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Franziskaner Mission visiting Kivumu
Monday, 11 August 2014 Written by fra Ivica Perić

In late June and early July our Franciscan community in Kivumu had the honor of hosting some very important and dear guests. You see, our friary was visited by Br. Heinrich Gockel and Br. Augustinus Diekmann from the Franziskaner Mission in Dortmund, Germany.

Franziskaner Mission

We happily presented the projects we have been running in Kivumu to our guests, especially those related to the advancement of education, which are being supported by Franziskaner Mission. We also presented our upcoming future plans.

Brothers Heinrich and Augustinus, whose last visit to Rwanda was ten years ago, had the opportunity to see for themselves the changes that have taken place in Kivumu, as well as in the rest of Rwanda over the past decade. This was particularly important because Franziskaner Mission, led by Br. Augustinus Diekmann, has been supporting projects in Kivumu for many years now.

In previous years, thanks to the constant and generous help of the German people connected to Franziskaner Mission, we have managed to educate several generations of young people, giving them a more secure future. Our guests were especially impressed by our new Technical Secondary School, as well as our plan to eventually develop the school into a Polytechnic Academy, which will provide a well-rounded quality education to youth from this part of Rwanda.

The visit to Rwanda also had a particular nostalgia for our German guests. You see, both friars are seasoned missionaries. Br. Augustinus has over twenty years of missionary work in Brazil behind him, while Br. Heinrich was one of the pioneers of missionary work in our Province, spending 21 years in nearby Kenya. With that in mind, we were able to exchange experiences, share our views on the challenges and problems of missionary work, and also get useful advice for future projects from these older, wiser and more experienced colleagues.

Our brothers also used their stay in Rwanda to visit our other Franciscan community in nearby Mbazi, as well as to visit Uganda for a short time to learn about the work of our communities in Rushooka and Mbarara.

And they came to us at just the right time - during the World Cup in Brazil! Like most Germans, Augustinus and Heinrich are football fans, and so during our moments of rest we had the opportunity to watch some of the matches from faraway Brazil, to comment about the chances of the German national team, as well as the chances of the host national team, the second homeland of Br. Augustinus.

In the end, after two weeks together, we bid farewell to our dear guests who departed for Kenya, continuing their visit to our Province by visiting our communities in Nairobi and Subukia.

I use this opportunity to thank our brothers for the tremendous support they have been giving to us, for their constructive advice and helpful suggestions, and for giving us the opportunity to show them our work in Kivumu.

We hope that it won't take another decade before they come to visit us again and that we will enjoy their company in Rwanda once more, in the very near future.

Translated by Branimir Mlakić
Edited by Valerie Kae Ken

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