You bring the reign of God a bit closer for children in the missions.
As Thanksgiving approaches, I know you will be looking prayerfully into your heart and giving thanks to God, who is the source of all good and of every blessing.
I pray that as you count your own blessings. Your gift this thanksgiving will bring hope to children who have far fewer blessings to count. Their childhoods have been plagued with poverty and despair unparalleled in this world of ours.
A Vision of True Poverty
A few years ago, Fr. Bernardo and I saw this firsthand during a visit to Saint Joseph the Protector Church in Quezon City, Philippines. The parish we visited was in the deepest slums of the city. When we arrived there, it was hard to find a building that looked like a parish church because it was surrounded by shacks built from pieces of wood the residents found along the roads.
There was no plumbing in the shacks. And for the lucky few, a wire running from a street pole to the inside of the shack was their only source of electricity. Most of their “homes” were one room that served as a sleeping area and a place to stay out of the rain.
A Request for Help From The Philippines
In a similar area of the Philippines, Father Ronald Factor, OFM and our missionary friars at our St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Santiago City have requested an emergency grant. The grant will help fund a program to feed street children who are malnourished and underweight.
Their efforts will focus on two barangays, Mabini and Naggasican, which are extremely poor areas. In these barangays, many people live as squatters, and many children are malnourished and underweight. It is difficult for families to find steady employment, and they struggle every day to get enough food to eat.
There are so many children in need that the task can seem overwhelming. Fr. Ronald and our friars will choose 30 of the most malnourished children in the area and feed them for 60 days until their weight reaches an acceptable level. Then the friars will start over with another group of 30 malnourished children.
Provide A Daily Meal
When you see these poor children, it can break anyone’s heart, and did they break mine when I visited.
I am writing today to ask you to share some of the blessings in your life to help Fr. Ronald feed children living as squatters. It only costs $2.50 a day to provide food for a child! Each meal consists of a banana, some rice, fish or chicken, vegetables, and a beverage.
It costs $9,900 to feed all these children for 4 months. Every $100 you share will feed 40 children for a day! And $25.00 will feed 10 children.
I ask you today to once again be generous so that we might provide a brighter future for some of the poorest children in our world.
A Request For Help From India
Father John Lyngdoh, OFM from St. Mary of the Angels Friary in Nongjri, India, has also submitted an emergency request to help feed indigenous boys living at the Boys Hostel operated by our missionary friars. Nongjri Mission is in Meghalaya, one of the most remote and backward areas of India. The people from this region are mostly from the local Khasi tribes.
Our missionary friars provide food and housing so poor tribal children have a place to stay and attend local schools. Most of them live in the mountains many miles away from the school. The friars provide them with a safe place to stay and study and provide them with three nutritious meals a day. Without this opportunity, many of these children would not be able to attend school.
The hostel used to accommodate 80 students, but a generous benefactor helped the friars expand their building. It can now house 170 students. Those 170 children have a chance for a quality education and a better life. But our missionary friars must find the resources to feed the students 3 meals per day!
Fr. John has requested about $10,000 to help feed the students. What better way to truly give thanks to God for all the rich blessings of our lives and families than to share those blessings with some of these poor children?
Feeding Children Around the World
These are just two examples of how our missionary friars are feeding children around the world. Your gift today will also help us feed children who are war refugees in Ukraine and earthquake refugees in Syria.
Please give generously from your grateful heart. Please renew your faith-inspired support of the poor in the missions. I thank you on their behalf and assure you of our prayers and lasting gratitude.
May our Lord reward you for drawing children closer to the hope, peace, and love of God’s own reign. Happy Thanksgiving!
In God’s love for his children,
Brother Andrew Brophy, OFM
P.S. Together with Franciscan missionaries, you can help break the vicious cycles of poverty, hunger, and despair in the missions. Will you be God’s hands, heart, and voice to these poor children? Please give generously. The reign of God is in your hands!