The coming to an end of the O.P. in Bo Sierra Leone was a very memorable three days. There were many moments that brought a lot of joy and laughter, as well as sad emotions around losing the bonds of Brotherhood that had existed among us for the two months of the Ndei Liwa program.
On the first day there was an evaluation of the program which was simple and enjoyable. Although it required some brain application and was intensive, the task was well fulfilled by every participant. This joyful experience spilled over into the evening wherein we had our last social night of food, drinks, fun, music and dancing. There was so much interaction among the group during this in-house gathering. A lesson learnt during this evening was that when brothers decide to use their community house for social nights/recreation, a lot of fun and true brotherhood is shared more than when we choose to go out and sit in places where we will have restricted discussions either because of the sound of music or because of the people that will be sitting close by us.
On the second day we had a group “check in / check out” which was a moment to share the general impact the programme has left in us, both the participants as well as the facilitators. This was another exciting moment, a time to remember as everyone really shared the mark this O.P. has left in his life . In the evening the whole community went for a meal to Galliness hotel in Bo. This was our last outing and brought together almost all the participants including Paul Luseni and Paul Mendy, hot from the chapter meeting in South Africa. We only missed Cyril Dauda.
The start of the closing ceremony was the pouring of Libation which was done powerfully by Charles, our elder participant, as a sign of saying thank you to our ancestors for allowing this programme to go on smoothly. This was immediately followed by the celebration of the Eucharist which was led by His lordship Bishop Charles A.M. Campbell. During the mass there was the ritual of Calling and missioning of the participants with blessings and presentation of crosses by Francis and Ruvan. A powerful reflection on the program was shared by John Faya Bockarie on behalf of the participants. He described the expansion of the participants’ images of God and the journey to discover the “diamond essence” of the divine in us all.
As the mass came to an end, there was an encouraging statement from our district leader Noel Bradshaw. His key message was that participants should use this experience to continue to enrich our community living and spiritual lives. Special thanks went to Peter and Jojo from the Formation House, and to Ruvan and Francis from TST (who we will really miss), for their relentless efforts in making this programme successful. The programme came to an end with item thirteen which was food (including a goat), drinks, music and dance!
The programme was fruitful and we thank God that the Congregation, the African Province and the West Africa District leadership teams planned and enabled this O.P. in Sierra Leone to take place.