Fr. Emmanuel Mbeh MHM honoured with Award

Dear Fr. Mbeh, The African Cultural Festival & Award Ceremony Sunderland African Community Association (SACA) in conjunction with Pan African Network, African Women Voices and Matamba wishes to inform you that you have been selected to receive an award for your selfless service, achievements and an outstanding contribution towards improving the lives of Africans resident in Sunderland, UK and beyond. On behalf of the Sunderland African Community, we want to say a big congratulations on this well-deserved recognition! Your hard work and dedication have not gone unnoticed, and we are honored to present you with this award. The award ceremony will take place on the 2rd anniversary of annual Sunderland African Cultural festival slated for the 5th of August, 2023 from 1:00pm to 5pm at the City Hall, Plater Way, Sunderland…. We hope that you will be able to attend… Please kindly tell us in few words about your ministry and endeavours in this regard.

I am Fr Emmanuel Nuh Mbeh, from the Archdiocese of Bamenda in Cameroon.  I am a missionary who studied and worked in Uganda, Kenya and South Africa. I have been in Sunderland and the Northeast for the past three years.  The following Bible verses inspire my vocation and missionary outreach:

  1. Matthew 10:8; as you go, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
  2. The parable of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25-37.
  3. John 15:16.  You did not choose me, no I chose you and I sent you out to bear fruit that will last.

I come from a village and was as poor as any rural child.  The Catholic Church and missionary priests and religious inspired many of us by their prayer and sacraments, by building churches, paying school fees, paying hospital bills and feeding so many poor and underprivileged people in my village and diocese and country.

Where and when I worked in Uganda and South Africa, I tried to do the same. The parable of the Sower talks about the seeds that fell in good, rich and fertile soil and bore fruits 30, 60, 100 fold. That is how Christianity transforms many of us to pay it forwardI receive without charge, and I give without charge.

I pray, listen and try to help those desperate, disadvantaged and victims of circumstances.  As Mother Teresa always looked out to serve Jesus in the poorest of the poor and gave them her full attention, one person at a time, so too for me, anyone I sense needy and desperate, I treat as my family member needing help or as Jesus commands us to care for others’ wellbeing.

With our newly arrived or struggling to cope African brothers and sisters in the community, I helped transport those needing to move to a new house, I helped with shopping for basic needs, I helped with £5, 10, 20, or more when I could afford, to those needing financial help to buy things, or transportation or rent or exams.  With the Help of Mrs Kelechi, Mrs Kuffrey, Mrs Linda and Dr Chris, Mr/Mrs Jean and Ingrid and other close friends, we provided cooking utensils, a bed and other basic needs to the needy that came my way.

Again, I take no credit for it; freely you have received, freely give to those in need.  To Jesus who works through us; to God who is able to do so much more to us and through us, in the Church and in the community, to Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

To live in the midst of the world with no desire for its pleasures; to be a member of every family, yet belonging to none; to share all sufferings; to penetrate all secrets, to heal all wounds; to daily go from men to God to offer Him their homage and petitions; to return from God to men to bring them His pardon and hope; to have a heart of fire for charity and a heart of bronze for chastity; to bless and to be blest forever. O God, what a life, and it is yours, O Priest of Jesus Christ! AmenBy Jean-Baptiste Henri Lacordaire, OP (1802-1861)

Thanks to this organization for doing more and for recognising the humble contributions of many of us in alleviating others’ sufferings.  Thanks to the Mayor and to Sunderland City Council.

                                                                        Emmanuel Mbeh, August 2023

I forgot to add this music to the reflection. “Comme d’habitude there was plenty of dance…. (Emmanuel Mbeh)

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