South Africa, Malawi and Zimbabwe gathering – 4-9 August, 2008

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Though our journeys to the Encounter were beset by border difficulties, a puncture, delays and long hours (almost 36 hours) of travel, we members from South Africa, Malawi and Zimbabwe finally made it for a late start. 

We gathered on Monday morning, very aware of the absence of Jill who had intended to come from Australia to be with us. Her present state of health did not permit that, and we missed her.

There was an energy in our meeting that generated enthusiasm, a freshness and expectancy that something new was about the happen.

In our various roles, we helped one another evaluate the Parish Evangelisation Process in our three countries, and then compared it with the information Jill had sent us about their experience in Australia. There was no doubt that we also needed to made some adaptations and adjustments.  

After input, prayer and reflection, we gave birth to LGA:  “Living the Gospel in Africa as A Parish Journey”.

It was a revelation to see how the new planning method we are going to use as a Group is in tune with a method in vogue here in Africa.

Bishop Steve Brislin of Kroonstadt Diocese said that he liked this simple way of planning a journey, starting with the values that come out of the dream and the situation of the parish.

Laughter, struggle, relaxation, prayer and celebration of Eucharist were woven into our days together.  

The opinion was that the Encounter had revitalized us, in the meeting of friends, in the work of developing the LGA journey, in the sense of looking forward in planning, in the studies and reflections to come. Good participation – a great encounter.