Do you know what it is like to be hungry for a long period of time? I cannot even remember the last time I missed a meal!
For the poor in the missions, hunger is a constant companion. It is bad enough for adults, but it is the little children, the innocent ones, who suffer the most. Malnutrition and slow starvation cause stunted physical growth, serious mental retardation, and leave God’s little one’s easy prey to every disease and infection.
Franciscan missionaries work with the poorest of the poor in developing countries, helping to provide people with adequate resources, especially food and water.
Disaster Relief in India
This year, in Assam, India, the Brahmaputra River has caused severe damage as it poured over its banks due to torrential monsoon rains. Rice paddies and homes were washed away by flooding and landslides. The bodies of 54 people have been found, and only God knows how many more lives were lost.
The very poor villages of Simlabari, Bitpara, Madhupur, Santipur, and Bagulamari have been affected seriously. The people in those villages worked as day laborers in the rice paddies, but the floods have washed away the rice paddies and their homes.
Father Wilson Paul, OFM from the Franciscan Province of St. Thomas the Apostle in India has submitted an emergency request for $17,289 to provide 300 families with emergency food relief of rice, oil, and lentils. He also wants to help 33 families rebuild their homes by providing bamboo and tin sheets for roofing.
Feeding the Poor in the Philippines
For much of this year, Father Percy Tayem, OFM has been feeding 100 street children a day in the slums of Quezon City, Philippines. He received a grant of $40,000 from our office for this effort. Fr. Percy has been doing this work for over 8 years.
His goal has been to improve the health of the children and to protect them from infections by providing them with balanced nutrition. Many of the children are street kids. Others may have parents who work as day laborers and struggle to feed their families.
Another goal was to find a way of bringing the children into the church. While the mothers and youth volunteers prepare the food, the children are being catechized. They are taught how to pray and are introduced to devotion to the Blessed Mother. Sometimes the children watch films depicting the lives of the saints.
Our missionary friars have also provided emergency food supplies to the victims of Super Typhoon Rai that pummeled the island of Cebu in the Philippines with wind gusts of 125 m.p.h. in December 2021.
Feeding Abandoned Children in Kenya
At St. Anthony’s Small House Franciscan Orphanage in Lower Subukia, Kenya, and at the Nesavanam Franciscan Orphanage in Chennai, India, our friars feed abandoned children every day.
Disaster Relief for Refugees in Poland, Ukraine and Haiti
In Poland and in Ukraine, Franciscan missionaries are feeding thousands of war refugees every day. This year, our friars have provided emergency supplies of food to victims of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the Tiburon Peninsula of Haiti in August 2021.
Your prayers and support make a major impact
Please send a donation today to help Franciscan missionaries provide food and water to all God’s people— those who live as refugees, those who go hungry and thirsty, those who live in poverty and crime, those who are ill and suffering, and those who are abused and forgotten.
Your prayers and financial support make a major impact on the poor. Together we deliver hope to faraway places like Brazil and Ecuador where Franciscan missionaries operate soup kitchens to feed the poor, and in Syria, where are friars struggle to find food for the refugees in that war-torn country.
Help a child today to be stronger in body and mind, to be better able to resist germs and parasites, and to develop the way God intended all children to grow. Please make even a small contribution to help our Franciscan missionaries feed the poor.
We are blessed to live in a land of plenty. Most of us never worry about feeding our families. Quite the opposite, we are bombarded with commercials advertising weight loss programs.
By sharing a little of the blessings God has bestowed upon you with the poor, you are providing food. A pocket of change can provide a bowl of soup, a cup of water, bread, and medicine. Your pocket change can truly change someone’s destiny from death to life.
With thanks to God for what you have, and by giving to those who are in desperate need, that is the meaning of Thanksgiving. May your Thanksgiving be blessed.
Brother Andrew Brophy,
OFM Executive Director
P.S. Your gift in thanksgiving for the blessings of God will ensure that hungry children in the missions have a complete meal every day. Thank you in advance for renewing your generous support of the work of our Franciscan missionary friars.