake Kivu on the right for a good part of the journey. The landscape was very lush with many banana trees and sugar cane growing in abundance – it all looked very tropical.

We had a tour of the Secondary school with the principal and their English teacher acted as our translator. The school, which was a wooden structure with earthen floors, was in very good condition and the older pupils spoke English very well and asked many questions. Miti church was a new church and Tynan, Aghavilly and Middletown parishes had provided funding for the new roof. We received a very warm welcome and the music and singing was just marvellous and so vibrant. The sense of community was very real and we felt very privileged to be part of it for a short time.

The following day we attended the English Service at 7.30 am at Muhumba parish, close to the bishop’s home, where Matthew preached. We then attended the service of Holy Communion at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Bukavu. The service was in Swahili and Matthew preached at this service also, with a translator, and helped to administer Holy Communion. There were five choirs from the parish for this service, which was a great surprise for us!

On Sunday afternoon a delegation from Panzi parish where we had visited earlier last week arrived at our accommodation to present us with gifts. Linda and Ann received a complete outfit and Matthew received a shirt made from traditional material. These gifts had been made by the ladies of Panzi parish, and we felt moved that they had made such an effort to honour our visit.

On Monday morning we departed from Bukavu and travelled on the fast ferry for four hours to Goma for the final part of our visit. Rev. Desire met us at Goma and we travelled to our very beautifully located accommodation, on the edge of Lake Kivu. We visited the Archdeacon’s home in the afternoon.

On Tuesday morning we headed off to see some Anglican churches and projects, including a pig and chicken farm which had been previously assisted by CMSI. The most moving part of the day was celebrating Holy Communion with the Pygmies at their Parish. These marginalised people, normally nomadic forest dwellers, have been forced to settle in the area by the war. We learned much from their joy in worship during such a challenging time for them.

It is now Wednesday morning and we are all packed up and ready to make the long journey home having had the experience of a lifetime and a wonderful mission trip.

Rev Matthew Hagan and Ann Haffey (Tynan Parish) have joined Linda Abwa (CMSI Partnership Coordinator) for a 10-day visit to DR Congo. You can read their other blog updates here.


Billy said Thu, 28 Apr 2016 07:05AM
Praise and thanks to God for the successful ten days the team spent fellowshiping with other believers and touching the lives of the local people with the hands and feet of Jesus. Well done for going and working with the Lord there, and welcome back home!
Deve said Thu, 28 Apr 2016 07:28AM
Raising praise and gratitude for what the Lord is working through you. His mercy triumps over judgment. More grace.

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