A Memorable Lenten Observance
ASEC has helped me to recognize and understand the plight of others. I am quite aware now that you don’t just SEE but identify and work towards collaborating with your brothers and sisters to bring about the desired change in the world through the sustainable development goals.
I was asked to give a group of young girls a lecture on “Culture, tradition and religion in African context.” I did my research and prepared my work thanks to the laptop I received as an HESA student. The talk was to begin on a Monday but I got to the venue on Sunday in order to have time to interact and get to know the participants.
In my interactions I was able to discover that a lot of them do not understand much about their culture, rather what they refer to is an adulterated culture. I tried to explain to them what culture stands for and why its elements are been transmitted from one generation to the next. I got information from elderly people and historians. I tried to prepare a teaching aid showing the Map, different tribes and how they originated, different attires, food, hairstyle, occupation, art work, way of life, building, festivals and ceremonies, ways of worship, belief system, moonlight stories and tales, proverbs and myth.
The next day was spent on fieldwork and I asked them to go into the neighborhood and discover people especially those they have never spoken with in the past 6 months. At the end of the day, a group discovered an elderly woman who was crippled and could not do a lot for herself. She is Catholic but because of her problems has not been to communion in the last 4 years and nobody visits her.
The next day, Ash Wednesday, I spoke with the parish priest and we took ashes to her, cleaned her up, washed her clothes and brought her food. She was so happy and expressed her gratitude. At the end of my workshop, the group agreed to spend this Lenten season praying with three people in need, making their fast more meaningful by bringing joy and not hate and putting aside alms in order to help them.
Our time together turned out to be a discovery of a Christian culture, what Christ was trying to teach us. It turned a Lenten reflection into active participation and awareness. I can’t just get over the experience.