Wednesday December 12, 2018
In these past weeks, we have making preparations for the Christmas gathering of those enrolled in our Orphan Education Program. We will have two gatherings, one on December 17th at Ichuni and the other December 18th at Gekano Parish. We have just over 400 in the program at this time. Each day will begin with Mass to thank God for the generosity of the people of the Diocese of Bismarck without whose support the Mission would not be possible. After Mass, we have a scheduled speaker, a former student in our Orphan Education Program. Following the speaker and announcements, we proceed to hand out the Christmas gift that consists of wheat flour and cooking fat. The amount given is determined by family size, for example, one orphan will receive two kilograms of flour and 500 grams of cooking fat. We conclude with lunch—a bottle of soda and a small loaf of bread.
This year at the Christmas gathering we will be handing out to the girls and young women in our program dresses that were sewn by a lady from Mandan. The dresses are of various sizes and colors. Earlier this week Rogers, two of his daughters, and I unpacked and sorted them.
Also, preparations are being made for a visit by Jim Nistler and some of his family. For those who do not know, Jim and his late wife, Henrietta, were part of the first missionary team from the Diocese of Bismarck to be sent to Kenya. Many of the older people have a fond remembrance of Jim and Henrietta, and they frequently ask about him.
Finally, the new school year begins on January 2, 2019. This means we will be paying school tuition and fees in the days after Christmas—again, we have one day set aside at Ichuni and one day at Gekano. Supporting these orphans so that they may receive an education is the heart and soul of the Bismarck Mission. On behalf of the orphans, their guardians and extended families, I would like to thank the people of the Diocese of Bismarck for their continued support of the Bismarck Mission.