Zambia – A Vietnamese missionary among the street children of Africa

(ANS – Kabwe) – Fr Joseph Nguyen Tuan Anh is one of the 120 or more Vietnamese Salesian missionaries ad gentes, and he has been living the Salesian missionary life in Africa since 2013, in the Vice-province of ZMB (Zambia-Malawi-Zimbabwe-Namibia). He was ordained in 2020 and as a consequence of the pandemic, instead of celebrating these first Thanksgiving Masses in his home country of Vietnam, he went from the theologate in Nairobi-Kenya to the newly-established community of Kabwe - Makululu in Zambia.

His daily life is very exciting, simply assisting the 90 boys of the Don Bosco Children Home, coming from the streets of Kabwe, together with one practical trainee. He is also in charge of the daily Oratory in the large Don Bosco compound.

You have already spent 8 years in Africa, ZMB Vice-province. What makes you happy as a Salesian missionary among the young people?

The simple fact that most of our youth are poor and coming from humble realities makes my Salesian heart joyful.

What did you learn from your African companions in the Salesian Theologate in Nairobi, Kenya?

I learned from them how to live the Salesian charism in the large multi-cultural community and the beauty of different ways of thinking and acting.

After ordination, you were assigned to the Don Bosco Children's Home and Oratory. What are your joys and challenges?

My great joy is to see how our boys are changing day by day, the joy of working for the poor and needy boys who have no place to go. Among my challenges - to learn the local languages (especially Bemba) and some professional skills needed for this specific youth work.

What are your dreams?

My dreams are being more open to learning so that I become more and more useful for the needs of the boys; I dream to have more and more the heart of Don Bosco for poor and needy boys.

What is your message to the young Salesians in Vietnam all over the world?

Do not be afraid; as soon as we have the heart of Don Bosco, that means when we are opening up to new cultures and the needs of our youth, with faith in God we will find the joy and meaning of missionary life. Welcome to the missions!

Source: AustraLasia 


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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