Jun and Malou Clarito, are CFC-ANCOP Canada’s full-time mission worker in Eastern Africa. Sis Malou, shared this testimony on God’s plan and His faithfulness which became the source of the couple’s faithfulness to their work with Couples for Christ. This sharing was made during the CFC Eastern Conference in Toronto, Canada).
WE joined CFC in 1991 in Laguna, Philippines. We continued our service with the Lord when we migrated in Canada in 2001. Jun became a full-time worker in 2007 and I followed in 2011. It has been four years now since we said “yes” to do the work of God in Africa.
Going on mission in Africa is not easy. The greatest challenges were leaving our family, especially our daughter for several months, missing important family events and of course, leaving the comforts of our home. We also had to make a lot of changes and adjustments as we went to new countries with a different language, food, culture, norms and values. Many times, the areas that we go to are hard to reach because of the rough roads, and safety is always a big concern. But God is always in control and all we had to do is to trust in him. Though the work is hard, we have always experienced Christ through this service and we’ve kept these priceless experiences in our hearts. Sometimes I would ask God, “why Africa?”. The answer came slowly over time… Serving in Africa taught us to appreciate even the little things that we have, like a bottle of water. It taught us to be patient and to trust in Him always … we are indeed his work in progress.
Last April 9, I celebrated my birthday while on mission in Tanzania. I realized then that it was the fourth year that I had missed celebrating this special day with my daughter and my family because we had always been on mission around this time. But God gave me a big surprise. Our children in Tanzania sponsored by ANCOP Canada came and started singing songs for me. They also brought with them cake, food and gifts. While they were singing, tears started flowing on my face. Yes, I was very happy because these children are special to me … but how I wish my daughter was also with me. As a mother, being away from my only child, is a very big sacrifice … but God has always journeyed with us during our ups and downs in the mission — so how can we go wrong?
We continue to praise Him because by God’s grace, our evangelization work has grown rapidly both in Kenya and in Tanzania. It is with great joy that I share with you that in one of our recently concluded CLPs in Moshi, there were 90 individuals that graduated while in Mombasa, we have around 105 participants in the ongoing CLP. It is with even greater joy that I share to you that while our evangelization work is growing, our work with the poor is growing and spreading as well.
During the 2014 CFC Conference in Toronto, I shared with you the pitiful condition of the children especially those with physical and mental challenges. Three years after having them under our ANCOP Child Sponsorship Program their lives were changed. They are now well taken care of. To date, in Africa, we have close to 500 children under the program, 77 of which are seminarians, both in minor and major seminary. Also, four Franciscan Sisters are now in school taking up Education because they want to teach the poor children in the remote areas. We also have given hope to “out of school” youths who were not able to continue their studies due to poverty as well as to young battered women — all of them are now under our one year vocational courses in hospitality and dressmaking. In one of our visits to the Bishop of Moshi in Tanzania, he said that “Couples for Christ is continuing the work of Jesus Christ of evangelizing and not forgetting to love and take care of the poor”.
I stand firm in my faith knowing that God will always be on my side. I will continue to do His work of evangelizing souls as well as taking care of the poor, because once upon a time, I too lost hope that I will be able to continue my education until God sent an angel who helped me finish my studies. I was once a sponsored child myself. If this is payback time, I willingly submit myself to continue being an instrument of hope to the hopeless through ANCOP.
I would like share with you a short video of our latest visit to Africa. We just came back here in Toronto a week ago and I hope that this video helps you see clearly how God has blessed our community in propagating his words through our work with the poor. May this video open your hearts to help and give hope to the lost, the last and the least – our beloved poor.
On behalf of CFC Africa and our ANCOP sponsored children, I say “Mungu Awabariki”. God bless you all.
Contributed by : Malou Clarito