17 April 2010

North Horr Saves

Every Easter, Catholics around the world affirm their belief that their savior gave his life so that their sins would be forgiven. Bless us Father for we have sinned. Team Kickabout worked our Beloved Warthog to the limit, sending her spiraling into a coma for an indefinite amount of time. So, this Easter, Team Kickabout’s saviors came in the form of a trinity of a different dogma: the Father, the sun, and our persisting spirit.

Our Father who art in Northern Kenya, Antony be his name, is the residing priest of the Catholic Mission of North Horr and the surrounding area. A German man of the church, he has officiated here for the last 13 years. This Holy Wednesday, his mission was to say mass in the remote village of Gaas and to rescue the four mzungus stranded just outside the village, delivering them to a place of safety and assistance. This is how Kickabout came to know North Horr and the Catholic Mission.

The Catholic Mission of North Horr is a place where more than just the marooned seek refuge and guidance. In a town where unemployment rates are high and job opportunities are low, people find strength in their community and their faith. They have invested deeply in this parish and family activities center on the church. Younger members band together to form the Catholic Mission’s youth group. Grade level Standard 8 is a required prerequisite to join the youth group, making membership a reward for education and also ensuring that the group members are active thinkers well on their way to becoming contributing members of society.

These kids take their duties to their parish very seriously, leading the choir at every mass and serving as role models to smaller, on looking churchgoers. In addition to their weekly commitments, they also preach in nearby Christian communities during school breaks and attend to the sick and impoverished as needed. When asked why the Mission is important to the up and coming generations of North Horr, Stephen says, “We come here because it helps us realize our faith and to live in faith.”

These teens are living in both faith and understanding. In a mature initiative wise beyond their years, the group promotes harmony between the Christians and Muslims of North Horr, a symbiotic collective unique to this part of the world. From time to time, they host united, interfaith meetings between local youth to discuss both perspectives and apply them to issues facing the town. Naturally, Team Kickabout suggested that the town’s kids meet outside of these formal symposiums to hang out and play some footy (of course the Kickabouters offered to demonstrate as well, playing a pick-up game on Easter Sunday afternoon). If you’d like additional information about the Catholic Mission of North Horr and how you too can help promote understanding across faiths, please contact info@thekickabout.org.

So, Team Kickabout was fortunate enough to spend this holy weekend in observation of the Mission and its faithful, but what of this bizarre aforementioned trinity? While we got to know the good people of North Horr, we witnessed an Easter miracle: four days of sunshine during the rainy season. All of these strong, powerful rays meant that we were granted good roads for our journey to Nairobi. The Father’s gracious aid partnered with ideal driving conditions and our unrelenting tenacity to forge ahead allowed us to plow onward towards Nairobi.

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