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23.08.2018 17:18:38 373x read.
Report General Chapter Denekamp, The Netherlands Tuesday, 20th. August 2018.

Report General Chapter Denekamp, The Netherlands

Tuesday, 20th. August 2018


Today is  21st. August, 2018, dubbed Malawi day, the last Tuesday at Denekamp. For some of us, this was the first time to this new part of The Netherlands. This might explain our moving about the place going nowhere except to be noticed that at least we are capable of moving around. As days and hours passed, we shared stories sometimes to exhaust our curiosity. Moreover, Denekamp is a sharp contrast to Maastricht and could easily be nick-named a bicycle area. You just feel ashamed not to ride a bicycle and those of us who rode a bicycle some twenty years ago thought we might try our luck until we realized that we would become a potential traffic hazard. Yes, we grew angry at our inability to punish the bicycles for our weight but Huize Elisabeth is such candid and we are still hopeful. And so we sat under trees, and discussed days, hours and moments we might be useful after all. To this end, this Malawian day became a special day of reflection as the Malawian delegation composed of Bro. Martin Dariyo, Bro, Lawrence Sitima and Bro, Andrew Makocho took charge of the liturgy of the day.

It would seem as though it has become a daily routine to check on the weather. I must confess that since we arrived, my coat is still squeezed in my crumpled suitcase because the weather has become warm. So, on Malawi day, I did not need my coat, neither did the members of other delegations. It is amazing that stealthily, we are becoming undocumented village weather forecasters. To be honest, I did not know that I would be obsessed with the weather forecasts to this level. The Netherlands has not experienced this type of dry weather to this degree. The change of weather has engulfed the whole world. This indeed has become a point of reflection and has permeated the General chapter. The papal encyclical Laudate si, enumerates the importance of caring for the environment. Perhaps the message of the prayer service of this day was a call to appreciate life as a gift from God.

Therefore, on the 21st. August, 2018 as we began the day, delegates and co-workers assembled in the chapel for morning prayer in absolutely cool weather.  The pictures of Monsignor Rutten and Bro. Bernard Hoecken, our founder and Co-founder, had strategically or spiritually been moved to one on each side of the cross of Jesus in the chapel by an artistic hand. This is significantly symbolic and again a point of reflection. Our constitutions continually teach, Jesus reveals to us the image of man who fulfils God's will completely. Consequently, to be a good person, to become a better person, means to us: to grow towards Jesus; to draw life from his life; to make the Good News of the coming of the Kingdom of God our own message. We do this in a limited and impaired way, but also in the strength of God's grace which raises us above ourselves (art. 4).


After going through breakfast, we began our session with a discussion on the proposals. Our facilitator Rev, Father Mardi, helped in the discussion of the proposals. It would seem that the way I was reading the proposals and the way the turned out with explanation gave me a deeper meaning about deepening on our spirituality. The proposals of the day discussed the members to the General council, the congregational song and the year book and some of the proposal that have been revised.

During mass, there was an extension on the call to make a choice for God. The celebrant shared that a choice for God should be an option. We are able to know God through our faith.  Our constitutions again inform that Faith is not the result of our own achievements and can never be imposed. Faith is borne by God's grace. Believing in God means, in its deepest sense, that we dare to surrender unconditionally to him. This surrender is based on unlimited trust and is driven by love, because he loved us first (Art,54).


As we came out from mass, we were treated to a free entertainment. Should I call this entertainment galore? Our neighbours defied gravity and went hanging in the air on these “umbrella propelled somethings”. Should I call them hot balloons or hot parachutes? Those of us watching were more afraid than the young people displaying.

Dear brothers, you can therefore see that this day has been a mixture of prayer, business and entertainment.

God bless you.

By brother Andrew Makocho

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