The Call to Build
In the past the missionaries built. As a result there are literally thousands
of Churches, rectories, convents, hospitals, schools, orphanages, cathedrals and
a host of other buildings. These buildings house an incredible diversity of good
works, from the silence of contemplative prayer to the cacophony of a multitude
of small children at play; from the sounds of a carpentry shop to the syncopated
beat of an African liturgy; from the soothing sounds of a hospital ward, to the
lowing, squeals and crowing of a barnyard.
Today and tomorrow missionaries will continue to build but with a difference.
They are trying to help a people build a community, a country, to become self-reliant.
One of the most serious issues in Africa is an adequate supply of clean
water. One of the most pressing issues for many missionaries is how to provide
this adequate supply of clean water.
Mityana Water Project
For many men, women and children living throughout Africa,
the problem isn't just not having enough water to drink
- but also not having CLEAN water. When a child
has walked mile after mile to fetch a container full
of water to bring home to his mother, he is sometimes
near exhaustion. The hot sun parches his mouth and his
body. As a result, the temptation to have just a sip
of water before he gets home is oftentimes overwhelming.
But he knows that if he drinks it before the water is
boiled, he could die.
As missionaries, we are compelled to reach out to those
who have suffered so much. We are committed to caring
for those who have no one to care for them . . . for
our hearts ache out of love for the little children
who are dying of thirst.
Gold, diamonds, silver, uranium - they have all been
called the jewels of Africa. But at this very moment
- all throughout Africa - the thing which is valued
most is clean water! Without water, neither crops nor
animals can survive. Without clean water for drinking
and bathing, humans are doomed. Water is essential for
life! That's why water projects such as the Rain
Harvest system in Arua, Uganda, are so important
to us. You see, as missionaries, how can we speak about
life - if those whom we serve have no way to share in
Rain Harvest systems allow for clean rain water
to be saved during the extended rainy seasons experienced
in various parts of Africa. After the rainy season has
ended, the clean water is conserved in large tanks for
use during the ensuing dry months. It is a simple program
- but without it, too many people in Africa are dying.
Wells for Meguet
It is amazing how many of us take clean water for granted.
Oftentimes we turn on a faucet or run the dishwasher
without much thought. But in many parts of Africa, clean
water is desperately valued, sought-after and urgently
needed! It is a treasure that people cannot live without.
In Burkina Faso (West Africa), Missionary of Africa
priest Fr. Armand Garneau is working to bring clean
water to the some of the more than 50,000
people who are a part of his parish. With the help that
we are able to offer through our benefactors, Fr. Armand
will be able to help the local villagers drill bore-hole
wells that will tap into the abundant water supply that
lies hundreds of feet beneath the earth's surface. It
will be an incredible day when the people of Meguet
finally get the water they need. They will be thanking
God for the water . . . and for those who made the well
Water For College
They had the energy, the strength, the desire. They
had the land. But most importantly, they had a thirst
- a thirst they had known too long. They just wanted
to have water. It's that way with most people in Africa.
For nearly all their lives, they have known what it
is like to be thirsty. They are praying that one day
- the constant need to be in search of clean water will
come to an end. "One day," they pray, "may we know what
it is like to thirst no more."
Jesus said, "Come to me all who labor and thirst,
and I will give you rest." As missionaries, we
are working to bring these words to life among the African
people. We are working to help end the water crisis
that continues to be prevalent throughout much of Africa.
We are working to help the poorest people on earth,
know thirst no more.
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