Swaziland teachers make epic journey to link parish

Published: 25 Oct 2012 13:000 comments

A mission link between between a Church of Ireland parish in Fermanagh and a community in Swaziland in Africa, had turned full circle this week when the principal and a teacher from a primary school there made an historic visit to the county this week.

Canon Arthur Barrett hosting the visit by the Rev. Abraham Gama and Mina Mkhwanazi to Rossorry Parish during the past week.

Three years ago, the seed for a mission link project were sown by the Director of USPG Ireland, Linda Chambers, during a harvest thanksgiving address in Rossorry Parish Church. After several fundraising ventures, the church began supporting the work of the charity in Swaziland, linking with Ingwempisana Primary School, where the Rev. Abraham Gama is Principal and also non-stipendiary minister of St. John the Baptist Anglican church nearby.

A team of 14 parishioners from Rossorry Church took part in a mission trip to Swaziland in July this year, helping to establish a new library and working with the pupils of the school as well as helping to improve the buildings at another school.

Last weekend, the Rev. Abraham and another teacher from Ingwempisana Primary School, Ms Mina Mkhwanazi arrived in Rossorry Parish to begin a week of ministry and visiting schools and organisations including attending harvest thanksgiving services throughout the weekend.

It was an epic journey for the Swaziland teachers, as they had never flown before. Their trip has been supported by the Rossorry Mission Team who had raised money for the link project through a series of fundraising events.

The Rev. Gama and Mina earlier this week visited Jones Memorial Primary School, as well as Devenish College and South West College and also made a visit to the South West Acute Hospital.

The Rev. Abraham also accompanied the rector of Rossorry, the Rev. Arthur Barrett to the Clogher Diocesan Clergy Conference which has been taking place in Dunfanaghy since Tuesday.

At a harvest lunch in Rossorry Hall on Sunday, the Rev. Abraham and Mina spoke of their immense gratitude to be given the opportunity to travel 8,000 miles from their homes to Fermanagh to understand the western culture.

They had never seen the sea before and were astonished at the greenery of the fields and forests but felt extremely cold in our mild October weather this week.

During July, the Rossorry Mission Trip members experienced a typical winter in Swaziland, the mornings and evenings were cool but the temperatures during the day rose to over 20 degrees C. It was also a brown and scorched landscape as they awaited the spring rains to help grow crops.

The educational establishments in Swaziland are severely underfunded. Asked during the parish lunch what their greatest need was, both the Rev. Abraham and Mina referred to practical measures such as a perimeter fence around Ingwempisana School to keep out animals, to extend the electricity supply to all classrooms as there was only electricity in the school office at present and to have a reliable water supply. At present they ask the Government for tanker loads of water to help cook and wash with.

Another item on their wish list is a health clinic close to the school grounds to facilitate the many children and their families who travel to the school.

Whenever the need for a regular food supply to provide the hot school meal each day is added, the list of needs is lengthening.

However one aspect of both the Rossorry trip to Swaziland and the return trip by the Rev. Abraham and Mina was evident; that faith plays a huge part in the lives of people in Swaziland. With few material goods, they praise God for what they have, even though it sometimes is very little.

And it is praising God that the people of Swaziland are well known, their loud and harmonious singing without music, an amazing experience to hear.

Both the Rev. Abraham and Mina have thanked the people of Rososrry for giving them the opportunity to share in their worship, to visit their schools, see their country in the glory of autumn splendour last weekend. They return home this weekend, filled with plenty of ideas but also acknowledging the thoughts of the parishioners in their link parish in Rossorry.

Jump to first paragraph.


comments powered by Disqus

Get more stories from our Roundup section

15 Apr 2014 22:00

Man took wife's car without permission

A 35-year-old man has been fined £425 and banned from driving for three months after he took his wife’s car without her permission.


15 Apr 2014 19:00

Police asking for your help with road safety through social media

Police in Fermanagh and other parts of F District are asking everyone who uses the roads to promote safety messages through social media over the next three Bank Holiday Mondays.


15 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department

Opinion - Kylie Noble - Can’t stand the rain? Thank heavens for our water supply

In Fermanagh I don’t think there is anything that causes so much anger and frustration than the weather; specifically the abundance of rain.

Social: Comments0 comments

15 Apr 2014 13:00

Hospital detention order against mentally ill man on attempted murder charge

A mentally ill man who bludgeoned his elderly uncle over the head with a hammer until he thought he was dead has been committed to hospital indefinitely.


15 Apr 2014 11:30

Don't forget to recycle your Easter egg packaging

Enjoying your chocolate egg but don't know what to do with the packaging?


15 Apr 2014 09:00

Homes evacuated in security alert in Fintona

POLICE are dealing with a security alert in Fintona, County Tyrone, after an incident in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday).


14 Apr 2014 22:00

Businessman failed to demolish apartments

A 44-year-old businessman has been fined £500 for failing to knock down a block of apartments that pose a danger to drivers.


14 Apr 2014 19:00

Council reminder to householders about risk of carbon monoxide poisoning

Fermanagh District Council is encouraging householders to have their heating appliances, which have been well used over the winter, serviced and chimneys cleaned to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home.


14 Apr 2014 16:00

Sentence deferred for six months against disorderly man

A 28-year-old man involved in a fight outside a pub claimed remarks had been made about his former partner.


14 Apr 2014 13:00 • Meadhbh Monahan

Tourism businesses work harder to get visitors off the beaten track

Fermanagh tourism providers have to “work harder” because the county is “not the first choice destination.”

Social: Comments0 comments

14 Apr 2014 11:00 • Brian Donaldson

Sam uncovers broken hearted grandmother’s letter after son’s Great War death

The mother of a soldier serving in the First World War, had to resort to writing for financial help after her son died as result of the appalling conditions right at the end of the War in November 1918.

Social: Comments0 comments

14 Apr 2014 09:30 • Lily Dane

The positive attitude of the bride who developed same cancer as her brother

An inspirational young Fermanagh woman, Rachel Wilson (formerly Byers) was only married a matter of months when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Social: Comments0 comments

14 Apr 2014 08:21

Single mother stole from employer of over 11 years

A 28-year-old single mother who betrayed the trust of her employer of over 11 years by stealing from his shop has been given 200 hours of community service.


13 Apr 2014 16:00 • Editorial Department

Local players share the Bridge Congress spoils

When the competition hotted up at the 37th Annual Fermanagh Bridge Congress over the weekend, bridge playing talents from the county demonstrated they ‘can hold their own.’

Social: Comments0 comments

13 Apr 2014 14:00 • Editorial Department

Restaurants celebrated at Awards

THE Watermill Lodge Restaurant, Lisnaskea scooped an awards treble at the Ulster Regional Finals of the Irish Restaurant Awards this week.

Social: Comments0 comments

13 Apr 2014 12:30 • Editorial Department

Schools keep Marie Curie blooming

Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal was this year supported by over 12 local primary schools in the Clogher and Fermanagh areas.

Social: Comments0 comments

13 Apr 2014 10:00 • Julie Kenwell

The hands of historic clock move once more

AN important part of Fivemiletown’s past has secured a place in the village’s future thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Social: Comments0 comments

12 Apr 2014 18:30 • Editorial Department

Senior championship placings will add extra incentive to new league season

The new club season rolls into action this weekend and the 2014 league will have added significance for clubs with placings for the 2015 Championships based on how sides perform in the league this season.

Social: Comments0 comments

12 Apr 2014 18:30 • Editorial Department

Top five the first aim for Division Two sides

Results will matter right from the outset in SFL Division Two this year as changes in the structures in the division will see the league split at the midway stage.

Social: Comments0 comments

12 Apr 2014 18:00 • Rodney Edwards

No sudden rates increases, Assembly told

THE issue of rates in Fermanagh was discussed in the Assembly on Monday, with Sinn Fein’s Phil Flanagan describing it as “particularly worrying” for business owners.

Social: Comments0 comments