Tuesday, March 12, 2019
“Here I am sending you some tidbits on mission life.” With these words our dear friend María Augusta, Portuguese Comboni Lay Missionary (CLM, in the picture), embraces us and writes on what is going on in the mission of Mongoumba, in the Central African Republic (CAR). Ana [CLM from Poland] had a problem with an elbow. X-rays were taken and then we went with her to the military medical center in Bangui. People there were very kind and helpful. God willing, we will have lunch with them tomorrow.
Gratefully, the rest of us is doing well. We had news from Fr. Samuel, who is also doing well, taking advantage of his vacation to rest and to visit family and friends. This week a mother with twin girls came to us. She had already been here other times to ask for milk, because she did not have enough for both babies. They were already undernourished. We took care of them and they had returned home in good shape. Now she came with one of the babies being very skinny, and weighing only 2 Kg at 9 months… I was very stressed by it and immediately I went with the mother to the place where we treat those who are undernourished, to have her admitted. I do not know whether she is going to make it! May the Lord do what is best for her. Little Andrés, the orphan I met in November 2015 and to whom we gave milk, has Pott disease (vertebral tuberculosis). He was taken to the pediatrician in Bangui and now he is being treated for it. Later he will undergo surgery like Gervelais*, who up to this point was not able to walk, but after two months of this TB treatment, has already started to take a few steps and it is clear he has a lot of inner strength to make him want to learn how to walk in a hurry.
At the school we have started two remedial classes** of 90 minutes each, twice a week. In the early years we concentrate on reading and writing. And then later we add Mathematics. May the Lord give our students strength and good will so as not to fail, but may improve their chances. By God’s grace we have some students with a lot of will power… this is what gives us the encouragement to continue. We are grateful to the Lord who gives us good health, happiness and the will to keep on with it.
I wish all of you a Lent filled with Quiet and Growth in the love of God and our brothers and sisters. Always united in prayer and mission! Thanks for your prayers.
María Augusta Pires, CLM in CAR
** Because the results of the students are not encouraging, as she explained in her last letter.