Brothers Moy Hitchen and Peter Malama, on this Tuesday, 13 February, led a morning prayer that invited the community to imagine travelling in a boat with Jesus, where he reminded us of his multiplication of the loaves, and warned us about the leaven of the Pharisees, and asked, “Do you still not understand?” Was this Jesus´ way of Community Engagement?
Ms. Ngula Ikafe Mubonda, our instructor, directed the Brothers to explore what community might be, by sitting their experience in their home countries. Moy offered an illuminating explanation of his primary communities, such as family and religious community, which tend to be small and where he is irreplaceable; then of secondary communities, such as workplace or neighborhood, which tend to be larger and where his absence can be filled. Other of the Brothers´ responses sounded like our hopes of a better future: in our varied communities we share responsibility, and love each other, and protect and help each other; we share things in common, and one man´s problems are accepted as a problem for all.
In the afternoon, Ms. Ngula led the class outdoors to look over the vast and beautiful Barotse flood plain, and to notice the irregular placement of small groups of Mango trees, and to realize that these were places of slight elevation on the flood plain where small villages had formed. What about these communities: how could we get to know them? What might be their concerns? How might we link one village with another? A visual, visceral lesson in community engagement.