Lenten Appeal 2022

The following account, written by Fr. Robert Psinon, is an emotive story which highlights the importance of your donations, however large or small, and what a huge impact they make on a personal level. This Mission Project is mentioned in our Lenten Appeal 2022 as an example of the support you can give to the needy around the World.

“A religion true to its nature must also be concerned about man's social conditions.... Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them is a dry-as-dust religion.”

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

It is in search of this balance between religion and man’s social condition that played out in little Siri and Shadawanka village in Ganjuwa Local Government of Bauchi State, Nigeria. Saint Patrick’s Missionary Priests have worked in Miya, Nigeria, community for over ten years. Fr. Robert Psinon SPS has supported Elizabeth and Kauna from donations sent from East Molesey.

The story of Elizabeth and Kauna

Elizabeth is one of five children of Mr. Musa now deceased. Her mother gave birth to five children, four of them living with paraplegia and one with hearing impairment. Elizabeth now lives with her stepmother who has been taking care of her since her mother remarried. A few years ago, Elizabeth’s stepmother carried her on her back to and from school daily until a wheelchair was donated to her. The maintenance of the wheelchair to serve her has been very challenging to the family who can barely feed themselves. The wheelchair is now old and needs replacement. The donation has made it possible for the wheelchair to be repaired and food stuff bought to support Elizabeth’s family as well as a cash donation made to maintain the wheelchair to ease her going to school.

Kauna lives in Shadawanka village with her parents. She has refused to be limited by disability. She is desirous of being educated and hopes to change the situation of her poor parents and community. Like Elizabeth, she benefited in the support provided by donations of food and cash to repair her wheelchair to make it easy for her to go to school.

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It is very easy to complain about how bad things are and the situation of people around us and do nothing, like captured in Charles Swindoll’s Ultimate book of illustration. We so religiously fall short of Christ’s demand of service for others:

  • I was hungry and you formed a humanities club and you discussed my hunger.

  • I was imprisoned and you crept off quietly to your chapel in the cellar to pray for my release.

  • I was naked and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance.

  • I was sick and you knelt and thanked God for your health.

  • I was homeless and you preached to me of the spiritual shelter of the love of God.

  • I was lonely and you left me alone to pray for me.

  • You seem so holy; so close to God.

  • But I’m still very hungry and lonely and cold.

The word of God in Proverbs 19:17 say

“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”

May God help us not to only seat and complain about the situation of people around us but do the little that we can do to put smiles on the face of others when we can. Elizabeth and Kauna send their gratitude for giving them an opportunity to pursue their dreams and have a chance to change the story of their lives.

Thank You.

Image by Courtney Hedger