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The Strength of our Partners

Joyce Berno Mtauka and Geoffrey Monjesa, Tanzanian partners, at Sorrento Centre, BC. Photo: Roslyn Macgregor

July 10, 2015

By Roslyn Macgregor

By Roslyn Macgregor, Diocesan Representative from the Diocese of Montreal

Joyce Berno Mtauka is a farmer from Masasi, Tanzania, the partner diocese of my Diocese of Montreal. I am in awe of what Joyce has accomplished on many levels. A single mom, she became a farmer who developed not only her own farm, but works with the agricultural officer of the area and as a peer farmer, modelling and helping others to develop sustainable farming practices.

Geoffrey P. Monjesa is an Anglican priest and development officer in the Diocese of Masasi. He highlighted aspects of the Preventive Health and Food Security Project supported by PWRDF and DFATD (the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada). We were touched by his statement that many organizations prefer to work in the cities or larger, more well-known areas while PWRDF comes far out into the country to places like Masasi to work as partners in the field.

Joyce and Geoffrey came to Canada to share and learn – partners in changing the world one corner at a time. Joyce stood in front of us proud and confident, explaining her farming practices in Kiswahili while Geoffrey translated.  She also shared with us some of what she observed of our farming practices after visiting the Sorrento Centre Farm. She returns to Masasi with ideas on how she and her peers might improve their own practices and, after eating salads and raw vegetables for the first time, she sees value in exploring this possibility upon her return.

The statistics are amazing. The work accomplished is beyond belief. And yet – what I come away with that most impresses me is the commitment, joy, and grace of these two individuals. They shine and inspire. We are so thankful for this opportunity to see love in action in such effective ways.  Together with Leah in Rosalind, AB and Candace in the Magdalene Islands, QC they have planted seeds (literally and figuratively), watered and tended them, and trusted the Holy One to cause them to grow. And grow they have.

 Closing Prayers

Oludomare, oh divine One!
I give thanks to You the one who is as near as my heartbeat,
and more anticipated than my next breath.
God, who made us all shapes and colours
And who has spoken to us in many different ways
Open our eyes to see each other as gifted by you.
Open our minds to understand the riches of diversity
and warm us with hope for a world where all those riches are valued and shared.
In the name of Jesus who saw the riches in the poor and the poverty of the rich despisers of the poor.   Amen.
From Hallelujah for the Day: An African Prayer Book         Source Unknown

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread,
Adapted from:    Becoming Jesus’ Prayer by Gregory  V  Palmer, Cindy M McCalmont and BrIan K Milford.
Published by The Pilgrim Press Cleveland.

God who feeds us, God of love…  We are such hungry people.
Holy One, give us this day our daily bread.

We hunger for food, for acceptance, for love.
Holy One, give us this day our daily bread.

We hunger for mercy and truth, and simplicity of heart.
Holy One, give us this day our daily bread.

Holy One, we hunger for forgiveness, for holy vision, for peace.
Holy One, give us this day our daily bread.

We hunger in hope… for the downtrodden and forgotten,
for the weak, for ourselves.  We are such a hungry people.
Holy One, give us this day our daily bread. 

We hunger for righteousness, for enlightenment, for the needy,
Holy One, give us this day our daily bread.

Amen.

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