You are someone who cares about the poor, and you put your love into action! You value actions over words. You have an active part in our mission through your generous donations to help Franciscan missionaries serve the poor. Your gift will make a difference, one child or one family at a time.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” That is what we do together! I believe in my heart that together we take action to make a difference for individuals living in extreme poverty.
Sharing Hope in Lima, Peru
By sharing the story of our Franciscan hospital, Our Lady of the Angels Clinic, in Lima, Peru, I hope to give you a deeper appreciation for everything you and I can do to help the poor, one person at a time. Our friars serve in an area of Peru that has a mediocre, limited and collapsed health system. The situation is worse because of COVID-19. The poor have limited access to preventive care, emergency outpatient care, and treatment of medical conditions.
During the pandemic, 900 people a day are passing through the waiting area. It is difficult to keep them socially distant from one another and protected from the virus. The hospital plans to upgrade the scheduling system to improve service, shorten waiting time, and control capacity. Access to clinical care is impossible for a large part of the population. The cost to visit a private clinic could fluctuate between 300 to 400 Peruvian soles, about $120. A visit to our hospital costs about $6, which the Franciscans rarely charge.
The Need Is Great
This Franciscan hospital offers all its patients dignified, efficient and effective care at a rate that allows the poor to experience health care when they need it. They receive the best service with the best professionals in a comfortable, professional setting. The need is so great, especially during the global pandemic! The hospital also provides home follow-up care to some patients, which is sometimes more than just medical! Consider the story of Victor, who was diagnosed with a stomach tumor and had surgery recently. He is awaiting the results to see if his tumor has spread.
Unfortunately, Victor is not the only patient in his home. His mother’s legs are paralyzed, and she needs permanent attention. His sister suffers from a mild developmental disability. Due to their poverty and lack of resources for care, clinical tests, and medicines, our Franciscan missionaries have treated them comprehensively at no cost for some time. During home visits, the friars witnessed this family’s very poor living conditions. The roof leaked terribly, and there was no door to the bathroom, which combined an insufficient toilet and washing machine. The friars, the hospital maintenance staff, and care workers united to replace the roof, install a door and toilet for the bathroom, and install laundry facilities. They are continuing their support with furniture donations, appliances, and emergency food provisions.
Your Gift Will Make A Difference
This is just one example of love put into action to help just one family at a time. Many other families are being left behind and need our help now! Will you join with our Franciscan missionaries in serving these poor Peruvian families? Together, let us continue to put our love into action for the sake of our sisters and brothers in need. Your gift in any amount will help cover the ever-increasing cost of providing poor families with vital medical treatment and outreach services during the global pandemic. It only costs $6 to treat one person! A $36 gift would provide a medical visit for six children!
As I pause to recognize the many blessings received throughout the year, I cannot help but call to mind your loving friendship, support, and prayers for our Franciscan missionaries and the poor they serve around the world. In addition to medical treatment, you help bring much-needed relief to hundreds of poor families in the form of emergency food deliveries, affordable and safe housing, education, and other vital outreach services.
Thank you for everything you do by putting your love for God’s poor into action. Truly, you are among the greatest blessings of the year and, I pray, many more years still to come.
May God grant health and peace to you and those close to your heart.
Yours in God’s love,
Brother Andrew Brophy, OFM