Echoes from the Ankarana mission2 May 2023
Its over two months since the possession of the parish mission and the community establishment at Ankarana. The priests took turns to visit the sub- parishes with the accompaniment and help of the catechists. The people were happy to celebrate Eucharist in their simple chapel and celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation as well. Some of the places the sisters were able to go with them. There had been two meeting of the parish priest with the catechists. In one of it the members had chance to introduce ourselves.
Repair, arrangements and construction of the toilet is still in the process, and the securing of water is another big project yet to be done. Everything moves slowly and we are getting into the rhythm of the people. We are also developing a small Vegetable garden, to have our own vegetables. Many bystanders watch us with curiosity and amazement. Slowly we are talking and observing the people and their regular lives. The functioning of the public school is very different here, many children are not going to the school. The people are so poor and poverty is so profound that they have no food.
A sickly poor Middle aged women comes to work here sometimes, she has no slippers, only one Full meal per day,no good cloths, but she is a regular for the Eucharist ( when she is well), and always contributes something for the offertory. There are many like that, it touched and remains as an strong experience of love in my heart.
After our arrival here some of us got Malaria and malaise, it has debilitated a little our health, and still recovering slowly. Getting the illness of the mission place is the baptism of the missionary.
There was no common dialogue or any formal meeting in the community after we reached to Ankarana yet life goes on with Easter joy and hope of out pouring of the Spirit.