Sister Nilceia at the Lisanjala Health Clinic in Malawi

World Mission Sunday 2020 has been an unusual one. With so many of us unable to meet in person to celebrate this special Sunday, we’ve had to get creative with how we meet and share God’s love. One thing never changes though: the passion and commitment of our missionary family around the world. 

Sr Sonia with mums and babies at the clinic , Lisanjala
Sr Sonia with mums and babies at the clinic, Lisanjala

Sister Nilcéia, who featured in this year’s World Mission Sunday posters, manages the Lisanjala Health Clinic in Malawi, which supports 18 villages in the local area. Countless people, from all faiths and none, often walk up to three hours to attend the clinic with their illnesses and ailments, most commonly: malaria and malnourishment.

You may remember Sr Sonia (right), who worked in Lisanjala before Sr Nilcéia. Sr Sonia established the clinic where Sr Nilcéia now works. She and her fellow Sisters are surely the hands and feet of Jesus. Sr Nilcéia explains:

‘Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is hard to believe, but many people who live here are unable to think beyond their next meal. Sometimes this next meal is just leaves, grass, bark or roots, which makes them very sick. My healthcare assistant, Peter and I treat around 80 people a day. Through our clinic, countless vulnerable children’s lives are saved’.

Please help missionaries like Sr Nilcéia look after their communities – through COVID and beyond.

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Faith in the face of daily struggles

Peter is a layperson and has been working as a healthcare assistant for 13 years. He shares: ‘I love my work. I was born in Zomba and now live in Lisanjala with my wife and four children. I am not Catholic, but I’m very happy working with the Sisters. I receive a monthly salary of around £70 from the government. It’s not enough to feed my family, so I also cultivate crops – maize and ground nuts – and while I’m working at the clinic, my wife is working on the farm’.

The daily struggle of living in one of the remotest areas of Malawi has not dampened Sr Nilcéia’s spirit. She shares:

‘Life brings joy, it brings peace, and it renews my faith, renews my love, my vocation, my oblation, my service to the Church for my community here in Malawi.

I want you to know how grateful I am for your support and prayers. Together we are one family, one faith, one Church, and together we share love through good actions.

The centre of all of this is love. And when you do good, then good remains with you… When we give ourselves for others, we will be satisfied in what we are doing, in what we are’.

Together we are mission

In his message for World Mission Sunday, the Pope says that we all have a mission and that mission is a free and conscious response to God’s call to share his love with all humanity. The events of the last few months have made it even clearer that we are all connected – we cannot stand alone, and it is only if we work together that we can overcome the challenges we face.

What’s more, in not being able to gather together, we have known what it is like for many remote Christian communities that cannot celebrate Mass every Sunday. The fragility of life has been all  too apparent, but we have also seen that when we stand together in solidarity with one another and share our resources, hope is renewed. God wants a life of hope and love for all his children.

Throughout all of this, God’s question: ‘Whom shall I send?’ is addressed once more to us and awaits a generous and convincing response: ‘Here I am, send me!’ God continues to look for those whom he can send forth into the world and to the nations to bear witness to his love.

It’s not too late to donate to World Mission – and this year more than ever, our missionary communities around the world need our help to pull through. Please give whatever you can. Donate here>>