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Missionaries enjoy Zambian experience

SIX students from St John Ogilvie High School in Hamilton recently returned from a spiritually uplifting mission experience in Zambia.

The students—Caitlin Stuart, Katie O’Rourke, Shannon Balfour, Joanne Callaghan, Ellie Travers and Chloe Shevlin—travelled to the African country in June along with Sr Stacey Cameron and Fr Bernard Makadani Zulu from Missio Scotland, Peter Galloway, depute headteacher of St John Ogilvie High School, and his wife Anne Therese and Missio Scotland volunteer John Dornan.

This visit was organised by Missio Scotland­—the official mission agency of the Catholic Church in Scotland. Missio reaches out, gives life and calls all people in the world to faith, justice and love. It works in 180 countries and territories and with a special concern for Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the poorest parts of Latin America and Europe.

The students (above) went to Zambia as part of the charity’s Get Involved Globally (GIG) mission experience programme, which aims to offer a small group of adults or students the opportunity to visit church and school communities in an overseas country for 10-14 days and help the students understand and involve themselves in Jesus’ mission. During their mission experience, they stayed at the Novitiate of the Sisters of St Charles Borromeo in Lusaka, visited the Mother of Mercy Hospice in Chilanga and spent time at St Columba’s Secondary School in Lusaka West. Some of the practical duties they performed during their visit included ICT and artwork lessons and painting the nursery walls at the Guardian Angels Community School in Chilanga.

“The purpose of these mission experiences is for the participants to experience life, faith and justice from a new perspective and return home inspired to live a personal sense of ‘mission’ in Scotland,” Sr Stacey Cameron, Missio Scotland’s mission formation co-ordinator said. “A mission experience aims to touch the heart, engage the mind and nourish the spirit and involves participants spending time with the local community, sharing stories and being with people—including visiting those who care for the sick, looking after orphans, teaching children and many other initiatives through the programmes run by Missio Scotland’s mission partners.

“A mission experience is a great opportunity to renew our faith and share that faith with others. Through meeting peoples of different cultures and experiences we are enriched and our horizons broadened. Those who have returned from this year’s mission experience commented that through it they received far more than they gave!

“The girls—and the team as a whole—had a great time and really got on board with everything. They noted that they felt spiritually uplifted and their enthusiasm really shone through.

A Celtic Cross made from Iona marble, was also presented to the staff and pupils of St Columba’s Secondary School in Lusaka West. The building of the school was the main focus of Missio Scotland’s 2015 Mission Sunday fundraising and the GIG team—and everyone who supported its construction in Scotland through their financial contributions—are delighted that it has now been built.

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