Home Visits to the Sick in Angola

Home Visits to the Sick in Angola

by Sr. Beatrice Chiamaka Iyioku        Angola     21.03.2022
Angola mother and child resized“Anointed by the Spirit, Christ is the one sent by the Father to heal, to proclaim the Good News. Follow Him….” MMM Constitutions 9.1

Our healing charism springs from the charitable response of Mary who went in haste to visit her cousin Elizabeth, bringing with her the life who is Christ. As the sisters of the Medical Missionaries of Mary, we undertake home visitation. Checking on our friends and neighbours who are home bound and may not find it easy to get around.
It was a beautiful Tuesday afternoon when we visited some of our friends in the suburbs of Luanda, Angola. There had been no rain for about three days since the last rainfall and we are grateful for that, as this means that it will be easier to ply the difficult road made muddy and clumsy by heavy rainfall. After about a 30 minutes’ drive, we came into the village to the house of Lydia (not her real name).

Lydia is a blind woman. She had been one of the patients who received free medical care. When we arrived, I was startled by the screams of the children in the vicinity. Her daughter, who could not contain her joy on seeing us, ran in haste to call her mother. Although she had lost her sight, her senses are very active. She made us welcome and expressed her deep gratitude for our visit. She recounted to us her daily struggles to make ends meet. She kept asking after the sisters whom she had known in the past. Although it is a beautiful and calm vicinity with rich fertile soils, their plants and food crops are attacked and eaten up by animals. We encouraged them to plant shrubs with spikes as a fence around their garden and to prevent animals from entering. She actually has the spike shrubs around the house but did not realize how useful they can be. We spent some time chatting with them, and shared some food we had brought. Our visit brought life into her, uplifting her spirit and filling her with joy

We continued our visit to the house of Graciana (not her real name). She is crippled and moves around with the help of a wheelchair. When she saw us coming, she quickly left the place she was – where she has a little kiosk and sells some things to feed her family. Graciana recalls with joy and gratitude the care she receives whenever she comes around to the clinic. But due to the rain, it is harder to come through the flooded roads. We also met her son, who works hard to support her. Her smile was priceless when we spent some time and shared with her some food items we brought.

I couldn’t have had a more beautiful outing day, as we arrived the house of Lady Josefina (not her real name).
Josefina is a friend Sr. Angela Anigbogu. She met her on her way to give catechism classes to the children at our Mass Centre. They had bonded well and always looked forward to seeing each other when Sister passes by at the weekend. She sells charcoal to support herself and her children and grandchildren. She used to be a very active woman in the community church and regularly joined to clean the place of worship, whether it is the turn of her group or not. But this time, she fell sick and was unable to walk due to arthritis. She was grateful for our visit. We prayed with the family and encouraged the children to continue to care for her at this phase of her life.
Hmmm… sighs…

Our visit brought me to reflect on the prophetic mission of Christ, who went about doing good, healing the sick, freeing captives, visiting the poor through the power of God’s Spirit. The visitation experience also invites me to reflect in my life on how I can share in this prophetic mission of Christ. In sharing His healing love to all whom I encounter and in my daily sacrifices. Even the gift of my presence, by just being there, makes them feel loved and cared for.