Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Help Create New Beginnings for Migrant Families, Refugees and the Poor in Mauritania

As I write this letter to you, Lent — forty days of sacrifice and self-denial — is coming to an end. In less than two weeks, many of us will begin observing Easter, the celebration of new life. In many ways, the seasons of Lent and Easter mirror the life, death and resurrection of Jesus: a season of sacrifice giving way to a celebration of new life and new beginnings. These themes are also part of the lives of our missionaries and those they serve throughout the African continent. Year after year, our missionaries witness the dedication and sacrifice that so many offer to create new opportunities, new beginnings and new lives for those in need.


“Do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up . . . I am making a way.”

Isaiah 43:18-19

As I write this letter to you, Lent — forty days of sacrifice and self-denial — is coming to an end. In less than two weeks, many of us will begin observing Easter, the celebration of new life. In many ways, the seasons of Lent and Easter mirror the life, death and resurrection of Jesus: a season of sacrifice giving way to a celebration of new life and new beginnings. These themes are also part of the lives of our missionaries and those they serve throughout the African continent. Year after year, our missionaries witness the dedication and sacrifice that so many offer to create new opportunities, new beginnings and new lives for those in need.

A family receiving help from one of Sr. Anita’s volunteer coordinators.

This is particularly true with Sr. Anita Martis, a Sister living and working in Nouakchott, Mauritania, in northwest Africa. There, Sr. Anita leads a small group of volunteers who — through their self-sacrifice and hard work — help create new beginnings for migrant families, refugees and those who are poor.

“Presently, we are working to help about 600 migrants and refugees receive medical assistance, literacy training, and education for their children,” Sr. Anita writes. “We are also helping adults find jobs so that they can support themselves and their families.”

We also are visiting the sick in hospitals as well as referring sick individuals to doctors and hospitals. While we have two doctors who offer their services free of charge, unfortunately we still need to find funds for medical supplies and prescriptions — as well as any medical tests that are needed. For migrant families, we try to find temporary shelter as well as food — especially for those who have very little or nothing at all. There are so many who need our help — poor people who would perish without it.”

But there are also those who could have a bright future. For example, one of the greatest needs is among young women who want to be able to support themselves and their children — but without financial help, they cannot get their businesses started. With only a few hundred dollars, one woman started a successful business selling food in the marketplace. Now she is able to support her children.”

Some of the children receiving help in Sr. Anita’s outreach program.

It is hard to believe that there are only five of us coordinating all of these activities for hundreds and hundreds of people. I have no doubt that with additional financial support, so many more individuals and families could see their lives changed forever. I am hoping you will help us create new beginnings for the poor families coming to us.”

Women who have completed their skills training — helping them have a new beginning!

My friend, will you help those who are poor have a chance for the new beginning they need? In your own community, you could help by donating new or slightly used clothing that could be worn during job interviews by those looking for work. Imagine having the chance of finally getting an interview but not having appropriate clothing to wear for the interview. You could even encourage your church to provide transportation to job interviews for those looking for work.

I am also hoping that you will help us raise at least $28,000 to support Sr. Anita’s work among migrants, refugees and poor families in Mauritania — as well as support other projects of the Missionaries of Africa. As I have said before, it is only because of your continued kindness and generosity that we are able to reach out to so many men, women and children in need. I pray that during this coming Easter season, you will be especially generous as we strive to help provide the new beginnings that so many poor families long for. God bless you for all that you do!

 

Your Missionary Friend,

Denis P. Pringle
Director of Development