An Advent Reflection

The youngest author in Africa and top ten youngest writers in the World, published a book titled “Waiting for the waves”. The South African born girl with Cameroon roots, in her book describes how a young girl called Titi with her family lived far away from the beach and one day decided to visit the sea. Once at the beach, the little girl liked the waves but was scared to enter the sea and her uncle and family helped her to believe in herself and to conquer her fears.

I particularly like the book because it talks about hope and self-confidence and the inner struggle of love and fear.

At a glance, the book has a renewed message of hope for South African children and youth as we head into Advent, a time of waiting… waiting to celebrate the birth of Jesus, waiting for the second coming of Christ, waiting for the end of the year and the chance to be with family and loved ones.

In a bigger picture of life, waiting is a key part of what it means to be human.

There is anxious waiting; waiting to see a close friend/husband/wife after a long time. There is fearful waiting: waiting for the outcome of exam results or medical tests. At this time of the year, I am thinking of joyful waiting, as we await the birth of a child in the family; Emmanuel- God with us. Waiting is part of us, of our daily life; waiting for a bus/train, waiting for children/parents, waiting to visit a family, waiting to marry or get a job, waiting to eat, waiting to die, waiting for the gift of Christ or simply waiting for God. Waiting in hope, in love and in patience is important as hope never fails us. We live by hope. Stop having hope and you are dead. Hope desires the Kingdom of God, eternal life, happiness, placing our trust in God relying not on our strength but the strength of God. As long as there is life, there is hope, for hope sustains life.

Advent is here now. God will dispel all darkness and will be with us in our situations of life mending distances that divide and separate us.

In South Africa, as we wait in the midst of darkness and political and economic uncertainty, we hope for an enkindled hope, for broken and child headed families to be reunited, for orphans to receive Christmas gifts, for enemies to be reconciled, for better governance and delivery of social services, for justice and peace, for cure and healing, for decent jobs and economic security and for love in the community.

Michelle Nkamakeng, with her new book, has raised the expectations of other children in the townships of South Africa and has helped them to believe that it is possible for them to achieve remarkable things because there in her is an example, a model, a peer who has done it; conquering her fear of waves with love and support from her own family. In her memoirs, Michelle encourages children to always follow their dreams, to always believe in themselves, never to let anybody get in their way, and if you can't read you can't write.

Anthony Ndang Ndichia, is a Mill Missionary working in the diocese of Kroonstad South Africa.

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Fr Anthony Ndang mhm celebrating with youth

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