The African Region meeting on “Being Artisans of Hope in our Blessed and Broken World” was very moving as we reflected on the reality of our world today touching on the areas of the reality of Covid, poverty, migrants, climate change, drought, and floods. The JPIC International team invited us to deeply reflect on our call to be Artisans of Hope, in relation to our own spirituality. In the 1982 Constitutions # 8 states, “For us, life, community, apostolic service, all spring from our union and conformity with the Heart of Jesus...”
As a Province we are not left behind in living the JPIC goal of “Being Artisans of Hope in our Blessed and Broken World”. The International Team shared examples of how the Society is responding to this call in four elaborated imperatives.
- Washing One Another’s Feet (Power at service of love).
- Transforming and being transformed.
- Care for our common home.
- Welcoming people on the move.
The call to be ‘Artisans of Hope’ has inspired and motivated many in our communities and apostolic mission. Today we can witness the love of God from our experience of being locked down for the last two or more years. Some of the ways we are living these imperatives are:
Washing One Another’s Feet (Power at service of love)
We have reached out to the disadvantaged members in our local communities.
An example, Kyamusansala community through local and international funds has reached young women who dropped out of school and offered them training in home economics skills. They have now graduated with basic and technical skills.
Transforming and being transformed
From our sharing and listening to different communities, this experience has helped us to deepen our discovery and make known the love of God. There is a strong desire to be women of action, to live in healthy relationships, support one another, and reach out to others.
For example, Mbikko community joined the local community to support ailing people receive their medication.
Care for our common home
There has been a deep desire to care and gain a sense of being in our common home, ‘Our Mother Earth’. Many of us have planted trees, done organic farming, harvested rainwater, and recycling. Laudato Si training has helped us to appreciate the little we do to care for Mother Earth. Eldoret community is very much involved in organic farming.
Welcoming people on the move
We have interacted with immigrants in one way or another. I was reflecting on how I find myself in different communities. The welcome and time given to me help me find my space and this may have happened to each one of us. We have been able to welcome others, helping those seeking jobs after graduating, or joining parishes or other organizations to help refugees and others meet their basic needs.
The call to be “Artisans of Hope” is one way of strengthening our One Body as a Society. We are invited to share with others our life and what we do. Many of us in the Province have shared our gifts in different ways and facilitated transformative workshops that have brought transformation through the action of God’s Holy Spirit dwelling among us.
Let us all share hope, serve with passion, and be part of a community that comes together to learn from each other. Let us join in the Global Prayer for Hope because "We know in whom we believe, and so long as we trust in God utterly, all must come right." (Janet Erskine Stuart).
Rose Gichangi RSCJ