Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Help the Pathole-Caki Community on the Border of Uganda and the Congo

With our birth, we are given the gift of life — a gift that can hold such promise and possibility. But as Twain wrote, what is just as important is discovering why we are born . . . what it is we are called to do with this gift we call life. Quite often, I speak with some of our Missionaries who have returned to the United States from our missions in Africa. I can safely say that — even though these Missionaries enjoy the visits with their families and friends back home — nearly all of those I speak with cannot wait to get back to their work among the poor in the missions. “Being a missionary is what I was born to do,” one of our priests told me. “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”


The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why you were born.

Mark Twain

When I read the above quote by the American writer Mark Twain, I can remember thinking how true his words are. With our birth, we are given the gift of life — a gift that can hold such promise and possibility. But as Twain wrote, what is just as important is discovering why we are born . . . what it is we are called to do with this gift we call life.

Quite often, I speak with some of our Missionaries who have returned to the United States from our missions in Africa. I can safely say that — even though these Missionaries enjoy the visits with their families and friends back home — nearly all of those I speak with cannot wait to get back to their work among the poor in the missions. “Being a missionary is what I was born to do,” one of our priests told me. “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

I share this with you because recently I received a letter from Fr. Yvo Wellens, a Missionary of Africa priest who lives and works among those in need in the Pathole-Caki community — on the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is a rural region . . . filled with poor men, women, and children living in villages spread out across the mountains.

“There are many people here,” Fr. Yvo writes, “but because they are spread out in such a wide region, they do not have access to healthcare facilities. As a result, the journey is so long and difficult that — many times, those who are sick cannot reach a hospital and women who are are pregnant and need help delivering their baby cannot get the help they need either. The result is that a large number of women unnecessarily die before getting medical attention. It is a horrible thing — for a mother or baby to die during childbirth. Neither will know the fullness of what their life could have been.”

“The community desperately wants to build a small clinic which would provide basic healthcare and maternity services for those families that are living so isolated throughout the region,” Fr. Yvo continues. “They had even sold some of their goats and chickens to buy a piece of land. They had constructed two mud houses to start the health center: one for a basic clinic and the other for maternity care — but I told them that a house with mud walls and grass on the roof is not ideal for medical treatment.”

“Undaunted, the community has pulled together and made 12,000 bricks by hand and even fired them. They have dug the rocky soil and built a foundation for three buildings. Now they need to buy bags of cement. The sand and gravel will be provided by the community. They need to buy the wood necessary for the doors and windows and also for the frame of the roof. They also need nails and paint and — once the clinic is completed — will need to purchase medical equipment, medical supplies and medicine.”

“These good people have seen so many of their young mothers die during childbirth. They have seen their children die for lack of basic medical care.”

As I read Fr. Yvo’s letter, I could not help but think about the tragedy of a mother and her baby dying during childbirth. I cannot imagine the pain and suffering that families endure — especially when it happens simply because the nearest doctor is too far away. Will you help us change that?

I am hoping that we can raise at least $33,000 to help the people in Fr. Yvo’s mission in the Pathole-Caki community on the border of Uganda and the Congo — as well as provide assistance to our other missionaries working among the poor in East and Central Africa. Whatever donation you can send — whether it is a large one or not — will make a difference in the lives of those in need of basic necessities such as food, water, and medical care. Your kindness tells them that they are not alone in their struggle — that they have not been forgotten.

Thank you so very much for your past generosity and all that you continue to do! God bless you for your willingness to support our Missionaries in their work. Perhaps it is what we are all called to do.