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May 30, 2014   

Who's Ministering to Whom?

If you've ever been on a mission trip, especially to a foreign and unfamiliar land, you might have thought about the first Christian missionaries and the sacrifices they've made spreading the faith. You may have even entertained the thought of yourself as being one "in the long line" of these missionaries. The joy that comes from the thought of having made some sort of sacrifice for Christ continues to attract many today to go on mission trips. Even people who would not normally consider doing anything associated with something remotely dangerous are moved by the Spirit. 

When I think of the first Christian missionaries I think of men and women who assimilated themselves, frequently amidst a hostile environment, with people whose culture is completely different from their Christian values. Instead of seeking isolation from these people of different values and beliefs, the first Christians lived among them, associated themselves, convinced that they were God's leaven and that their example will help usher in a transformation - a new life in Christ. These early Christians paved the way for so many of us baptized children of God.

I've finally had a chance to reflect on my recent visit to India.

Before landing in India I entertained in my mind the idea of being like the first Christians who overcame many obstacles during their trips. I envisioned speaking to tribal villagers about Christ and His message, talking about the gifts of the Holy Spirit through baptism, the Church founded by Christ, how life can be so much more joyful when living a life guided by the Spirit, etc., etc. I expected to be 'ministering' to many: you know, what many expect Christian missionaries do. But God had other plans for me, one of the deacons of the Church. My experience will surprise you.

As I travelled hundreds of miles meeting tribal villagers who have recently been converted to the faith I wondered: Who's ministering to Whom? They spoke of their love for Christ, the joy of having finally connected 'nature' and the God who made all things (these tribals had no religion prior to conversion to Christianity), their devotion to the Blessed Mother, the joy of singing while praying the rosary (first time I've heard the rosary prayed in song), the sacraments, and many other things. The enthusiasm of these new Christians to help spread the faith along with the religious missionaries in the area  is a sight to behold. There was so much joy amidst abject poverty!

And let me make it clear what I mean by poverty. I came from a very poor country, visited many poor countries, and yet their poverty still took me by surprise. Houses made out of mud and packed cow dung, hundreds of school children eating on the floor (impossible when raining), schools with no chairs or desks, no bathrooms for hundreds of children - yes, abject poverty. And yet, even in the midst of clearly lacking so much there was so much joy! Their joy in the midst of what we in the developed world would call as a life 'severely lacking.'

In the meantime, as a beggar for Christ, I am joyfully asking for your generosity towards our poor children in India. It never ceases to amaze me to see what our Catholic World Mission family can do. I thank you, with a humble heart, for all your continued help toward God's children in need.

Yours in Christ,

Urgent need:
Construction of bathrooms and eating facilities for 300 children in India who dine on the floor and bathe in the river.
Every dollar brought in by June 15 will be matched up to $20,000 to fund construction at the tribal student hostel
in Dudhani.
Please don't delay! 



Details of Project:

  • 10 toilets, septic and sewage tanks: 

  • New building for a
    proper dining hall and sleeping quarters:


 Total needed: $39,200


Please help provide our children with sanitary eating quarters and bathrooms!



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Donations to Catholic World Mission alleviate suffering while bearing fruit for generations to come. We scrupulously target our efforts, supporting projects with practical applications to help people in need use their God-given talents to become the self-sufficient, dignified children of God they were created to be. Every donation, large or small, is put to the best use possible, planting seeds of hope while unveiling the face of God to the world's most needy.


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