A Simple Step for Broadening Missionary Friendship
Recently, Mr. Jacob Y Kamara, our prayer leader of Kombili community, invited me to visit three villages (Yendeia, Kambaia and Kalia). Actually these villages are not too far from Kombili, but because the short access road was bad, we used a long but better road. The advantage was that we passed through many other villages that I had not seen before: Biribaia, Modibiai, Bantanlolu and Koindu. We chose the day of Friday when people are in the villages for prayer because most of them are Muslims. In fact, when we arrived in Kalia village, they were in the mosque praying, so we waited for them in the house of the town chief. These villages are along the border between Sierra Leone and Guinea. They are Yalunka by tribe.
I noticed that people were very cordial when they welcomed us. They said that it was the first time that a missionary priest (father) was visiting them. The towns people and section chiefs including the imams (prayer leader of Muslim) welcomed us as usual according to their tradition, giving us Kola nut as a symbol of brotherhood and being part of the community. Then, we shared our concern. Being in Mongo for missionary work, I introduced myself and the work of the Xaverian community, namely sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ among the people through establishing friendship and mainly through educational activities, with openness to start a process of building Christian communities. People appreciated our visit and the sharing of this concern.
Nevertheless, as usual, the coming of a missionary is expected to bring development to the community like school, hospital, water well and so on. Those basic needs of the people are also important and should be addressed, though it is not our primary concern. As I did not give any promise to them, I asked them to pray: maybe God also allow us missionaries to be a bridge in bringing this kind of help from some generous people to them. This is also part of the missionary activities.
I thought that the visit would not be too long. Instead, I had to spend more time with them than expected. Anyway, I realised that there was no need to be in a hurry. I enjoyed being there with them, also the travelling. I arrived back in Mongo at night with a thankful feeling for the missionary journey. My thanks go to our prayer leader, Mr. Jacob Y. Kamara, who gave me the opportunity of broadening my missionary friendship with the people in Yendeia, Kambaia and Kalia. May God bless this simple step of starting a long journey of missionary activities in these villages.