I retired a few years ago from the civil service and for a while I used to live and work on my farm far from Nairobi. Due to severe drought, agricultural production was brought to its knees. I was therefore forced to move back to Nairobi where I now live with my family.
Thinking about what I could do with my time, I started to read e-books and in general started getting more familiar with the digital world through my computer and my smart phone. Soon enough I started to prepare some messages that I used to send to my friends, including members of what here in Kenya we call “small Christian community”. These messages contain the daily readings of the Mass with some short suitable commentaries that I would get from one of the e-books and internet.
What started with a couple of people has now become a network of about 150 people who are spread throughout the world. Of course, most of them are my neighbours, people I meet in my parish and relatives and friends. But with time some people have moved on but they keep asking me to keep sending them the material every day.
Now I remember that a lady, a neighbor, moved to Somalia because of work. She told me that my material was extremely useful as it kept her faith alive during a time in which it was impossible for her to find a church to go to Mass. Another friend, who has now moved to the US, complained when I stopped sending the material for one or two days due to unavoidable circumstances. She told me not to stop as he used to share the material with her friends. So actually, my estimation of 150 people receiving the “material” may be underestimated.
Of course, the material I send complements my personal conversations with my friends whenever I get the opportunity. Let me tell you a couple of stories that reflect this.
Every day I need to go to a thermal therapy establishment to get physiotherapy. There we always tend to be the same people. One day I introduced myself to one of them, inviting him to accompany me to morning Mass. He accompanied me gladly and also the following days. Now he goes every day, even the days that I do not go to that Mass. He told me he used to be a Catholic married in the church but as he had a disagreement with his wife, he married a second one, thus becoming a nominal Catholic. Now he is beginning to rediscover the beauty of the faith he had abandoned. I am praying for him to sort out his family problems before becoming incorporated fully into the church.
Another parishioner approached my wife. She wanted to regularize her marital situation but she needed somebody to talk to her husband. I did so, we did all the necessary preparations, and now they are happily married in the church.
To all these people I keep sending by WhatsApp my material so that, little by little, we all keep growing in the knowledge and appreciation of our faith.