Born again in Africa
How does a missionary who has recently arrived in Africa feel? MaríaLeão, after leaving the mission in her homeland of Portugal, shares the first impacts of her arrival in Togo with us, how she dreams with God when she looks at these young people as the future evangelizers of the whole continent and how she is filled with gratitude and joy as she experiences a new birth to a life where God gradually takes more and more control.
I am writing to you from Dapaong: my new community, home and place of mission. I arrived in Lome on February 19, 2018, where I was met by the community there of Anne-Ve, Fatima, Rosa and Gema. A few days laterI also met up the sisters of Dapaong in Aledjo: Christa, Cristina and María Amparo.
The days we spent together were a very good opportunityto get to know the reality from the point of view of my sisters and their self-giving. It also helped me to sharein God`s dream for the youth: He invites us to look at them as future missionaries for the whole of Africa, and He asks us for our lives to make that dream come true. Of course it`s an enormous proposition,far larger than what we`re capable of, but we believe that if God dreams it, it must be possible to find a way every day to make it more real.
I would like to share some of the first impressions that I have,having come into contact with this new reality and that have found a place in my heart.
I feel that my heart is full of GRATITUDE. Firstly for the community of missionaries that I have found here. I feel like I'm walking on their shoulders. Nine years ago, when the first missionaries arrived, they had to learn everything from scratch: how to shop,what to eat, their place in the culture and reality of the peopleetc. etc. I`m also very grateful for the people themselves who are so welcoming andattentive to each person. For example on the day of our arrival in Dapaong, the young people came to our house to welcome me and the other missionaries.
Another feeling is JOY. This town transmits joy, I do not know where they get it from because the conditions they live in, the precarious state of their jobs and health, aren`t those one would associate with joy. However, I'm sure one of the sources of their joy is to believe in God. The Togolese are great believers, there are many temples, mosques and churches.
There is so much more I could share.
For me it is a new birth on all levels, and that is a gift because it means that God is much more than I have been able to experience until now! The vocation is much more! The experience of the mission in community is much more! It is a time to accelerate and let God take the reins of my life and our community. Very united in the mission that God gives us as a community.
Ready for all that is to come!