by Babongile Mlambo
The visit to Malindza Reception Centre for the year 2018 by members of SCCW was a success. The event was blessed by the presence of His Lordship: Bishop Jose Ponce de Leon, who celebrated Holy Mass assisted by the Vicar Fr. J Mahazule, Fr S Ndwandwe and Fr V Mabuza; also joined by Catholic residents of the centre.
The theme of the day as highlighted by the Bishop was that we all have to remember and acknowledge the presence of the Lord amongst us, in-spite of various circumstances in our lives. In his homily, as a follow up to the Gospel of the day; he reminded the congregants that the visitation to Mother Mary by the angel Gabriel is an eternal promise that “God is with us”, a promise which tends to vanish from our minds each time we are facing challenges (maybe because Christmas which is the reminder comes once a year!). No matter what may come our way, we should remember that God’s promise is valid until the end of time and beyond.
As Jesus Christ said “whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me”, is yet another reminder that we should treat each other as He would Himself. When we see a hungry person: we have to give him food, a thirsty person: we give him something to drink, a naked person: clothe him, a stranger/homeless: welcome him and give him shelter. The world today is full of uncertainties/turmoil, but we are all challenged to remain faithful to the teachings of Christ and those of the Church; which encourage us to love God and our neighbours.
The SCCW president (Mrs Nxumalo), in her remarks applauded the office of the Bishop, the spiritual adviser for the organisation, SCCW members from all parishes for their continued support for the annual Malindza visit, their love and contributions, especially members from Good Shepherd and Make Doris Makhubu who are the main organisers of the event. The president reassured everyone present that the marriage between SCCW and Malindza Reception Centre is an eternal one, it will always be honoured.
As the theme suggests: “we stand together #with refugees”, the resolutions committee also echoed the same promise that despite many challenges faced during organising this event, with God on our side, we will always stand together with our fellow brothers and sisters at Malindza.
A representative from the Eswatini UNHCR Commissioners’ office, Mr Masuku, also expressed his gratitude at what the Catholic Church is doing for the centre, as they really need assistance in caring for the residents there.
Of note was that Caritas Swaziland had started helping the residents with handwork projects, which in turn is a way of teaching them to help themselves. At present, the centre is accommodating about 98 families who are mostly form Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, Somalia and Tanzania.In conclusion, before breaking off for refreshments and presentation of collected items, the Bishop expressed his gratitude too, praying that members of SCCW continue organising the event faithfully and that the Lord give them strength to carry on caring as it is the will of God.