Christian life in Chad

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Christian life in Tchad

Chad has a population of about ten million people of which 20% is Catholic Christian. The majority of the population is Muslim. In Ndjamena, the capital of Chad, there are mosques in every corner. As you come out of the airport, the voices of Muezins fills the air as they call upon Muslim believers to prayer.
This is heard almost every hour of the day. The first night in Ndjamena, I was woken up at 3am by the Muezins in such a way I thought I was in Mecca. Missionaries who lived here say that one can get uesed to this kind of music in a way that you miss it when you are away. What is good is that both Muslims and Christians live in harmony with one another. In Ndjamena we ‘Comboni Missionaries’ run a centre called Tent of Abraham, where Catholics and Muslims ingadge in active dialogue. 
In any case Ndjamena is not the community where I am assigned. I am assigned to the community of Dono Manga which is about 460 kms from the Capital. To reach here from Ndjamena should take 5 hours but because of the millitary road blocks every 50 to 100 kilometres and the state of the roads, it takes 9 to 10 hours. 
Dono Manga is a small village in South of Chad sourrounded by a thick bush. The parish of Dono Manga has 80 out stations which are put in the care of the cathechists. There is no road to reach these outstations. They are all inside a thick bush. There is no other way but drive through the footpaths in order to reach people. During the rainy season it is even worse. Some out stations have to be abandoned because of mud and lakes.  Holy Mass in each of these out-stations is attended by not less than 100 people, the majority of which are catecumens. Because of these realities, the mission of Dono Manga is regarded as one of the toughest.
Dono Manga is served by three Comboni Missionaries of which I am one of them. The other two Priests : David Bohnsack ‘USA’ and Alexandre Canales ‘Spain’ have a lot of experience working tough missions such as Sudan and Central Africa. I am learning a lot from them. Two kilomtres from our mission, there are 3 missionary sisters of the Sacred Heart from Central America, who run a hospital called St Joseph. The hospital struggles to get medical supplies and has only one doctor who performs major surgeries. 
There is no supply of eclectricity from the gorvenment in many parts of Chad. We use solar panels, gaz and coal for energy. However, many villagers use battery lamps and torches. A weekend cinema uses a generator. For their entertainment people beat drums and drink sorghum beer especially on weekends and public holidays.  The dominating Church in Dono Manga is Catholic. There are some sects of protestants also present. The Catholic church of Dono Manga is growing rapidly particularly towards the north where there are people who never heard the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These villages need to be reached and evangelized too. At the moment I pray that Almighty God may give me the zeal of St Paul so that I can go out, reach and preach the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ to those who never heard it before.
As I was writting this article, I was recuperating from the blow of Malaria. However, that is not what bothered me. My concern was that Matthew 28 :19 is till far from being fulfilled. Therefore, the need for zealous missionaries is still as needed as it was during the times of the Apostles. This message is made clear by pope Francis who on so many occassions, invited Christians to be missionaries.
Fr Kgomotso Sebopela 

Missionary Vocation

Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus Christ, love him tenderly and seek always better to understand the meaning of a God who died on the Cross for the salvation of souls

St Daniel Comboni