Last year, Missio's Christmas appeal came from St Jude's Parish in Cameroon. They shared how Fr Noah's inspiring community was working hard to build classrooms to accommodate the many new students arriving due to the ongoing conflict. On World Youth Sunday, they shared a very special update from the parish.
Mill Hill Missionary, Fr Noah, has moved to a new post now, but his Mill Hill Missionary successor - Fr Leon - took over St Jude's Parish earlier this year, and the good work continues.
As well as supporting Fr Leon's oversight of St Francis Xavier School, Missio supporters in England and Wales have also supported another vital project: a youth choir which Fr Leon established in the parish.
Fr Leon set up the youth choir to get children and young people involved within the parish community. The vital aim is to prevent young people being recruited by local militant groups. In the continually volatile environment of Cameroon, a safe, inclusive space for young people is paramount.
Fr Leon shares: "The choir has helped our apostolate with the young people. Missio's support has enabled the purchase of local instruments, music recording equipment, and uniforms for the members. Apart from the donation received from the Missio England and Wales, we locally contributed 75,000 XAF (£98.67) towards choir costs'.
Fr Leon has sent video footage of the choir and it is wonderful to see how the young people are growing in confidence and skill. Now there are 76 members, led by the young people themselves.
Click here to watch the video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9aU5bjbALg.
In October, Fr Leon sent this message: "Yesterday we launched the children's choir at Mass. You can see the photos with the choir's new uniforms. These are the uniforms we made with the funds sent by Missio. The people were so happy to see the children's choir leading the singing. The people celebrated! After Mass, the parish raised 50,000 XAF (£65.70)! I am grateful to Missio England and Wales for supporting my ministry in Cameroon'.
The feast of Christ the King is also World Youth Sunday; a day to pray for all children, and give thanks for the talent, energy and faith of young people around the world. We're inspired by the young people of Fr Leon's parish, and the way they are turning away from violence and towards God. They are building a strong and vibrant Church for the future. And, with your help, this brave community can continue to 'rise up' in faith, and lift its voice in praise!
Missio's Christmas appeal supports children and young people around the world. Read more about this year's appeal and donate here: https://missio.org.uk/christmas-appeal-22/
Missio's children's branch, Mission Together, helps nurture children's faith here and overseas through catechism, prayer - and song! Could your choir join us to sing this Advent and Christmas?
Find singalong carols and hymns here: https://missiontogether.org.uk/sing-with-mission-together/