The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

Gifts from the Parish to Nigeria

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Dear friends, I write to say a very big thank you for all the gifts I received from you in preparation for my holidays to Nigeria. I received a number of items ranging from handbags, jewellery, footwear, assorted electronics and even cash. Almost all of these items were so perfect. The ones that were not very suitable for the Nigerian weather condition, I took to the charity shops around here.

I worked with a company known as Opsat Shipping, UK Nigeria express based in London, in sending the items to Nigeria. All the items were contained in eleven big containers provided by the company, with an average weight of about 60 kilograms each; some I sent to Abuja and the rest to my home town, for easy distribution. I sent two other containers through Fr Solomon and another friend to the North-eastern part of Nigeria and Lagos respectively. I spent about £1,070.00 in sending the items to Nigeria; about £380 came from some people.

During my holidays the distribution of these items kept me engaged most of the time. I tried as much as I could to make sure that the people got what was good to them and their dependants. I also tried making sure that it reached as many people as possible in different parts of Nigeria. Apart from the ones I sent to North-eastern Nigeria and Lagos, I distributed a good number of the items to the people in Abuja, Kaduna, Lokoja, Onitsha, Port Harcourt and Umuahia.

I was so happy to come in contact with a young lady in her late twenties, working and sponsoring herself in the university. This same lady takes care of her sick father, her five siblings as well as two needy girls aged 14 and two. She was so overwhelmed when I invited her to come and pick various items. She picked a lot of them and was so happy that for the next year she will not need to buy most of the items she picked. That gave me lots of joy and a great sense of satisfaction.

In my home town, where most of the items were distributed, people were so excited. They have always been the ones contributing for me to give to the people of Malawi while I lived and worked there. For the first time they have received these beautiful and assorted items all the way from the UK.

I am so glad with the turn out of this exercise. I saw many people so overjoyed because of the items they got. It is not a very good time in Nigeria for a number of reasons but lots of people were able to smile again because of the gifts they received. Adaora, one of the beneficiaries, sent me this message: “When men lift you up definitely it will be the height of their hands, but when God lifts you up it is high above all. May the good Lord bless you for putting a smile on my face.”

My conclusion is that what we think less useful to us can actually be like gold to somebody somewhere. It takes a very little thing to give joy to others. I sincerely thank every member of the Parish of Blessed John Henry Newman for making this exercise possible and for putting smiles on the faces of so many people in Nigeria. I thank par- ticularly the Parish Priest and members of the Pastoral team for supporting and pro- moting the idea. If I have the opportunity I would like to do it again.

God Bless you all

Fr Emmanuel

Published Tue 4th Oct 2016 15:22:28
Last Modified on Tue 4th Oct 2016 15:22:28

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