|Kuwait – Course for the formation and the growth of Small Christian Communities|
|Kenya – The Provincial visits the Salesian centre in the Kakuma refugee camp|
(ANS – Kakuma) – On Sunday 1 July and Sunday 15 July at the Salesian Holy Cross Parish in the refugee camp of Kakuma there were two training days for the Leaders of the Small Christian Communities. Small Christian Communities (SCC) are a common feature in many parts of the world and especially in Africa; their leaders carry out an essential service in local church and social life.
The Second Vatican Council described the Church as a sign and instrument of “communion with God and of unity among all people” In the Kakuma refugee camp this clearly seen in the pastoral action of many committed lay people assisting in the pastoral mission the few priests present.
The Holy Cross parish is made up of Christians from South Sudan, Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Eretria and Uganda. Since new refugees are arriving every day who can understand neither English or Kiswahili, the two official languages used in Kenya, it is the SCC who are their first contact with the church
The 15 SCC in Kakuma bring people to the church and carry out an essential role building unity among the various tribes and nationalities Thanks to their efforts the parish becomes the first centre of unity and a place of welcome where people are ready to help each other growing in the Faith and in the Christian life.
These Small Christian communities are led by their own leaders. With the help of the parish priest, Catechists and Sisters, they learn to love God more by sharing the word of God and the teachings of the church. It is in these small Christian communities that many members are prepared to become more committed Christians by learning prayers and preparing for different sacraments. They support each other since during the times of their weekly meetings they share their day to day life experiences and challenges too.
Another criterion is often an ability to read and write since many of the people at Kakuma are illiterate Young people who can read and write have also found themselves taking responsibilities as leaders and the teachers of faith since many of the members of these small Christian communities are illiterate. The parish encourages them wholeheartedly.
Among the tasks of the leaders are the following: guiding and leading the members according to the directives of the Parish and the Church teachings; acting as the link between the parish priest and the catechumens; facilitating the weekly prayer meetings; representing the members in the parish meetings and in the of the parish council; acting as agents of all the information going from the parish to the Small Christian Communities and Chapels.
With the help of the priests, sisters, catechists and leaders, the members of the SCC learn to love God better and to live according to the gospel with their brothers and sisters. In Kakuma the SCC meet every week for sharing ideas and experiences for prayer and for catechesis.