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Pastoral care Tag

 

ACN Project of the Week—Support for the youth pastoral centre in Sarajevo, Bosnia

29.11.2019 in ACN BENEFACTORS, ACN International, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, Pastoral aid, Pastoral care, Pastoral work, Religious formation

Project of the Week—Bosnia

Support for the youth pastoral centre in Sarajevo

By ACN International, Adapted by ACN Canada
Published online – November 29, 2019

Catholics are a minority in Bosnia and Herzegovina—now at a bare 14% of the population, and falling. This decline began during the Bosnian War (1992 to 1995) when half the Catholic population was expelled or forced to emigrate from the country. And with every new year, many continue their exodus as the future looks dim, owing to the discrimination they face when seeking employment, in attending schools and in regular social life. Catholic bishops have been complaining for years that Catholic Croat families who would otherwise be willing to return are not receiving the support they are entitled to. At the same time, a growing Islamization of the society is very noticeable, with the building of numerous new mosques.

 

The Catholic Church continues to work hard for a better future, through its reconciliation work, its schools and its charitable work, all of which are open to people of all ethnic groups. At the same time, the Church strives to offer steady employment opportunities that will provide families with some prospect for the future. One beautiful example of reconciliation work is the John Paul II Youth Centre in Sarajevo, offering a range of initiatives for promoting interfaith and interdenominational dialogue.

Spiritual Retreats, Pilgrimages and Interfaith Dialogue

Each year thousands of young people benefit from a broad range of programs offered by the centre. Their enthusiasm remains as they return with great energy to their own parishes to work with a renewed faith for a better future. The centre also offers employment, with 10 full-time positions and 10 part-time positions, providing these men and women with a steady income and a future for their families. An additional 300 volunteers help out as needed. Training in leadership is available along with courses in spiritual exercises for confirmation candidates, volunteers, altar servers and other types of youth groups. An ecumenical program is in place for young people of different faiths to learn about shared responsibility and how to create a better future in the society in which they live. Those attending come not only from the archdiocese of Sarajevo (Vrhbosna) itself, but from all over the country.

Other big events are have been organized, such as a large youth pilgrimage in May to the Shrine of Our Lady in Kondzilo,  which was attended again this year by well over 3,000 young people. A music festival, with modern Christian music, and a young people’s Way of the Cross procession giving hundreds of youth from individual parishes the opportunity to gather together in shared faith.

 

ACN recognizes the valuable work done by this youth centre named for the great Pope, Saint John Paul II. The Saint who held such great affection for young people, established the very first World Youth Days during his pontificate. This year we are helping once again, with a promised contribution of $37,500.

 

Are you inspired by this project? To give and make another similar project a success – click above and select: Project of the Week.

ACN Project of the Week – Cameroon

06.12.2018 in ACN BENEFACTORS, ACN International, ACN PROJECTS, Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, Africa, Cameroon

ACN Project of the Week: Cameroon

Help for the training of seminarians threatened by Boko Haram terrorists

Nigeria is not the only country suffering from the terror of Boko Haram. Its neighbour, Cameroon also suffers from the violence of Islamist terror groups in the northern part of the country.

 

It is true that the organized armed attacks by Boko Haram have now decreased in the face of a united military offensive by several African countries. On the other hand, suicide bombings have continued, as have murders and abductions in the affected areas—leaving many people to live in fear.

 

The Catholic diocese of Maroua-Mokolo, found in the far north region of Cameroon, faces many difficult challenges. Not only located in a significantly poor part of the country, but the diocese also has to take in large numbers of Nigerian and Cameroonian refugees. A positive side to this difficult remains, however, for the people’s faith is unbroken. And despite the fear of attack, people continue to flock to the churches. The number of vocations is also growing. Right now, 32 seminarians are training for the priesthood in the diocesan seminary, plus another 18 youths at the minor seminary; four more are in their so-called propaedeutic year (a form of educational foundation year in preparation for entering the seminary proper).  This number is astonishingly high given that there are only around 84,000 Catholics in the diocese.

 

 

These vocations naturally delight Bishop Bruno Ateba Edo, but he desperately needs financial help so as to give these young men a solid and thorough formation. He has asked ACN for help and we are planning to give him $40,500 dollars.

Are you inspired by this project? To give to this project, or another similar project a success – click above and select: Project of the Week.

ACN Feature Story: Syria, “Helping to heal the spiritual wounds of the war”

19.11.2018 in International Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need, Jesuits, Sacred Heart Sisters, Sisters, Syria, Texte: Josue Villalón

Syria 2016 September – Sr. Samia Jerij of the Sacred Heart Sisters in the courtyard of the Jesuits in the Old Hom

Syria

 “Helping to heal the spiritual wounds of the war”

Aid to the Church in Need is supporting the pastoral work of the Sacred Heart Sisters in the Syrian city of Homs.

The church of Altip, in the Bab Al-Sebaa district, just south of the Old Quarter of Homs, is a social and pastoral training centre. “Years ago it was a Catholic school, but then the government banned all non-state schools. Since then we have used it as a catechetical centre, giving religious instruction to young people and adults, and we also hold social events and sports days here,” explains Sister Samia Syiej, the religious Sister in charge of coordinating catechetical instruction for a group of children preparing for confirmation.

 

Sister Samia points out the exact spot where the bombs fell, close to the centre of Altip. “Local families have helped us to repair two sections of the roof which were destroyed by the bombing. But in addition to everything else, what we now have to do is to help repair not only the external damage, but the damage within people’s hearts. I am a religious, and my first responsibility is to bear witness spiritually and help people. This is what moves me. We lived through the war and witnessed it close up. Catechesis is important in helping to heal the wounds.”

 

Working alongside Sister Samia are a number of young university students who divide themselves between the various different catechetical groups and actively help in this pastoral apostolate. A delegation from our international Catholic pastoral charity and pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) happened to visit while they were endeavouring to explain to the young boys and girls about the life of Jesus during his Passion and Crucifixion, a central point of the Christian faith. One of these catechists is Haya Elias. “Sister Samia taught us how to become closer to God, and now we are passing this on those who come after us.” She is studying philology at university and has always been a member of the group helping the sisters.Sister Samia is a member of the Sacred Heart Sisters, a congregation founded in Syria and inspired by Ignatian spirituality. “We have 12 houses throughout Syria. I am also involved in pastoral work with disabled children. Our congregation is very active and we pursue a range of initiatives, both pastoral and social,” she continues.

 

Sr. Samia Jerij of Sacred Heart Sisters with children – Children receiving Christmas gifts in Aleppo 2017

 

“I am very conscious that I owe my life to God and to the prayers of people like Sister Samia,” says a young man who is currently unemployed. He was in the army, compulsorily recruited to fight in the war. During an ambush he was captured by a rebel group and held prisoner for months. Everybody assumed he was dead, but miraculously he succeeded in escaping. “I thank God, and I thank the Sisters for never having given up praying for me. I am so grateful to them today and so now I am helping them as a catechist.”

The Church in Syria is very much alive, despite more than seven years of war. The priests, and the religious brothers and sisters in the country have become a fresh source of hope for the people. “We have never stopped offering our help, our prayers and our accompaniment… Everything is being done through the collaboration of the priests, religious and laity. We all work together to organize these activities and, thanks be to God, we have some very active

Sr. Samia distributing more gifts.

young people,” Sister Samia continues.

 

In addition to coordinating the religious instruction, Sister Samia also works in a home for mentally handicapped children. “We have always carried out projects with the help of ACN, even during the bloodiest moments of the war. Children and adults alike often need a word of hope, and want to grow stronger in their faith. The children come to the church, and they can also be very demanding. During the summer, for example, we held a number of youth camps, which gave fresh hope to many people. This is what motivates us.”

 

Over the course of 2018, and thanks to the generous help of our many benefactors throughout the world, ACN has been able to support more than 35 pastoral courses and programs for young people and children in various different parts of Syria, for a total cost of $255,000.

ACN Project of the Week – Lebanon 5,000 Bibles for the youth apostolate in the Archdiocese of Zahleh

14.11.2018 in ACN International, Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, Lebanon, Middle East

ACN Project of the Week – Lebanon

Church of St. Andrew, the Apostle Greek-Catholic archdiocese of Zahle. 

5,000 Bibles for the youth apostolate in the Archdiocese of Zahleh

More and more Christians are leaving the Middle-East. This Exodus is not only affecting Syria and Iraq, but Lebanon as well. In the quite recent past, this was the only country in the Middle East with a Christian majority population. But now, Christians are an ever shrinking minority. Back in the civil, some 700,000 Christians left the country 1975 to 1990 – the exodus continues to this day. Christians now represent just 34% of the total population, and only a quarter of young people under the age of 25.

The mass exodus of Christians from the Middle East is frequently described as a tsunami. In August 2015 Patriarch Gregorios III, who was then still head of the Melkite Catholic Church, wrote an open letter to young people in which he said, “The general wave of emigration among young people, especially in Syria, but also in Lebanon and Iraq, breaks my heart, wounds me deeply and feels like a death blow to me. What future can the Church have in the face of such a tsunami of emigration? What will become of our homeland? What will happen to our parishes and Church facilities?”

In response to this crisis, the Melkite Catholic Church has mobilized in the 40 parishes belonging to the archdiocese of Zaleh, in pursuing an intensive youth apostolate. For it is clear that the more firmly young people are rooted in their faith and in the life of the Church, the less likely they are to abandon their homeland. Weekly meetings and larger monthly events are helping these young people to grow in their faith, and every young person joining the groups is given a copy of the Holy Scriptures by the priests in charge.

We have promised 37,500 dollars to cover the cost of an additional 5,000 Bibles.

Are you inspired by this project? To give and make another similar project a success – click above and select: Project of the Week.

ACN Project of the Week: Formation for young sisters in Brazil

01.11.2018 in ACN International, ACN PROJECTS, Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, Brazil, FORMATION, South America

Brazil

Help for the formation of 50 young religious Sisters

 

It was only 30 years ago that the religious Institute the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matarà was founded in Argentina. Yet since then it has spread throughout the world, with 160 convents in 35 different countries on all five continents around the globe – such is the measure of its success to date. 

 

A particular feature of the Institute is its love for the Eucharist, the Mother of God and the Holy Father. The apostolate of the sisters covers a wide field – helping the priests in the parishes, giving retreats and catechetical instruction, teaching in schools, working in the youth apostolate. They also give selfless service in orphanages, homes, old people‘s homes for disabled children and hospitals. Some of the sisters also support expectant mothers in conflict situations, helping them to bring their children safely into the world. A number of them are also involved in the publication of theological books and literature.

The Institute continues to attract many new vocations, particularly in Brazil. Here, the birthplace of the samba, there are 50 young women currently in formation. They need our support so that they can receive a sound and solid training for the religious life and apostolate they will be engaged in. We have promised to help this year with a contribution of $17,145.

 

Thank you!

 

Are you inspired by this project? To give and make another similar project a success – click above and select: Project of the Week.

ACN Interview: Bishop Oswaldo Azaje from Venezuela

25.10.2018 in Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, by Raquel Martín & Josué Villalón, Poverty, Refugees, Venezuela

Msgr. Oswaldo Azuaje, Bishop of Trujillo in Venezuela, during his visit at Aid to the Church in Need

Venezuela

A cry for help

According to the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and other international organizations, more than two million people have left Venezuela in the last few years. This forced displacement reflects the severe economic, political and social crisis that has befallen the country. The church in Venezuela is dealing with this situation together with the people by initiating social projects to relieve shortages in food and medicines. But the Church’s own situation can only be described as precarious – the bishops and priests themselves have next to nothing at the moment.

 Interview with Bishop Oswaldo Azaje , conducted by Raquel Martín & Josué Villalón (ACN Spain)

Bishop Oswaldo Azuaje of Trujillo, which is located in the eastern part of Venezuela, responded to the questions of the pontifical charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). The charity has been supporting the Venezuelan church in its pastoral and social work. The interview focused on the recent ad limina visit of the Venezuelan episcopate to the pope in Rome as well as the church’s efforts to help those who have left the country and those in need who have remained.

 

In Venezuela, the diocese of Trujillo is one of the poorest regions in the country. How would you describe the situation at the moment?

Economically, Trujillo is one of the country’s poorest regions. It is located in the Andes, in a mountainous region that is predominantly rural. However, I would not describe the region as poor because it possesses great riches both in terms of culture and of the people living there. Daily life there is very similar to that in the rest of the country. We are suffering from shortages in food and medicines, many people have moved to other countries, the economy is stagnating. It could be that, when compared with the capital and a number of other larger cities in the country, the food shortage is more noticeable in the villages.

 

What message did Pope Francis give to the bishops and the Venezuelan people during the ad limina visit at the Vatican?

The pope was very open and friendly. We are quite fortunate that he comes from the same continent and we speak the same language. Pope Francis sat down right in our midst. We formed a circle around him and he said to us, “Tell me how you are doing.” We noticed that he knows a great deal about the church in Venezuela, what life is like in the country and the difficulties society is currently facing. He pointed out that we should be very close to the people, that we need to find answers to their needs. He reminded us, “Remain strong and close to the people. I know that you are already doing this, but I invite you to continue to do so.” He also invited us to offer resistance. This was the first time I have heard the term used in this context. Because it had nothing to do with politics, populism or with a military language. We are to offer resistance by remaining constant in our faith, in our hope and in our love.

 

 

How does the Church assist those people who are leaving the country?

I was able to visit the Columbian border in Táchira state. The diocese of San Cristóbal on the Venezuelan side and the diocese of Cúcuta on the Columbian side are making large-scale efforts. I mingled with the people who were crossing the border to Columbia. It is impressive: each day, thousands of people leave. Each day, the church feeds between 5,000 and 8,000 people, although these are just estimates of the numbers of people who are being taken care of by the church alone. Some do return, but not many. Those that return are people who, due to the shortages in Venezuela; were merely looking for something available only in Columbia. Once they have acquired it, they return home. Furthermore, the Church is also taking care of Venezuelan refugees in Peru, Ecuador and Brazil.

Border Venezuela-Colombia in 2018
Since the recent controversial presidential elections in Venezuela (in which President Maduro was re-elected in a manner deemed fraudulent by his opponents), the flood of migrants seeking better prospects in other nations has continued to grow, creating an emergency in which thousands of Venezuelans are in need of help as they attempt to cross the frontier between Venezuela and Colombia.

What are the consequences of this displacement?

In the parishes, there is a noticeable absence of young and middle-aged people. There is a growing incidence of Church attendance by older people accompanying their grandchildren. The parents have left in search of work. Several priests have told me that they no longer have a church choir because the young people have all left. They now have to find new choir members who can sing or play an instrument and train them. The people are being forced into leaving because of the extreme shortages in food and medicines. The people need them. However, they cannot find them in the country or buy them because money has devalued.

 

How is the Church responding to the needs of those people who have remained in the country?

In response to the food shortages, the parishes are preparing so-called “community stews” each day to ensure that those in need have something to eat. Signs of malnutrition are found among children, and also the elderly. My sister called me a few days ago. She is taking care of my mother and wanted to let me know that she could not find any chicken, eggs or meat. She did not know where else to go because she could not buy them in any store. Finding groceries is a very time-consuming process – if it is even possible at all. The daily search for food has become a Via Dolorosa.

 

How would you assess the aid that ACN is giving to the priests in your diocese?

I would first like to thank the Venezuelan people; all of those who have shared and continue to share the little that they have with us. Lately, however, we have become dependent upon help from outside. Life would be impossible without it. I would like to thank the church in Europe, particularly in Germany, Italy and Spain. It supports us so that we in turn can help our priests: Mass stipends allow them to live in a manner that is worthy of human beings. Moreover, this aid keeps us connected through prayer, and ensures that we do not lose hope. I pray to God for saintly priests, but also that these priests are able to support themselves in a worthy manner, so that they can serve the people of God and can live more in conformity with their calling.

Children waiting for food

A last message to the benefactors of ACN

Thanks to all of you, our parishes will be able to continue to offer consolation and shed light into the darkness that casts such a pall over Venezuela. The shortages in food and medicines, in water and electricity are a major source of stress, one that we need to fight against. Please pray for the bishops so that we do not succumb to temptation and throw in the towel. It is our responsibility to help the people by supporting the priests. Please continue to help us so that we in turn can ensure that our priests have a worthy means of subsistence, and thus be able to continue offering the community stews as well as medicines and other forms of aid.

 

 

 

ACN Project of the Week in Bangladesh

24.10.2018 in Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, Project of the Week

Bangladesh

Success Story: a church and community centre for the parish

The Catholic faithful in the parish of Nayanagar are delighted with their new church and parish centre, which – thanks to the generous help of our benefactors – this project which Catholics have dreamt of for years, and also organized collections for, despite their great poverty has finally been completed! It was not much, of course, but it was like the “widows mite,” as their parish priest writes. With the help of our benefactors, we were able to give a total of $120,800 and so finally enable them to realize their dream.

Sunday Mass sees anywhere from 3,000 and 3,500 people attending, high celebrations and holy days such as Christmas and Easter draw many more and even the weekday Masses are always well attended as well as religious instruction courses and a range of different children‘s and youth groups.

Help to complete the church community hall at De Mazenod Parish, Nayanagar, Dhaka

Located right at the heart of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, the parish continues to grow and grow as more people move to the regional capital (already 8 to 9 million inhabitants) from the surrounding rural areas in the hope of finding a better future.

The priests of the not only provide pastoral support for the faithful but also help the new rural migrants to find their feet in the city, ensuring that their children can attend school by providing medical care and supporting them in all their many needs.

 

In Bangladesh, Catholics represent only a tiny minority in a population that is 90% Muslim.  The faithful of the parish of Nayanagar are 80% indigenous, a number that well represents the total Christian presence in Bangladesh who coming from an ethnic minority. It is from this demographic that most of the new vocations come.

 

Father Ajit Victor Costa, the provincial delegate of the Oblate Fathers, has written to ACN on behalf of his confreres and of the Catholic faithful generally. “We sincerely appreciate the value of your love, your friendship and your warm-hearted kindness. Your prayers, sacrifices and financial support have been an enormous help to us in fulfilling our dream. Through you and together with you we have been deeply touched by the presence of the loving hands of God and your own wonderful generosity. We pray for all your benefactors and for all who have contributed.”

Are you inspired by this project? To give and make another similar project a success – click above and select: Project of the Week.

ACN Project of the Week: Help for training young religious women in India

17.10.2018 in ACN PROJECTS, Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, Aid to the Church in Need Canada, Asia, Catholic Religious Sisters, India

India

Help for training young religious women

In Northeast India, the Catholic Church is still, relatively, young. In 2016, she celebrated 120 years of ministry in the country. However, in many parts of this region Catholic missionaries were only able to enter the region during the second half of the 20th century.

An isolated and underdeveloped region, marked by political unrest and conflicts, deep poverty and many other problems. However, the Church here is very much alive and vital. By now, there are almost 2 million Catholics inhabiting the region and the number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life is growing.

Junior Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod of North-East Delegation, Guwahati (2015 – 2017 )

 

The Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod have been working in Northeast India for 37 years and recently established a new regional province for the congregation in the city of Guwahati, in the state of Assam. The congregation has 18 convents housing 96 professed Sisters who care in particular for physically and mentally disabled children and for the sick. They also help young girls from poor family backgrounds who are unable to stay in school, teaching them useful practical skills such as needlework, sewing and darning, or making handmade decorations, that may help them later on to support themselves financially.

Nursing Student Sisters. Borgaon, district in Assam.

 

They help families and women, giving encouragement, counselling – striving to convey the love of God for all through their lives. Because the Church in this region is still relatively young, there is a great deal still to be done.

At present, there are 28 religious Sisters still in formation. Like most of the Catholics in this region, they also come from poor families and from the ethnic minorities. This congregation needs financial help in order to be able to provide them with a solid spiritual and vocational formation. Some will even pursue university studies to help them better confront the many challenges they face.

ACN is proposing a contribution of $25,368 to help them plant the seeds of faith that they become deeply rooted in people’s hearts and souls.

Are you in inspired by this projects supporting religious Sisters? If you would like to help create more projects such as this, simply click to donate and select ‘Project of the Week’.

 

ACN Feature Story from Syria – The new “Nazarenes” of the Valley of the Christians

12.10.2018 in ACN Feature, Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, By Josué Villalón

Syria

The new “Nazarenes” of the Valley of the Christians

 

Emergency support in the Valley of Christians, Marmarita, Governorate of Homs. Medication prescriptions and renting houses.December 2015 – May 2016

Working through the Saint Peter’s Aid Centre in Marmarita, the international Catholic pastoral and pontifical charity, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), is helping thousands of displaced Syrians each month.

 

Nasra is one of the 20 or more villages belonging to the region known as the Valley of the Christians (Wadi Al-Nasara, in Arabic). The word Nasra literally means “Nazarene”, the word used throughout the Arab and Muslim world to refer to Christians. For several years now around a hundred refugee families have been living in this little village, having fled here from other parts of Syria to escape the war. The Mussa family is just one of these families, the new “Nazarenes” of the Valley of the Christians.

 

Marwan Mussa is the father of the family. “We were forced to flee from Homs, where we were living, because the bombing was getting closer and closer to our quarter of the city. The noise of the bombing and the shelling was shattering. We did not know whether from one day to the next we would die in these attacks, as had already happened to some of our neighbours,” he explains. And so, they decided to leave for the Valley of the Christians which was just an hour’s drive away and where things were safer. They managed to find a small apartment where they could live for the time being until the fighting ended.

 

Nahila, Gabi and Marwan Mussa

However, the war continued and the Mussa family have now been living in Nasra for over five years. “I used to work as a bricklayer, but now I am helping in a bakery, although I do not earn enough to support us all,” Marwan adds. His family is one of the more than 350 receiving support from the Saint Peter’s Aid Centre in the Melkite Catholic parish of Saint Peter’s in the nearby village of Marmarita. “The Church has literally saved our lives, if it were not for the Church we wouldn’t be here.”

 

One day, nine months earlier, Marwan was working in an orchard near his house when he suddenly collapsed, unconscious. His son Gabi managed to pick him up and take him to the health centre in the village. From there they took him to the hospital in Tartus, on the coast, more than an hour away by car. “I felt an intense pain in my chest,” Marwan explains to a visiting group from ACN. The diagnosis was a serious one: he had had a severe heart attack. However, they were unable to treat him in the hospital in Tartus, so they sent him to a hospital in Homs, another two hours round trip.

 

“The doctors told me it was a miracle I had survived the operation, since my arteries were 90% obstructed. They inserted stents, and now I feel quite well, although I have to be careful not to over exert myself.”Marwan is continuing his treatment and regularly goes for checkups to Mzeina Hospital, also located in the Valley of the Christians.

 

“My wife, Nahila, is also undergoing treatment there for cancer,” says Marwan. All the medication and the medical care she receives are being supplied by ACN, via the Saint Peter’s Aid Centre in Marmarita. “We are extremely grateful for this help. We knew that many people from different countries were sending help for the centre here. We also want to thank the team of volunteers at Saint Peter’s for accompanying and helping us in our most urgent need,” he adds.

 

Syria, Marmarita, January 2016 In the pharmacy collecting the medicine and stamping the prescriptions of those in need.

Nahila Murad, his wife and the mother of their family, has a gaze of crystalline clarity. She nods in agreement with every word spoken by her husband. “I have bowel cancer. They are helping us to pay for my treatment. When the doctors discovered my tumor they didn’t hold out much hope for me. But I am a woman of strong faith and so I told them to go ahead and operate on me, and now I am feeling better.” They both assured us that they do not know how to thank ACN for the 130 dollars they receive each month to pay for their medication and consultations.

The faith of these true “Nazarenes” is apparent. Nahila tells us how the worst moment they experienced was when they told her that her other son Dani was missing. “We had to get through two years without hearing anything about him. We thought he must have been killed on the front. But then a month ago he came to see us and it was like a fresh miracle of God here in our house.” Dani told them that he had always kept a small Bible close by, from which he read a passage every day. “He never departed from the Word of God, and now we know that the Lord did not abandon him either,” she explains.

 

Through the intermediary of the Saint Peter’s Aid Centre in Marmarita, the international Catholic pastoral charity and pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) provides monthly help to hundreds of displaced Christian families throughout the region of the Valley of the Christians in western Syria, close to the Lebanese border. The monthly aid of 50,000 dollars provided by the charity helps to cover the cost of surgical operations, medication and other forms of medical treatment and aid, including examinations, wheelchairs and spectacles.

 

Emergency Financial Support in the Valley of Christians: Health Care – July/December 2018 286.800 € ($433,068 CAN)

 

 

ACN Project of the Week – Bible for children in Tzeltal language

10.10.2018 in ACN International, ACN PROJECTS, ACN Publications, Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, Mexico

Success Story in Mexico!

 30,000 Child‘s Bibles in the indigenous Tzeltal language

For close to 30 years, this little red book has spread the Good News to every far-off corner of the world. The ACN Child‘s Bible, God Speaks to His Children has been published in nearly 190 different world languages making close to 51 million copies of the book in print.

ACN founder Father Werenfried van Straaten, understood well that “Children need something like a Child‘s Bible so that the image of Christ may become a living one in their hearts. And, they will be gripped by the Old Testament stories of Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses and David. Yet for so many children in the Third World the Bible is something they can only dream of, for they are so poor that they cannot afford a book.” And so he decided to make a gift of a Child‘s Bible to children throughout the world.

Even in today’s world, the ACN Child‘s Bible is still the one and only book in print available for some of the less widely spoken languages.

Fr. Josè Avilés Arriola, SJ, visiting a community in his parish of Bachajon, where the Jesuit fathers established a mission in 1958.

Now, the Jesuit Fathers working in the diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas in southern Mexico have translated this little book into the local indigenous Tzeltal, a language spoken by half a million or so people in this region. For most of these people, Spanish is their first foreign language; some speak only their native tongue.

Thanks to our generous benefactors, we have been able to give $27,000 for the printing of 30,000 Child‘s Bibles in the Tzeltal language. Thanks to your help, the children in this region can become acquainted with the Word of God in their own mother tongue – an incalculable treasure for them. Many, many thanks to all who have helped!

Are you in inspired by this projects supporting the Child’s Bible? If you would like to help create more projects such as this, simply click to donate.