Sisters of Saint Joseph of Annecy

News from Africa


Day by day in Yaka Yaka

It is now three years since our community was established in Yaka Yaka. The wild bush land, donated to the sisters has been transformed, little by our little, by the community of three sisters.  We can praise and thank God with all that lives, breathes and grows in the compound today. 

Truly God has made the sun to shine on this locality of the Congo giving to its people the gift of a religious community. He chose us SSJA , by ways and means quite mysterious to us and without any merit on our part to be His instruments- a marvellous mystery to contemplate?  God heard the cry of the poor "Come, Come" which is the meaning of the word Yaka. 

It was the love of God with the collaboration, the faith, the prayers, courage and generosity of many people which enabled the founding of the SSJA community in 2013. The sisters have put down roots in the heart of this village and  are there simply to reach out to the dear neighbour and be a presence for everyone they meet.  The experience of being present, being together, to support, share and help the people to carry  the burden of their hard lives which is the painful result of years of war and conflict is indeed a grace for us sisters. 

For us to live along side these people so deeply wounded by the war is a source of conversion.  They live in great poverty and insecurity having lost everything. This appalling situation continues to be their daily reality.  With our mission of Presence we do what we can to alleviate their suffering.  Today, as I write, we are four sisters doing our best as Fr. Medaille says; "As feeble instruments” in the hands of God.  

Srs Agnes and Lucienne have begun a "Centre for Women" where they teach many skills to the mothers and girls there too.  Our presence also extends to visiting the families, the elderly and the sick.  Sr Ailbe  visits the elderly people in the their homes and brings them  Holy communion while they pray in their local language of Laari.  On Sundays the sisters go out to the surrounding areas where they find more and more people returning to their villages to build their homes after years spent hiding in the forest.

Sr Viviane with the Frs of the Blessed Sacrament works in a health centre where many sick people come for help. One day we, too, hope to provide a much needed dispensary for the people of Yaka-Yaka. We now run a group for children called the "KA" which meets regularly for learning and joyful play in a safe environment. 

Above all we are present to these poor people by our daily prayer when we intercede for the people of Yaka-Yaka and our work among them. In particular we pray for PEACE for these people living in such dire insecurity and poverty created by an on-going war situation in the Congo. Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament we know is the Sun shining on Yaka -Yaka and on us during these early years of  the on-going development of our mission to the people living there.

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