This summer promises to be an exciting one. On June 13th, I will be boarding a flight to Nairobi, Kenya with 4 of my friends from the chaplaincy. Together we'll start the long-awaited African phase of our journey, where we'll be volunteering at St Ignatius Prep and Primary School with the Jesuit Missions.
We're all very excited to get there and get stuck in with the good work. However, in many ways Mission Africa has already begun.
Our friends hear us talking about it, we spend late nights discussing our fundraising options, writing grant proposals, each bringing forth our own ideas and enthusiasm.
The question 'Why are you going to Africa this summer?' may warrant a different response from each person. Whether it be to teach children science, set up a sports league, record a musical choir, and discuss faith, God plants mysterious seeds in our hearts.
The responsibility of organising the trip has been largely with us, the students. This involves booking flights, deciding on a vision, and engaging with our local community to support us by fundraising. Through this process we have learned that despite having conviction towards the cause, we come across obstacles in our path, which may sometimes be ourselves.
Mission Africa has been a character developing process; one that will no doubt benefit us as well as those we visit in Tanzania. So far we have had pancake sales, a Malaysian food stall, a Lithuanian art exhibition, and African jewellery sales to raise money.
This Saturday Kevin and I are doing a sponsored hitch-hike from a mystery location in the UK back to Manchester. Rokas is doing another art exhibition. Steph and Ladislav will be leading our first car wash at St Bernard's Church in Burnage (where we've been warmly welcomed by Mgr Michael Kujacz and his parishioners.
All this in the name of Mission Africa.
To encourage us on this student-led initiative to make a difference through our faith, please sponsor us - thank you so much for your support!
Ed Potter is a second year Physics with Astrophysics student at the University of Manchester. He loves playing basketball and is member of the chaplaincy committee