Letter from Fr. Peter in Nigeria, June 2006
A Letter from Father Peter Abue in Nigeria
Dear Gospa Missions,
Greetings from Ogoja Nigeria!
It is more than ten years since Tom and Mary visited us, with a primary intent of evangelization. It was during that visit that the Charismatic Renewal was inaugurated as a movement in our diocese and prayer groups sprang up like wildfire throughout. It was during that visit that Tom reminded us of the Blessed Mother’s care for us and her blessing became common for most of our Christians: “I bless you with the blessing of our blessed Mother and may the power of the Holy Spirit come upon you, Amen. ” Many years after that visit, the fruits are still being felt till this day. A fall out of that visit was Tom and Mary’s trip to the village of Idum-Mbube, to see a few orphan children that were gathered in the village square, after Tom spoke at St Columba’s Church. There was a promise made to them, and today that promised is being translated into action. St Joseph Orphanage springs up as a gigantic institution, educating about 600 children with about 150 orphans on board.
Boarding of orphans in St. Joseph orphanage started in earnest in September 2005. Orphans were drawn from far away localities like Sankwala, Obudu, Ukelle and some parts of Boki in Cross River State of Nigeria. With the boarding system in place, we are beginning to experiment on feeding the children while they are in the dormitories. Our hope is to create a conducive atmosphere for poorer kids, ages 6-14 to have a routine time-table of eating standard meals while in school. Already, bathrooms have been provided near the kitchenette for their convenience. There is also a mini health care unit for First Aid in case of minor injuries and other minor cases. More serious medical eventualities are referred to the nearest government hospital. To provide electricity for the children, a medium size generator has been purchased to serve, since the power supply in Nigeria has become so unstable. We hope to finish work on the water project soon for a permanent water supply. We are also hoping that this year, we can purchase a new and bigger bus for the children, or alternatively purchase a smaller car or truck that can be used for administrative errands, and thus spare the life of our ailing buses.
St Joseph is growing fast and our plan is that with the further assistance from Gospa Missions, we can expand into a standard secondary school beginning this year 2006. We are aware that the children are growing and graduating into new classes, and hence the need for secondary section, while the present complex remains purely as an orphanage with kids of the primary or elementary level. We make this proposal to Gospa Mission and all her volunteers and donors to please come to our aid as we propose the capital project of building a secondary school for poor indigent children. We are hoping that the new St Joseph secondary school will become an innovation whereby rural children will be trained in agriculturally based education. We are also hoping to involve rural communities in our education centers through the expansion of our vocation centers and micro-credit facilities that afford poor parents the capital they need to train their children themselves. An aspect of the new St Joseph will be the health unit, where children will not only be afforded health needs, but will leverage their health awareness in the wake of HIV/AIDS.
Our dream is to make St Joseph a model not only for rural villages but also to larger global communities in the fight against poverty. Our model seeks to involve church communities at the grassroots through education for a sustainable future. With a deep commitment to moral education with spiritual and community values, we are hoping to raise a whole new generation of future leaders. We thank Gospa Missions for being a part of this dream.
I remain in union of prayers with you all.
Signed this day June 26th, 2006
Fr Peter Obele Abue
Ogoja Diocese, Nigeria
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