Easter 2016 in Ndako Ya Biso
Here is how the street children who are cared for by the Ndako Ya Biso Centers celebrated Easter.
Firstly, on the Monday of Holy Week, 31 children and 7 educators went away to the Manresa spiritual center on the outskirts of Kinshasa. There, in the heart of a small forest, they found a Way of the Cross with 14 stations decorated with very simple pictures showing African characters that the children could relate to. That Way of the Cross enabled the children to understand the sufferings of Jesus, and they could often relate personally to His experience of rejection. But they were also sensitive to the suffering of Jesus’ mother, and to Veronica’s compassion. After the Way of the Cross they sat down in a circle, boys on one side, girls on the other, in order to wash each other’s feet. Once the meaning of this gesture had been explained to them the children happily joined in. Each child was able to kneel down in front of a friend with whom there had been a conflict, wash his or her feet, share a hug, and be reconciled. It was a very beautiful moment. On the Tuesday the children watched the film of the Passion of Jesus. Many were very moved when they saw the sufferings and rejection of Jesus by his people, and by the fact that Jesus did not reply to those who insulted him, but instead forgave them.
On Holy Saturday Father Nicolas came at midday to celebrate the Easter Mass with the children. There were about thirty boys and ten girls, plus their educators. The priest read the Gospel of the resurrection then explained that death is life in the streets, while resurrection is life back into one’s family and in school.
“Resurrection is possible! We believe that the Lord can help each child here recover his life, his dignity, his place in his family, and in this way really come to life again with Jesus.” This was Fr Nicolas’ strong message. The children prayed for their family and for their return. After the celebration a lovely festive meal had been prepared (chicken, caterpillars, rice and beans) and it was shared with joy by all the children and also by some visitors that had come for the celebration. Everyone was able to choose a sweet drink, and the feast ended happily.
Kinshasa, le 27/3/2016