Our Gapper Madeline will be heading off to Uganda this weekend as part of her ‘Step into the Gap’ year of volunteering with CAFOD. Her placement is hosted 4 days per week by our partner Leeds Trinity University Chaplaincy and on a Friday, Madeline supports our schools and parish work across the Diocese of Leeds.
We asked Madeline, how she is feeling and what she is thinking about just before she sets off.
“My main hope for my trip to Uganda is in what I can bring back to the UK. I will have a unique opportunity which will allow me to learn not just stories, but about the lives of those almost 6,000 miles away. I will then be able to share this snapshot of life with others when I return to the UK, hopefully encouraging people to continue their amazing support of CAFOD.
There is often a divide between prayer and service for a lot of Catholics, myself included. Prayer is one thing, which in my experience is usually quiet and often alone. Service is something entirely different, and focuses on relationships with people rather than a relationship with God. I feel that my time in Uganda will help to change this view. I will be seeing people live their faith, helping others as a service not just to humanity and the world, but also God. I am hoping to share this change in view, as I feel it is important that the connection is made between our relationships with others and our relationship with God.
“It is true that the primacy belongs to our relationship with God, but we cannot forget that the ultimate criterion on which our lives will be judged is what we have done for others.” –Gaudete et Exsultate; Pope Francis 2018
When I return from Uganda, I am going to be running a workshop on this topic at Youth 2000 at Leeds Trinity University. In Uganda I will be able to see people truly living their faith, and really living the values set out in the Bible. I will be a living link between the communities in Uganda and those in the UK. I am taking messages of hope to Uganda from those in Leeds, both at schools and at the university. I hope to also bring messages back from those being supported by CAFOD overseas.
I do, of course, also have many hopes for the time I spend in Uganda. I hope to experience a culture hugely different to my own, meet some incredible people and truly get to know the work CAFOD and partners do.
If you would like to book Madeline for a talk or a workshop at your parish or school, please let us know firstname.lastname@example.org or call (0113) 275 9302
For more information on our ‘Step into the Gap’ programme take a look here