Most people in Africa struggle each day to live in horribly difficult circumstances. They live in the shadow of a vicious killer. They live and die with AIDS.
The enemy is everywhere but most acutely felt in sub-Saharan African where the disease has propagated the longest. The number of victims is staggering. Almost 9,000 people die each day in Africa from AIDS or the infections that slip past the victim’s compromised immune system. That is almost three times the number of people who died in the twin towers in New York – people with names, faces, dreams and families.
The impact on family life is devastating. Thirteen million young children are living on the street today. The World Health Organizations predicts that number will grow to 43 million by the end of the decade.
Through this tragedy of historic proportions, God is calling us to show what we are made of as believers. He is inviting us to demonstrate that we have understood Jesus’ message and that we have heard the cry of the poor.
The Spirituality of Helping
While I was in sin, it seemed very bitter to me to see lepers. And the Lord Himself led me among them and I had mercy upon them. And when I left them that which seemed bitter to me was changed into sweetness of soul and body.
Prior to his decision to devote his life to following in the footsteps of Jesus, Francis of Assisi spent a period of time helping others in a leper colony near his hometown. At the end of his life, Francis wrote a document that contains the major elements of his religious experiences and insights. What happened to him while living with lepers occupies the very first verses of this carefully scripted memoir. In the opening part of this Testament, he declared what a radical change occurred in him as a result of his encounter with lepers. This was for Francis an epiphany experience and the beginning of a new way of understanding the meaning of the Gospel.
Reaching beyond the normal desire to avoid experiences that are unpleasant, Francis discovered that it is in giving that we receive. When we accept the Lord’s numerous invitations to follow him and share in his mission to bring good news to the poor and to help liberate people from all that keeps them from achieving their full potential (cf Luke 4:18, 19), we discover that it is true that Jesus came among us in order than we might have abundant life (cf John 10:10). What we had previously found disturbing or frightening now fills us with joy. (cf John 15:11)
How to Help
Concerned Christians want to make a difference and ask how. Here are a few suggestions:
Pray daily, individually or with others,
For the people for Malawi
For children, including orphans
For missionaries and caregivers
For those infected and affected by AIDS
For government leaders
For CCFM’s projects in Malawi
A number of humanitarian organizations are actively involved in the fight against radical poverty with various health, education and various socio-economic programs.
Crib and Cross Franciscan Ministries carefully selects projects in partnership with tested and trusted faith-based organizations in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world. Among these are the missionary sisters of the Immaculate Conception who handle receipting and disbursment. We appreciate their support.
Our efforts are aimed primarily at
- Preventing AIDS
- Protecting orphans
- Educating girls
You can transform suffering into hope by contributing, as you can, to our effort. We thank you in advance for your generosity.
Donations should be sent to
Procure des missions
“CCFM Malawi Fund”
Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception
Montreal, QC H2V 2M2
Please mark your check “CCFM Malawi Fund”
A receipt will be issued for donation of $10 or more.