Father Raymund J Festin SVD

Faces Of The Other

By Father Raymund J Festin SVD

Fr Festin, from Odiongan, Romblon, learns some important lessons on being a missionary. We thankThe Wordwww.theword.ie , published monthly by the Divine Word Missionaries in Ireland, for this article.

Angola is a hauntingly beautiful country lying along a stretch of Africa’s Atlantic shoreline. It is blessed with the choicest gifts of nature: fertile land, an ocean with a plentiful supply of fish, the air is sweet, tropical fruits abound and diamonds and oil flow like milk and honey. In the remote rural areas, time passes at a serene and soft rhythm, unperturbed by the din of war.

Sadly, Angola, formerly so idyllic, became for more than thirty years the scene of ruin and despair. After a long running struggle with the Portuguese, independence was finally won in 1975. Then, Angola’s liberation forces turned their arms against each other. The fledgling nation was ripped apart by a civil war that wrought untold suffering on her people. The many fertile fields, where the people sowed and gathered their harvest, became battlegrounds of terror and wastelands filled with landmines.