Sunday, October 02, 2022

'God's smuggler' dies aged 94

 God's Smuggler': Brother Andrew dies at 94 | Church & Ministries News

Brother Andrew, the evangelical Dutch missionary who delivered Bibles behind the Iron Curtain, died on Tuesday aged aged 94.

Known as “God’s smuggler”, he personally delivered thousands of Bibles and Christian tracts to churches in the Eastern Bloc during the 1950s and ‘60s, and went on to organise many more Bible-smuggling operations across the world through the charity Open Doors.

The president of Open Doors UK and Ireland, Eddie Lyle, told The Tablet that Brother Andrew was the first to realise that Christians faced persecution in the modern world.  “The Church was oblivious to the fact that there was a persecuted Church in the world,” he said. “It was an alien concept.”

He said that Brother Andrew was responsible for the “awakening and awareness” of the Church in the west to the suffering of Christians under authoritarian regimes.

Born Anne van der Bijl in Sint Pancras in the Netherlands in 1928, Brother Andrew was active in the Dutch resistance and served in the army of the Dutch East Indies before converting to Christianity and training as a missionary in Scotland. He first encountered the churches of the Eastern Bloc on a visit to a Communist youth conference in Warsaw in 1955, and found them “isolated and in need of encouragement” said Open Doors in a statement.

Over subsequent years he made numerous trips bringing Bibles to Communist countries where the circulation of Christian texts was prohibited. He said that he drew his inspiration from the passage from Scripture: “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is at the point of death.” (Revelations 3:2)

The trips were often made in a blue VW Beetle, dubbed “the miracle car”. Brother Andrew composed a prayer that he would recite when approached by officials at the border: “Lord, when you were on earth you made blind eyes see. Now, I pray, make seeing eyes blind.” These escapades were recorded in his autobiography God’s Smuggler, written with Elizabeth and John Sherrill.

The Bible-smuggling operations reached their peak with “Project Pearl” in 1981, when Open Doors landed a custom-built barge on the Chinese coast to deliver one million Bibles in a single night to the underground Church. Brother Andrew continued to work for persecuted Christians after the end of the Cold War (when released KGB files revealed 150 pages on his work), particularly in the Middle East, where he worked with Catholic and Coptic churches and met the leaders of fundamentalist Islamist groups on several occasions. 

Mr Lyle said that Brother Andrew “broke down barriers”, particularly noting a meeting with Hezbollah, and recalled being challenged by him – “When was the last time that you prayed for Osama bin Laden?” Brother Andrew, he said, was an example of “what happens when a human life encounters the reality of Christ”.

He encouraged today’s Church leaders to read God’s Smuggler, and urged the Church to “wake up” to the continued persecution of Christians.

“For too long the Church has behaved like a prosthetic limb,” he said, quoting Brother Andrew, “and we need to change that in a way that we share in their sufferings and become their support.”

Pope moves pastoral care of tourism to Dicastery for Evangelization

 The Apostolic Constitution 'Praedicate Evangelium' on the Roman Curia - LA  CIVILTÀ CATTOLICA

The pastoral care of tourism has now passed from the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development to the Dicastery for Evangelization. 

Pope Francis communicated the decision in a Rescript on Saturday following an audience on 7 September with Cardinal Michael Czerny, Prefect of the Dicastery for Human Development. 

As stated in the document, which went into effect on the same day, 1 October 2022, the Pope "decided to transfer competence for the pastoral care of the faithful who undertake travel for piety, study, or recreational purposes from the same Dicastery (for Promoting Integral Human Development) to the Section for Fundamental Questions of Evangelization in the World of the Dicastery for Evangelization."

Pastor Bonus

The Rescript recalls John Paul II's Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus of 28 June 1988.

It said that, "drawing inspiration from the magisterium of the Second Vatican Council," the Polish Pope had assigned "the competence both of the pastoral care of exiles, migrants, nomads, circus people, seafarers and air transport workers, and of the spiritual care of those who travel" to the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.

Transfer of competencies

With Humanam progressionem, the motu proprio published on 17 August 2016, Pope Francis had established at that time the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, which brought under its management the merger of four Pontifical Councils: Justice and Peace, Health Care Workers, Cor Unum, and, precisely, Migrants and Itinerants.

As a result, the competencies of that Pontifical Council were transferred to the newly-created Dicastery. 

Later, Pope Francis with a new motu proprio, Sanctuarium in Ecclesia of 11 February 2017 ensured that some areas of responsibility of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization were transferred to the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People, namely those mentioned in paragraph 151 of Pastor Bonus, which states that the Dicastery " works to ensure that journeys which Christians undertake for reasons of piety, study, or recreation, contribute to their moral and religious formation, and it is available to the particular Churches in order that all who are away from home receive suitable spiritual care."

Praedicate Evangelium

Finally, Praedicate Evangelium, the new apostolic constitution in force since 5 June, spelled out the reform of the Roman Curia by Pope Francis and abrogated Pastor Bonus.

The new Constitution called for "a redistribution of the aforementioned competencies," as noted in Saturday's Rescript, and therefore the transfer of responsbility to the Dicastery for Evangelization.

Missionaries of Charity serve people on ‘the peripheries’ in Indianapolis

 Gratitude for the Missionaries of Charity — 50 Years of Love and Counting|  National Catholic Register

Missionaries of Charity are known around the world for their total dedication to serving the poorest of the poor solely out of their love for God.

In Indianapolis, four sisters of the congregation founded by St. Teresa of Kolkata have lived, prayed and served those in need in a poverty-stricken neighborhood on the near east side of Indianapolis since 2000.

“You reach out to the poor, the vulnerable and the needy in all the different countries where the Missionaries of Charity are located,” Archbishop Charles C. Thompson said during a Mass he celebrated for the four sisters in the chapel of their Our Lady of Peace Convent.

“The world sees someone who’s been pushed aside, as Pope Francis says, to the peripheries,” the Indianapolis archbishop said Sept. 21. “You see the dignity of that person whom you’ve been called to serve. I’m preaching to the choir. You know this better than me.”

Two of the Missionaries of Charity serving in Indianapolis knew St. Teresa, best known as Mother Teresa, who died 25 years ago. The congregation she founded now has more than 5,000 sisters.

The two sisters spoke with The Criterion, newspaper of the Indianapolis Archdiocese, about the effect she had on their lives.

They also reflected on the ministry that they do on the streets of Indianapolis and through a shelter for women and children that they operate in their convent.

Sister Kiron Jyoti was 19 when she joined the Missionaries of Charity in 1995. Growing up near Kolkata, she often heard St. Teresa’s name in her family home.

“My mother loved Mother Teresa so much,” she said. “Every night after evening prayer in my home, my mother spoke about Mother Teresa. She talked about how much Mother Teresa loved God, how she picked up people from the streets, found a home for them, fed them, cleaned them. She talked about how she saw Jesus in them.”

Sister Kiron Jyoti got to know Mother Teresa herself after entering the order.

“Mother was just a simple woman like any of us,” she said. “We had tea together or dinner together. She was a very joyful person. Her love for God was so deep. You could feel it when you were around her.”

The sister was in the second year of her novitiate when Mother Teresa died Sept. 5, 1997.

“I was there when Mother passed away that evening,” she said. “It was at about 8:15. The news went out and plenty of people came. It was like they were breaking down the motherhouse.

“It was a sad experience. It was like part of my life had gone. But we knew that she had gone home to God. That’s what she taught us. There was a lot of support from people.”

Sister Janita, the superior of the Missionaries of Charity in Indianapolis, didn’t know much about St. Teresa while growing up in a part of India far from Kolkata. But as she came to know the sisters of the order and their ministry, she chose to join them.

Later, St. Teresa personally took her to Rome and then to the Philippines to minister in both places.

“Mother was very simple,” Sister Janita said. “She told everyone that she met, ‘Jesus loves you.'”

Both Sister Kiron Jyoti and Sister Janita ministered in countries around the world before coming to Indianapolis earlier this year.

“There are two kinds of poverty — material poverty and spiritual poverty,” Sister Kiron Jyoti said. “We are well-to-do here materially. But we have a lot of spiritual poverty.”

The women who come to stay in their shelter, usually for no more than three weeks, know both kinds of poverty, she noted.

“The ladies who come here are very broken,” Sister Kiron Jyoti said. “I talk with them. I try to listen with an understanding heart. Many of them find peace before they leave this house.”

“We tell the ladies who come here when we pray with them that God brought them here and that they are our sisters,” said Sister Janita. “Then they are happy, because we are one with them.”

The Missionaries of Charity in Indianapolis also teach children preparing for their first Communion at nearby St. Philip Neri Parish. They also visit women incarcerated in the Marion County Jail.

And they simply walk regularly through their neighborhood, usually praying the rosary while they do, wearing their distinctive white sari habit marked with blue stripes.

“It’s a witness,” said Sister Kiron Jyoti. “Whenever they see us with our religious habit, it’s a witness. Like St. Francis said, we preach without preaching.”

“When we walk along the street, we’re praying the rosary for all the people, for our own conversion and the conversion of others,” she said. “It’s the same work that we carry on no matter where we go.”

All of their ministry is powered by prayer. The sisters pray four and a half hours each day, starting at 5 a.m. with an hour of prayerful meditation. They also worship daily at Mass and during a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament.

“It’s like a car,” said Sister Kiron Jyoti. “When the fuel goes out, what do you do? You go to the gas station and fill it up. That’s what we do. We fill up ourselves. And when we’re full with Jesus, we go out.”

Exiled Belarusian priest wants bishops to speak out for clergy

  Catholic Priest Viachaslau Barok: If Laws Do Not Work, Uprising Will Surely  Happen - Charter'97 :: News from Belarus - Belarusian News - Republic of  Belarus - Minsk

A Catholic priest who fled Belarus after being jailed for condemning rights abuses urged his country’s bishops to do more for church members facing prison and persecution.

Father Viachaslau Barok, former finance officer of the Vitebsk Diocese, told Catholic News Service Sept. 28 that he could not criticize the bishops’ silence on public issues, because “every person who speaks their thoughts faces grave dangers.”

“The silence can be explained by the fact that Belarus is an occupied country, ruled not just by (President Alexander) Lukashenko but also by Moscow — everyone understands you’ll face prison if you speak publicly about the need for truth, justice and the rule of law,” said the priest, who currently ministers to the Polish church’s pastorate for exiled Belarusian Catholics in Warsaw.

“But it’s another matter when someone moves toward cooperating with the government. We’ve seen how the Lukashenko regime tries to reach out to church leaders, using them to show everything is fine. If they (Catholic leaders) start supporting such rulers, this poses a more serious problem.”

Barok, now 47, left his parish in Rasony, Belarus, in July 2021 with the agreement of his bishop.

He said around half a million people had been forced to leave Belarus since August 2020, when mass protests against Lukashenko’s reelection met with harsh repression.

The Belarusian bishops’ conference has not referred to the arrests and prison sentences on its website and news portal and has avoided human rights issues since January 2021, when its former president, Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusewicz, was allowed back into the country after five months’ enforced exile.

Barok told CNS: “A bishop must be the first to show courage and tell the truth. If one of his innocent priests goes to prison and he doesn’t defend him, then a bishop isn’t fulfilling his mission.”

Barok said many laypeople and priests had faced hardship and suffering “for staying faithful to Christian values,” and these would be offered help through a new Solidarity Fund, set up by the ecumenical Christian Vision organization to help Christians facing repression in the former Soviet state.

“I will be on the committee with Orthodox and Protestant clergy, and our task will be to verify assistance requests and decide where needs are greatest,” said Barok, who was jailed in December 2020 after a closed trial. He had condemned Belarus’ totalitarian methods in social media posts.

“Many people are in a precarious situation after enduring political persecution — especially now, when world attention is so much diverted to the war in Ukraine.”

Human rights groups say at least 1,260 political prisoners are currently jailed in Belarus, which has faced Western sanctions for allowing its territory to be used by Russian forces during the Ukraine war.

In May 2021, a prominent lay Catholic, Vitold Ashurak, died of mistreatment during a five-year sentence for participating in protests and rosary prayers, while in December a Catholic mother of five, Volha Zalatar, was jailed for four years for joining an internet chat site from her Minsk home.

Christian Vision said up to three dozen Catholic and Orthodox clergy have received criminal sentences since August 2020.

The organization said that in September, Dzianis Ivashyn, a Catholic journalist from Grodno, was jailed for 13 years on treason charges after a closed court session, while a 68-year-old Catholic teacher, Emma Stepulenok, also faced trial for alleged disorder offenses.

Barok told CNS that Christian prisoners were denied “basic human rights” and forced to endure “unimaginable conditions.”

“They have no possibility to take part in prayers or other religious practices, and many are afraid even to seek this,” the priest said. “Nor do they have any right to see a priest. They must ask a bishop or the apostolic nunciature to arrange this, and even then the request may be ignored, while any meeting will be tightly restricted.”

Reactions to Ukraine show the era of Pope as NATO chaplain is over (Op-Ed)

 War in Ukraine: Russia-Ukraine war latest - Pope Francis caution Putin,  evacuation delay - BBC News Pidgin

In the wake of Russia’s contentious annexation of four regions of Ukraine, here’s how a spokesperson for a major global institution, one that’s already drawn criticism for its allegedly ambivalent attitude on Putin’s war, reacted.

“We believe that all countries deserve respect for their sovereignty and territorial integrity, that the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be observed, that the legitimate security concerns of any country should be taken seriously, and that support should be given to all efforts conducive to peacefully resolving the crisis,” the spokesperson said.

“We hope the parties concerned will properly address differences through dialogue and consultation. [We] stand ready to work with members of the international community to continue to play a constructive part in de-escalation efforts.”

Note the lack of a forthright condemnation of Russia’s action, the apparent effort to suggest a degree of legitimacy to security concerns cited by Putin as a pretext for the war, and the emphasis on calls for dialogue and peace rather than assigning blame or taking sides.

While all that has been characteristic of commentary on Ukraine by Pope Francis and his Vatican team – most recently, the pope hit many of the same notes in a conversation with fellow Jesuits while he was in Kazakhstan – in this case it wasn’t a spokesperson for the Vatican quoted above, but rather China’s Foreign Ministry.

When the UN Security Council considered a motion Friday to condemn the annexation submitted by the United States, 10 nations voted in favor while four abstained: China, India, Brazil, and Gabon. The Vatican doesn’t sit on the Security Council, but if it did, it’s easy to imagine it probably would have voted with the abstentions.

Of course, the political, economic and strategic calculations which have led China to take a mixed stance on Ukraine are far different from the moral and humanitarian considerations driving Francis, but the fact of the matter nonetheless is that the Vatican’s substantive position on the Ukraine conflict often seems closer to Beijing’s than to, say, Washington’s, or, for that matter, Rome’s.

For her part, Italy’s new Prime Minister-apparent, Giorgia Meloni, issued a stinging statement Friday describing the referenda in the four territories as a “farce” and the annexations as having “no legal or political value,” adding that Putin’s attitude is “neo-imperialistic of the Soviet variety.” Nobody in the Vatican has even come close to something like that.

The fact that Francis and his Vatican allies sometimes sound more like China, or India, than their historical partners in the West is, naturally, one reason why some Catholic critics are unhappy.

Yet for a moment, let’s set aside the rights and wrongs and instead try to understand the situation in historical terms. From a certain point of view, one could argue that this papacy’s reaction to the Ukraine conflict is a natural consequence of the massive demographic and cultural transitions within Catholicism over much of the last century.

When the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) was founded in 1949, it was sometimes jokingly said in Catholic circles that the pontiff at the time, Pope Pius XII, should be appointed its chaplain. In part, that was a result of Catholicism’s demography: In 1950 there were just over 400 million Catholics in the world, of whom roughly half were in Europe, which depended heavily on the American security umbrella against what was perceived as the threat of a European land war, and also the anti-religious policies of the Soviet Union weighed heavily.

By 2022, the face of the faith has changed dramatically.

Today there are 1.3 billion Catholics in the world, of whom more than two-thirds live in Africa, Asia, Latin America, i.e., outside the traditional boundaries of the West. Statistically speaking, the typical Catholic in the world today is far more likely to be a person of color and poor than white and middle-class, and also more likely to live in a neighborhood where the presumed virtue of the United States and its western allies isn’t axiomatic.

Many Christians across the Middle East remain leery of American foreign policy in the wake of the Iraq war, an outlook turbo-charged by what was perceived as our abandonment of Afghanistan. In Latin America, many people have long memories of the checkered history of the U.S. in the region. Even in Africa, many ordinary people today favorably contrast China’s policy of investment and engagement with what they see as broad American neglect.

Francis is the pope who’s put a face on these trends, the first pontiff from the global south, the first from Latin America and the first from outside Europe since the early centuries of the church. In some ways it’s a return to Catholic roots, in that the very first pope, St. Peter, was born in Bethsaida in modern-day Israel, into a people who were also fairly skeptical about the day’s great empires.

None of this background, obviously, addresses the substance of the pope’s line on Ukraine, which is open to legitimate debate – even the most sweeping conception of papal infallibility would not include his positions on geopolitics. Moreover, Francis himself claims not to be bothered by the criticism, telling the Jesuits, “The pope does not get angry if he is misunderstood, because I know well the suffering that is behind it.”

Yet as Auguste Comte, the father of modern sociology, famously put it, “Demography is destiny.”

By that rubric, American and European Catholics probably ought to get used to hearing notes from the Vatican that don’t come from the NATO playbook – because whatever else popes may be today, they don’t seem destined to be the chaplains of the Atlantic alliance anymore.

As a footnote, Francis arguably has another reason not to be irked if he’s perceived as friendly to China right now, which is the Vatican’s desire to see its controversial deal with Beijing over the appointment of bishops in the country renewed. On that front, he might be encouraged by something else the Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Friday, in response to a question about the agreement.

“Since China and the Vatican signed the provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops, the agreement has been successfully implemented thanks to the efforts of both sides,” spokesperson Mao Ning said. “The two sides will continue with the relevant work in accordance with the agreed agenda.”

Whatever that actually means, it sure doesn’t sound like a flat “no.”

Pope Francis appeals to Putin for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine

 Pope Francis

Pope Francis made a direct appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin for an immediate ceasefire on Sunday, imploring him to end the “spiral of violence and death” in Ukraine.

Speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace on Oct. 2, the pope dedicated nearly all of his Angelus address to the war in Ukraine.

“I deeply deplore the grave situation that has arisen in recent days … It increases the risk of nuclear escalation, giving rise to fears of uncontrollable and catastrophic consequences worldwide,” Pope Francis said.

“My appeal is addressed first and foremost to the president of the Russian Federation, imploring him to stop this spiral of violence and death, also for the sake of his people,” he said.

The pope also appealed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to be “open to serious proposals for peace” and to the international community to “do everything possible to bring an end to the war without allowing themselves to be drawn into dangerous escalations.”

He said: “After seven months of hostilities, let us use all diplomatic means, even those that may not have been used so far, to bring an end to this terrible tragedy. War in itself is a mistake and a horror.”

The pope’s five-minute speech on the war in Ukraine from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square was a departure from his typical Sunday routine. The pope usually gives a reflection on the Church’s Sunday Gospel reading before praying the Angelus, a traditional Marian prayer, and speaking about his prayer intentions.

Pope Francis underlined that he chose to devote his entire reflection to Ukraine because the course of the war has “has become so serious, devastating, and threatening that it has caused great concern.”

“I am saddened by the rivers of blood and tears spilled in these months,” he said.

“I am grieved by the thousands of victims, especially children, and the destruction that has left many people and families homeless and threatens vast territories with cold and hunger. Such actions can never be justified, never!”

The pope has frequently mentioned Ukraine in his prayers at the end of his public audiences since the war began in February. Recently in a conversation with Jesuit priests during his trip to Kazakhstan, the pope said that he had attempted to help a prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia.

“In the name of God and in the name of the sense of humanity that dwells in every heart, I renew my call for an immediate ceasefire,” Pope Francis said in his appeal.

“Let there be a halt to arms, and let us seek the conditions for negotiations that will lead to solutions that are not imposed by force, but consensual, just and stable. And they will be so if they are based on respect for the sacrosanct value of human life, as well as the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each country, and the rights of minorities and legitimate concerns.”

At the end of his Angelus address dedicated to Ukraine, the pope said that he has also been praying for the people of Florida and Cuba hit by Hurricane Ian

“May the Lord receive the victims, give consolation and hope to those who suffer, and sustain the solidarity efforts,” he said.

Francis added that he was praying for the victims of a stampede at the end of a soccer match in Indonesia, where at least 174 people died, according to the Associated Press.

Catholic Youth in Southern Africa Appeal for “a seat” at Inter-Regional Forum of Bishops

 The 13th Inter-Regional Meeting of Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA)  Plenary Assembly Begins

Youth delegates who participated in the 13th Plenary Assembly of the Inter-Regional Meeting of Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA) have appealed for representation at the forum that bring together those at the helm of Catholic Dioceses in Angola, Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, São Tomé and Príncipe, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

In a September 27 interview with ACI Africa, the youth delegate from the Namibian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (NCBC), Kelly Muremi, said, “There's a necessity that the youth have a seat, because there is no movement without the youth, and oftentimes it's said youth have to climb the shoulders of the old to see further.”

“To allow us the opportunity to see further, we need to sit with Bishops, so that we understand their vision and we bring in our greatest horizon,” Ms. Muremi said, and added, “All the youth representatives of the IMBISA region must be included.”

She further said, “Whenever the Bishops are trying to discuss aspects of our countries, we are going to analyze what is happening with the youth so that we bring this up to the table so that there's nothing which is forgotten.”

“Given that responsibility with the youth, we are not called to sit back; we are called to continuously reflect that the Church is ours,” the Namibian youth delegate told ACI Africa at the end of the 13th IMBISA Plenary Assembly, the first to bring on board representatives of young people in the region.

The September 22-27 Plenary Assembly was held at the Safari Court Hotel Conference Center in Namibia’s Capital City, Windhoek, under the theme, “Building forward together-Reimagining the Church’s Engagement with young people in the IMBISA Region in light of Pope Francis’ Exhortation, Christus Vivit”.

Delegates of the Plenary Assembly discussed challenges the youth in the region face, including migration, unemployment, formation in the faith, entrepreneurship, gender-based violence, mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, and the impact of terrorism on young people.

In a September 24 statement, youth delegates who participated in the IMBISA 13th Plenary Assembly thanked Catholic Church leaders in the region for making Christus Vivit, the March 2019 Post-Synodal Exhortation of Pope Francis to young people and to the entire people of God, “a focal point of the Plenary Assembly.”

“For allowing youth to attend the Assembly indicates that the Church has understood that to appropriately reflect on the Young we need to do so with the young. Nothing is for us without us,” the youth delegates say in their statement.

In the September 27 interview with ACI Africa, Ms. Muremi underlined the value of communication in “analyzing the signs of our time” as the youth in Southern Africa seek unity in journeying together with IMBISA members. 

“When we communicate, we then understand each other’s hearts and desires, and we understand each other's longing, and in that way, we are analyzing the signs of our time,” she explained, and recalling the deliberations during the IMBISA Plenary Assembly, “In that analysis of the signs of the time, we had a positive response that it was not only a stage of talking, but there is a deep desire of action.”

The NCBC youth delegate at the 13th IMBISA Plenary Assembly continued, “In the depth of our desires of action, there were two aspects. One of the aspects is to create a unity whereby whenever the Bishops meet, youth representatives are also present.”

“The second aspect is the creation of a youth structure in the IMBISA region that will mobilize for resources and capacity building for young people to be able to run functioning structures and commissions for the advancement of the body, soul and mind of a human person, which includes but not limited to faith and skills development,” she further said.

Youth delegates at the Plenary Assembly proposed the “establishment of a database that documents the skills, knowledge and profession of the young people within IMBISA.”

Reflecting on this proposal, Ms. Muremi said, “Having that skills database will be of benefit not only to the leaders of the Church but to the community at large.”

For instance, she explained, “when we have something, even at my workplace, maybe they are asking for a cleaner, and there’s someone on that website who has cleaned for so long, I will suggest that person. Therefore, we are empowering the community we live in.”

“We are the youth now, but we will also get old, so we need to take care of those who are coming after us, to empower them. By the time they reach our stage, they will have the skills necessary to take the church to greater heights,” Ms. Muremi told ACI Africa September 27.