by Mark Huntington
I am currently in formation as a Maryknoll Brother on the Overseas Training Program (O.T.P.) in Metangula, Mozambique. I see my ministry as working with African communities at the grassroots level dealing with faith and health issues. My experience and learnings while working as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in Kenya, as well as recently completing a Masters in Public Health has been good preparation for ministry in Mozambique.
I am involved in administration of health posts in the parish and assisting local hospital staff in vaccinating people in the rural villages. I also work with our parish team to implement the Lichinga Dioceses program to combat AIDS. We work with youth and adults to seek solutions to the specific problems of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in their communities.
I plan to work more with various communities in our parish to develop activities that deal with mainly preventative medicine as well as health care, which is the goal of our Diocese of Lichinga's health commission. The health commission has over 50 health posts and training programs for basic health workers. This program is an excellent opportunity for me to use my experience during my O.T.P.
This year the parish team welcomed Brazilian Sisters of the Jesus de Crucificado community. One of the sisters that will be joining them in the near future is a nurse. I will be able to orientate her to the health ministry in our parish before I return to the U.S.A. to complete my formation. This work is a slow process but very important as many here lack health education and access to health care. So I see my ministry as a Maryknoll Brother as building relationships at the community level and to help the local Mozambican people to develop appropriate activities to address their health needs.