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Challenges: A path to Holiness - Tanzania

Bakhita Szent JozefinaChallenges: A path to Holiness.

Evaline Malisa Ntenga

WUCWO Board Member for Tanzania

Celebrating the life of Mrs Alpha (40years) and her Daughter Omega (15years).

Mathew 16:24-25 

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."


Luke 23:31

"For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?"


Jesus through this verse remind us that being a son of God, he went through trials and all sort of problems and challenges, and therefore anyone who chooses to be his disciple will face the same and even more. The Israelites went through the desert for 40years with lots of suffering – hunger, drought, snake bite, and the like before entering Canaan. 

Life is full of problems but there are two ways to look at problems. You can see them as obstacles, something that ruins you and holds you back, or else you can see them as opportunities to fulfill our call to holiness. It is all up to us. Do I see this problem as a path to ruin, or as an opportunity to better myself, my own situation, and that of family, my community, my country?

My fellow women, the world we live in is full of challenges and temptations. But there is something all of us have, something we may have for a while, and that is the ability to choose which path to take or which of the two things you will want to choose. Will I let myself be overcome by problems or will I turn my problems into new opportunities, and win in the end?

We have people who never experienced love in their own families. How can we move beyond this? Everywhere there are young people who are abandoned, either at birth or later on by their family, their parents, and some, they have never known the love of the family. All around us, there are not only abandoned young people but also abandoned elderly persons who have no one to visit them, show them affection. That is why the family is so important. How do we overcome the experience of being abandoned, of not being loved?

There is only one remedy Says Alpha who has missed the family love having lost her parents at tender age and was later rejected by her in-laws: Despite hardships she is going through, the encourages people to give what they have not received. If you have not experienced love, show love to others. If you have known loneliness, then try to be close to others who are lonely.

We all want a better future, employment, health, and prosperity. When we see poverty, when we experience a lack of opportunity, when we experience failure in our lives, sometimes a feeling of despair can grow, and you can be tempted to lose hope. Life sometimes presents us with dirty puddles. We do not have to overcome those problems and puddles on our own or try to remove our cross. God is there to take our hand if only we call him. Jesus does not make us cross to the other side alone, instead, he asks us to make the crossing with him as each one of us responds to her specific vocation.

I look at Josephine Bakhita as my role model and each time I read her story I find a reason to move on. Two things I will always carry with me are Rosary and the Cross, says Alpha who vowed to preach the Gospel of the resurrection of Jesus amidst her suffering and challenges of nursing her Girl Omega who turning 15years in March.

Alpha was born in 1982 in a protestant family. Alpha lost her mother at the age of 2years and her father at the age of 14years when she was in Form 2. Due to family challenges after losing her parents, Alpha was discontinued from school as she could not afford the school fees and associated costs.

Alpha met her soul mate, Mr. Abel, in 2003 who was a Roman Catholic, she also converted to Roman Catholicism. After courtship for two years, they got married in 2005. Through the support of her husband, Alpha and Abel were blessed with a new baby girl Omega in 2006.

The happiness for a baby girl didn’t last long. Omega was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and after 3 surgeries she developed paralysis from her abdomen due to disconnection of some nerves with the brain. The husband and the in-laws rejected Alpha and the granddaughter Omega. The husband abandoned the family and went on with his life leaving the wife suffering alone taking care of Omega who until now at the age of 14years she can’t do anything for herself. Alpha resigned from her permanent employment in 2015 as she needed time for Omega.

Abel was a businessman with big shops in the city center and used to travel the world for business. Unfortunately, in 2010, Abel lost his business and went bankrupt. Abel reconsidered his decision to abandon the family and decided to bow to his wife Alpha to get back and rebuild the family together. It was not an easy decision. His parents were not happy with such decision, and he was asked to choose between going back to his family or face rejection from his parents (a rich family with wealth and resources) of which he chose to join his wife. Since 2010 to date Abel is still jobless. He only gets temporary jobs that do not generate sufficient income to support the needy family.

Omega who is turning 15 years old in March, is currently in grade 6 this year. Omega has been dismissed from school several times due to her disability. She likes school and her dream is to be a Medical Doctor.  The family is now struggling to get her back to school with hope.

We too, like apostles, need to be full of hope and enthusiasm for the future. May the Virgin Mary, who by sharing in the Passion of her son, now share in his perfect joy, protect us and encourage us in our path of hope.

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