As early as 7:00am ie. 6:00 GMT, the Team left the centre at Bauchi to Jos, North Central Nigeria for the wedding ceremony. We made sure we were at the venue before everyone else and positioned ourselves where we could catch a glimpse at every bit of the activity at the occasion.
At exactly 11am, Maria arrived and the whole church was astounded by her Immaculate looks as she was gorgeously dressed in white gown and holding a beautiful flower. People were fascinated by her dancing step to the front of the Altar where Owen (her Man) was seated, patiently waiting for her arrival. Hitherto her arrival, while the music was on, Owen looked a bit anxious, as he repeatedly looked at his wrist watch. Perhaps he was afraid his would be wife may have changed her mind. So when she came, he joined the congregation in singing and rejoicing.
The mass was graced by Six Priests with Leo Traynor from the SELL Team as a co-celebrant. At exactly 11:45am, Owen and Maria exchanged their marital vows to one another promising “to Love and to hold, for better for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do them part.” This was done before Leo, who representing the church in his usual humorous style joined the two into one body as husband and wife. The venue, St. Mary’s Hwolshe in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria, was filled to the brim with loved ones, friends and well wishers of the bride and groom. Colleagues and many facilitators in training from Jos, Bauchi, Abuja and Kabba were also in attendance.
At 2:00pm, it was time to wine and dine at the reception ground. It was a very lovely place adorned with green colours and trees, signifying the communion with nature. Maria and Owen cut the Beautiful cake and danced themselves to Tango to the admiration of all present. The clownish Master of ceremony, MC also added colour to the occasion and made the whole day the fun of a life time. We at the SELL team wish Maria and Owen the best of marital life. You will recall that on 5th June 2010, Moses, the SELL team member responsible for Finance and Administration married Ann. That means the year, despite all odds, is a blessed one for the SELL team.
Back to the office, this week Wednesday, the Bauchi Diocesan chaplains and youth stakeholders gathered for the end of year evaluation. At the meeting, the year was reviewed to be a mixture of sorrows and joy for the SELL team and programme. It was sorrowful because of the death of many friends of the programme, like late Bishop John Moore. But on the contrary it was a huge blessing because the Team was able to reach 992 people with the programme during the year under review. This is by no means a small achievement considering the fact that the Team is still going to reach some more people before the year runs out. Beside, the dream to make the programme more ecumenical and inclusive yielded some positive results during the year gone by. The chaplains applauded the Team for the journey so far and gave their advice on how to make it even better next year and beyond.
Today, am alone in the office, because as I write this update, Jonathan and Leo are on the way travelling to little Gombi, in Yola, North East, Nigeria for mentoring of the four trainees from that axis on Leadership. It is a journey of over 800 km. We pray journey mercy and success for them.
Next week, the chaplains from the six dioceses of Jos, Shendam, Yola, Jalingo, Maiduguri and Bauchi are expected in the office for the end of year gathering and planning for 2011. Thereafter, Leo shall be travelling to Abuja for the St. Patricks West Africa regional renewal. Still next week, I shall be attending the third phase of the Alternative to violence facilitators training in Jos, while Jonathan and Maria shall be mentoring trainees at Dass in Bauchi. We hope to report on all this in our subsequent editions. Please permit me to pause here and attend to other office activities. Ciao.
Moses : For the SELL Team