For the first time since long, the scholarship holder meeting took place in Aachen at Missio. Nineteen scholarship holders from Africa and Asia actually studying in Germany and Austria met here in order to discuss about their studies and dissertations but also to talk about daily challenges. For the scholarship holders who only were here in Germany for three to six months the German weather was their biggest challenge until now. However, their knowledge of the German language was good already.
On Sunday, we started with a report about the Catholic Church in China. In addition, the donators were invited. Finally, we celebrated the mass together with various African songs and Asiatic rites.
We would now like to present some of the scholarship holders and their "mission":
He himself experienced the oppression of the Dalit people in India. Now, Lawrence Rayappan is a catholic priest in the diocese of Vellore and he is writing his doctoral thesis. The 31-years old Lawrence Rayappan is examining, how women of the Christian Dalit people may become independent financially. The MWI is supporting him by a scholarship. „Without the scholarship I wouldn't have had any chance to graduate”, he said in Aachen. „My objective is to change the conscience of the Dalits and of the higher castes in India in order to change by this way the society. I am the first of our village, who became priest. I have a huge responsibility.“
The 31-year old priest Vincent Alam Jijingi comes from Nigeria. He intends to research about religious education and wants to write his doctoral thesis about this concern. „In Nigeria, obedience and respect from the children towards their parents are of a great significance. The parents are very authoritarian and they do everything to give that their children accept these cultural values. My objective is the self-education. I want the children to decide by theirselves for which faith they are, as they get to a more developed faith by this way.“
Pascal Tshombokongo Otshumbe:
He comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo and has been looking for a subject, where he may talk about his home church. Now, he is can graduate in Christian Music in the African Context and about her enculturation in the liturgy. „We are living in a culture, where we like to sing and to dance, also during the mass“, he explains. „It is an experience of faith, if we sing together and if we are standing as a community in front of God. My doctoral thesis will help us to better understand and to develop the liturgy“, he explains. It is also fascinating, how the traditional teaching of the roman-catholic church may be fruit bearing for urgent daily life problems of the Churches of the South.
Pascal Olivier Angue:
The 27-year old Pascal Olivier Angue is priest in the archdiocese of Yaoundé in Cameroon and he wants to study the Theology of Saint Augustine, because of a very actual reason: „With my spirituality and my theory I have fighted against a lot of negative things, like for example sects. This is an actual problem in my home country. Augustine may in this case be a model for our church.“ Pascal Olivier Angue feels very motivated by the MWI scholarship: „I want to help the people in their life - spiritually and in their everyday life. Therefore, we need well-educated priests in order to bring forward the Church.“
By the way: If you want to help these young great hopes of the African and Asian Church, you may support them by financing a MWI scholarship.
Since 50 years the MWI accompanied, together with his partners, younger Churches in Africa and Asia on their way into the future. We support their leaders during their education and we share the vision of a common future.
Prof. Dr. Harald Suermann, Direktor des MWI