MMM Make Progress Near Luanda
They say that if you make a good start with any task it’s half the battle! No matter how you go about it, getting started with a new mission is never easy. Every project is fraught with obstacles. You dream. You plan. You sit down with the local people to discuss their needs. You do a baseline survey and eventually the day comes when workmen move in on the site. During all these days and weeks and months, it is the dream that keeps you and the people going. The constant awareness of the needs around you spurs you on.
There are times you feel like giving up but you see the hope in the eyes of the people, and the trust they place in you. That is why you are here. You and they believe that together you can bring about the mission given to us by Jesus Christ who came on earth ‘that they may have life and have it to the full.’
Viana is a satellite town on the outskirts of Luanda, capital of Angola. The local water supply was destroyed during the long years of civil war. Along with the people of Viana, the Sisters are hoping for the day when this long-promised need will be fulfilled by the local Council.
Last year we installed a borehole to bring water to the surface, but the water was somewhat salty, and not suitable for drinking. Until the Council solves the water problem, a tanker has to come and fill the 14,000-litre tank every two months.
Even while they were struggling to overcome obstacles like the planning permission for the new health centre, the sisters had to deal with the fact that there is no electricity supply and no drinking water available.
A generator is needed, not only to provide light and household needs, but especially to power the fridge and freezer. To keep the generator going they need to buy 1,000 litres of diesel at least every three months. When the tanker comes, they have to have the money ready to pay.
Then there is the construction of housing for the night watchmen. Pit latrines and some shelter have to be completed. At present they are using the Sisters’ laundry for their accommodation. They watch the building proceed slowly, stage by stage, until the keys of the first building are handed over. It is called ‘The Annex’. The Sisters are living in it at present. Now that planning permission has come through, they will take steps for another new building on the site. The dream continues. They would like to be at the stage of buying furniture and fittings for the new Health Centre, but that is still in the future.
Wherever we come from, the same God calls us all to serve those in need. Sister Brigid Archbold from Ireland, Sister Laurinda Bundo from Angola and Sister Rosemary Akpa from Nigeria are the core community in Viana, while Sister Jaquelline Nalubega from Uganda is giving a hand there before taking up her appointment to our mission at Huambo.