JOURNEY WITH ACN is our  weekly newsletter which is regularly posted to our blog on Fridays. It has been designed to acquaint you with the needs of the Catholic Church around the world as well as with various projects we have been able to bring to life thanks to people like you, our ACN benefactors.

This week a story from :  ARMENIA 

Summer camps with – and for – God

“Giving money to the poor is like lending money to God. There is no better investment.” Saint John (Don) Bosco (1815-1888) had a sense of both earthly needs and of heavenly perspectives. He also combined heaven and earth in his approach to education, and this is what made him the “father and teacher of youth” (Pope Saint John Paul II).

This same educational approach, centered in trust in God, underlies the work of many religious Sisters and youth workers all over the world today. In Armenia, many children grow up without a father or a grandfather, because these men are living abroad, seeking work. Together with orphans, disadvantaged and disabled children, they find loving care, support and security in the summer camps organized by the Armenian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.

The children spend all year looking forward to this time with the Sisters which sustains them for many weeks afterwards. 850 children will take part this year, aged between 8 and 14. These 16 days will be an opportunity for them to forget, or come to terms with, their needs, cares and worries – all thanks to your generosity.

By contrast, the summer camp in Kazakhstan has a somewhat different perspective. It has been organized by Father Jozef Trela and his Catholic Parish of Our Lady Queen of the Rosary, together with Orthodox Father Aleksandr Merinov and his Parish of Saint Elijah in Urdzhar, in the southeast of the country. Their aim is to live in a spirit of ecumenism, along with a group of 60 young people. Prayer, discussions and catechetical sessions will help them to grow in a spirit of mutual understanding and friendship.

But whether the approach involves a loving family environment, ecumenism or a deepening of faith, there are – even today – countless numbers of young boys and girls, who, like those Don Bosco encountered in Turin, will find their way to God’s love difficult without the caring help of others. In summer camps like these you are helping to smooth out the way for them, and it often happens that during this time not a few of them will actually hear the call of God in moments of silent prayer. This must be the best possible “return” on your investment – exactly in the way that Don Bosco meant it.


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