For several years now, Venezuela has been going through a crisis almost without parallel—a crisis only further exacerbated by the pandemic. Almost 80% of the country’s approximately 33 million citizens today suffer extreme poverty, and many indeed real hunger. There is a dire lack of the basics, including water, electricity and fuel, making life almost impossible in many regions of the country. On top of this, there is galloping inflation. Some people survive only thanks to the support from relatives abroad, while others find themselves forced to turn to illegal activities—which in turn has led to a widespread increase in organized crime and drug trafficking. Meanwhile, at least 5 million Venezuelans have simply left the country.
Thinking About the Future Through the Word of God
The Catholic Church is today almost the only body in Venezuela that is still standing resolutely by its suffering people. Not only by providing practical support, wherever possible, but also—conscious of the need to bring hope to struggling souls and above all to the young—by helping to prepare them, from a perspective of Christian faith, so that they can work for a better future for their country. For there are many people who have a deep hunger for the Word of God.
In the diocese of Acarigua-Araure, Bishop Juan Carlos Bravo Salazar, who was recently appointed bishop of another diocese, wanted to give young people tools to:
. Grow in faith
. Develop a solid moral and spiritual foundation
. Drawing from a relationship with God the strength to help shape a future.
To this end he asked ACN to send him 2000 copies of the Bible, 496 copies of the Youth Bible and for 480 copies of the YOUCAT, a catechism based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church and designed for young people and young adults. It briefly summarizes the most important basics of the faith in a question-and-answer format so that they can be easily understood. The aim is to deepen and intensify catechesis in the parishes. On the other hand, in this time of pandemic, it is also planned to organize online services.
Thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, we were able to provide the necessary 23,319 dollars to fund the project and meet the bishop’s request. Bishop Bravo Salazar has written to thank us: “Thanks to the Bibles and the YOUCAT, we have been able to begin a marvellous task. We would like to thank you once again for the help you have given us in providing the faithful with a better religious instruction, since we are all called to help build up the Church of Christ. We give thanks to God for the goodness He has shown through each and every one of you, and we pray that He may bless you all abundantly.”