Taking into consideration the difficulty of living in a Muslim environment, Comboni decided to establish a new mission at Malbes, a few walking hours from El Obeid (Sudan), so that new first small families would enjoy an environment favourable to their religious growth and their human development. Malbes was a model of integration between evangelisation and human promotion.
In the photo we see Malbes’ mission as it was at Comboni’s time,. Of this mission today only remain the baobab and the outline of the foundations of the church.
This baobab, in whose shade was buried Sr. Maria Rosa Colpo who died in 1881, keeps producing fresh fruits: new generations of young Sudanese Christians are preparing themselves to face up to the challenges of today’s African Society.
From his Writings:
“We have thought of embarking on a great (financial) sacrifice by buying large areas in the plains of Malbes, which are having sufficient water. [ ] To each family we have assigned a piece of land to cultivate, we have also distributed a good amount of grain for the sowing, so that they may become independent, [ ] under the supervision of the Catholic mission, through the fruits of their labour and the advantage of those arts and crafts they have learned in the mission.
These Catholic families will gradually form a Catholic village, a Catholic neighbourhood and, in time, it will become a completely Catholic city, which will be an example for the rest of the population.”
Report to the ‘Pia Opera della Santa Infanzia’, in Paris, May 1877. Writings n. 4528-4529.