Friends of the Missions
Friends of the Mission speak out. ,
|Posted by [email protected] on December 2, 2015 at 7:20 PM||comments (31215)|
Tanzania, formerly part of German East Africa, is an area of Africa in which the Holy Spirit has been moving people towards Christianity, since the arrival of German priests. Rulenge-Ngara is over 50% Catholic and the Church there manages many of the land's schools, dispensaries and hospitals.
The diocese borders on Rwanda and parts of Lake Victoria. We brought a water mission as well as a medical.dental group in 2011. In the rural villages we found TB, epilepsy, river blindness and elephantitis, to compliment the malaria and typhoid fever common to southern Africa. This year we hope to construct one or two steel band cisterns,a small solar lighting system and a couple of chlorination systems as well as bringing a medical/dental team
|Posted by [email protected] on December 2, 2015 at 7:20 PM||comments (769)|
The fall of European Communism and the break up of the the Soviet Union left much of Russia a shell of itself. A quarter of the economy had been military based. Most of the economy was controlled by central planners. This all ended with the break up.
During the glory days of Joseph Stalin, people who had smiled in the street were shot as subversive. The Catholic Church was
relentlessly persecuted with perhaps 20,000,000+ being martyred. Numerous Orthodox clergy were detained and killed.
The KGB infiltrated the Orthodox clergy. The common people could trust no one. They had little hope. Most marriages were/are short-lived. Abortion was/remains the most common birth control. (The average woman has 8 in her lifetime.)
By 2000, a huge percentage of men no longer had a decent job. Without much hope, men especially found their peace in too much vodka, which exacerbated everything. For their safety, huge numbers of children were placed in orphanages by the government. All of these trends were magnified in Vladivostok, the home of the Pacific Fleet.
Soon after the fall of the Soviet Union on December 26, 1991, Fr. Myron Effing and Dan Mauer entered Russia to help to re-establish a Catholic presence in eastern Russia. Twenty years later, they were joined by two young (20s) American Nuns. Our construction missions have been to shore up their efforts, assisting the orphans, college students and women suffering the effects of abortions.
|Posted by [email protected] on December 2, 2015 at 7:20 PM||comments (2824)|
Liberia, which was founded in 1821 by Americans seeking an African refuge for freed American and Caribbean slaves, was ruled by their descendents until 1980 when Sam Doe forcefully overthrew the Americo-Liberian elite. Repression, rebellions and civil wars ensued on a constant basis until 2003. The wars left the country devastated. All power plants, sewage and freshwater plants were destroyed. Schools were closed for 10 years. In search of safety, tribal people moved close to the capital. When we arrived in 1999, there was little to eat.
Practically no medicines were available. People lived in straw houses with garbage bags protecting their roofs. 20% born, did not reach 5. Things are better now. The average male survives to 59. Medicines are available. However, of the 3,000 people we saw in 2013, 50% of all our patients had malaria, 30% had typhoid fever, and 20% had worms, all of which are preventable.
|Posted by [email protected] on December 2, 2015 at 7:15 PM||comments (2540)|
Friends brought three community missions to Jamaica prior to 2008. During the last, we met two priests from Poland building a church in Maggotty. A Jamaican of Chinese ancestry had given them land and some money to build a church. There were no Catholics there. Soon, the men were building a computer center and a makeshift medical clinic out of old 20 foot steel containers. In 2008, we brought our first medical. The clinic had lost its prescriber over a year earlier, so we had a good response. Jamaica's lack of work opportunities has compelled many people to migrate for work. They have left behind their children and their parents. These are the clinic's patients. Although most older ones are slim, Type II diabetes is the greatest medical problem. The clinic was updated in 2010.
|Posted by [email protected] on December 2, 2015 at 7:15 PM||comments (427)|
Spurred by a member of the parish council, we changed from Community (church building) to medical missions in 2006, going to many places before finally reaching Yoro. Storms had destroyed much of the road, delaying our entry for three days, while the Catholic radio station kept heralding our impending entry. We only had time to see 300 people, upsetting perhaps a thousand. Thus began our love affair with the people of the Yoro region. We have brought medical equipment to the hospital; clinical care to the jail and remote Indian villages. We sponsor 3 medical clinics and a center for undernourished infants. However Rural Honduras remains malnourished half the year; kids lose their teeth gnawing on sugarcane, Indian babies are caged to prevent their theft and can't afford luxuries like toothbrushes.