Congo: Little miracles for the fishers of men

Duc in altum! “Put out into the deep!” (Lk 5:4). Christ does not demand the exceptional, still less the impossible, in order for miracles to happen. However, he does demand faith and sometimes a little effort. In the diocese of Lisala, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the catechists and missionaries regularly travel down the broad Congo River in an old river boat called the Magnificat in order to reach the communities on the banks and riverine islands.

“And he taught them from the boat” (cf. Lk 5:3): Bishop Ernest Ngboko on one of the islands on the River Congo.
“And he taught them from the boat” (cf. Lk 5:3): Bishop Ernest Ngboko on one of the islands on the River Congo.

Last autumn on such a journey, a sudden squall, as on Lake Genasereth, tossed the boat about violently. Driven by the wind, it veered off course and hit a tree on the bank. A large branch went straight through the stern, causing the hold to fill with water and the boat to capsize. Miraculously, no one was hurt but the Magnificat was unable to go any further.

The Magnificat after the accident.
The Magnificat after the accident.

Despite Bishop Ernest Ngboko Ngombe’s best efforts, the boat’s recovery and repair swallowed up the last of the diocese’s financial reserves. Now the faithful are hoping
for another miracle – in the form of our help. The diocese needs this boat. Bishop Ernest is asking for €8,700, so that the Magnificat can once again sail forth with its
“fishers of men” aboard.

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