What exactly is your role in the journey to the next 50 years? What kind of Church do you envision and what will be your contribution starting today?
On 16th September 2019, Our Lady of Africa Mbuya Parish celebrated a Golden Jubilee to mark 50 years since its founding. What a great milestone! As I sat in church with the rest of you, on that Saturday morning, I reflected on the opportunity and privilege to be part of the history of our Church. So many people attended the sacrifice of mass that was led by His Grace, Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, with so many other Church leaders in attendance.
Many of us would be very fortunate to celebrate the next 50 years of the Church. It will be marked on 16th September 2069.
If you are 30 years old today, you will be about 80 years then. If you are 50 years old, you will be 100 years on that next anniversary. That is the joy of life – making the most of it while it lasts. If you have a five-year-old, now is time to ask, how are you preparing them to build on the strong foundation our forefathers laid for us which we are now celebrating?
My foundation was laid for me by Grandpa. So when my friends ask me, why a Mustapha Barnabas, I take them back to my upbringing in Munteme village. Allow me to explain:
I am a product of an inter-religious marriage. Dad, a Moslem, wanted more than Mom, a Christian, could offer over time. She instead moved on along with me in her womb. And that’s how I am called Mugisa, because, in her own words “my survival was by luck.” There she was. Alone. With my other three siblings of Dad, starting a new life in a boy’s quarter at her dad’s (my grandpa’s) place. I grew as Barnabas and lurked the Church Alter as a boy. While about to register for Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) or senior four, Dad appeared and so was the name “Mustapha.” It got space on all my subsequent academic certificates. But ‘Barnabas’ remains who really I am – an Altar Boy. But that was an investment my grandfather, Mzee Atanansi Komunjara, mom’s dad, made for me. He took me to church every Sunday. We prayed together every single night before going to bed, and very early morning. He would often say, “Prayer is your fixed deposit on your soul for what you cannot control. The rest of your needs, wake up early, work hard on the right things. Do your best.” I got a certain level of discipline that is special in someways and has given me an unprecedented edge when it comes to career opportunities and friendships with people.
What are you doing for the Church as we start the journey to the next 50 years? How are you bringing your children close to the church and involving them in church activities? Remember there is nothing like a missed opportunity by being a bystander than an active player. Only unserious people would enjoy an award like “the best spectator” if at all it exists. It is one thing to be a Christian. And another to be a disciple. And another to be an apostle – an advocate, who shares the good news. Which of these are you?
What exactly is your role in the journey to the next 50 years? What kind of Church do you envision and what will be your contribution starting today? How do you want the church to help you and what can you offer? Have you let the church leaders know about your skills and the opportunities available? Take time today to write a letter to the Parish priest of how you envision our lady of Africa Mbuya church and the role you can play in making it happen.
Remember, when you pay tithe, or volunteer at church, you are an active advocate. You are empowering the Church leaders to spread the good news. To keep the church clean and support the church projects to lay a strong foundation for future success.
May God bless you with good health, wealth and good heart to take an active role in your communities and church affairs. May you thrive.
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