News from Maranatha Youth Club

I know I will carry all the faces of the people I have met in Zambia around with me for the rest of my life.

 – Shauna O’ Brien

Last Sunday the leaders of Maranatha Youth Club went to Edmund Rice House, North Richmond Street to reflect on our trip to Zambia in July 2013 and what it meant to us and how that experience has had a huge impact on our lives since then.

We discussed how that experience could encourage us to get more involved in our Maranatha Youth Club and in our community here at home. We came up with some good ideas and hope to take on the challenges in the near future. We thank Br. Martin O’ Flaherty for facilitating our get together and to Br. Dermot Ambrose for his support on the day also.

We had a most enjoyable night, tonight in Maranatha where we had a good sing along and welcomed Br. Jackson whom we met and worked with in Changa Changa Community School for poor disadvantaged boys and girls in Mazabuka. We remember that we played and socialised with them while we were there. Br. Jackson is the Principal of this great school, giving poor children the chance to have an education. It was great to meet Jackson and renew our friendship with him. His visit brought back good memories for us. We hope to make a return visit to Zambia again. In the meantime we will be helping support these children in their education by fundraising for them. We will see everyone next Tuesday night in Maranatha.

Maranatha Group who went to Mazabuku, Zambia with Br. Mubela Jackson who is the Principal in Changa Changa Community School.
Maranatha Group who went to Mazabuku, Zambia meeting with Br. Mubela Jackson who is the Principal in Changa Changa Community School.
Here are some of our reflections from our time in Zambia and what the experience has meant for us.

I feel my trip to Africa has totally changed my outlook on life. It has really touched my heart in many ways.  I feel blessed and privileged that I got the chance for this experience.  When you compare the two cultures, the lives that we live and the Zambians lives, we are totally different in many ways.  I am grateful now for the life and many opportunities I have.   I find myself not taking things in life for granted anymore.  I also feel, since my experience, that I notice all the little things now that we need and don’t need.

 I am so happy that we had the Brothers on this trip with us, as I feel it would not have been as good as it was without them.  They are truly amazing people and the work they do is unbelievable.  I feel I have become closer to God and that my passion for Him has grown since my trip.  Observing the faith of the poor people and praying with the Brothers impressed and influenced me greatly.  I found it a whole different life out there.  I will treasure this experience and all the amazing people I met along the way.

 It is my ambition and hope that one day I will get another chance again to visit these wonderful people.  It has truly changed me and I am so happy for that.  I just want to take a minute to thank you, Br. Declan, Br. Dermot, Br. Alfred and all the Zambian Brothers for making all of this possible preparing for it.  It could not have been done without you all. God is good.” –  (Kym Carroll)

Thinking back on the weeks we spent in Zambia I am filled with great memories and I know I won’t forget them. From the moment we arrived to the second we left we were welcomed by everyone we met.  The Brothers and Sisters from Changa Changa, St. Edmund’s and City of Joy, treated us all like they had known us for a lifetime and showed us a level of hospitality I could not believe. 

The children have left a permanent effect on me due to a mixture of their respect for others and the happiness they displayed from having us around. Overall the trip has left me with a feeling of appreciation for what I have and a knowledge that the majority of what we as a people complain about is a load of nonsense, compared to the real problems that others have.” (Ian Corr)

“The trip was definitely a trip of a life time and I am so happy I decided to go. I would have regretted not going.  The people of Zambia are so welcoming and respectful to visitors.  It’s so unexpected.  You would rarely see it here.  All the children had high respect for us as people and as a group.  The trip has definitely changed me and made me look differently on my outlook on life.  I will never take anything for granted again. 

I will never regret going on the trip or making all the wonderful friendships I have made or improved on.  I feel all of us as a group grew to respect, care and truly love one another as friends.  Living with one another showed everyone the person we really are.  I know there might have been fights and disagreements but that’s the whole process of tolerance.  Over the two weeks I really feel our group turned into a family.  The dramatic change from when we first arrived in Zambia, to how we felt at the end of our experience was so evident.  The people we met, the challenges we experienced helped to change how we looked at and valued things.  How the people of Zambia live their lives and how we live ours are just two different worlds.  It’s just a big change.  I know I will carry all the faces of the people I have met in Zambia around with me for the rest of my life.  I really hope to go back again some-day in the near future.

The Brothers are very much in touch with their faith.  They reflect and involve their faith in their everyday lives.  It’s how they live.  The Sisters use their faith to show the young girls and boys there is hope.  Especially for the girls in the City of Joy, hope is what they need, as well as love and care.  The Brothers and Sisters inspire me very much.  They are wonderful people and aren’t noticed or recognised as much as they should.  They devote their lives to work with God and incorporate Him in the lives of everyone they meet.”

(Shauna O’Brien)


Please read Br. Martin O’ Flaherty’s comment on Youth Activity in the COMMENTS SECTION