Thank you for caring for labourers in the Lord’s vineyard

Africa – a continent of vast expanses, rich colors, torrential rainfall, remote mountain regions, and arid deserts. Marked by simple faith, with deep trust in God, Africa’s people are often resigned to adversity. Despite all the wars, Africa is by no means a continent without hope. Mission in Africa means facing the challenges of nature and constantly seeking new solutions.

One solution to the challenges of nature is a lightweight motorcycle. For Father Juliano, of the parish of Our Lady of Victories in Dedza, Malawi, it was almost his salvation. On his old bicycle he would constantly arrive exhausted at the outstation, 13 miles away, bathed in perspiration in the heat or soaked to the skin by the rain, often arriving late because of the mud, punctures or simply the need to take a rest.

‘It not only hampered my pastoral work but sometimes made it impossible’, he writes, ‘it was also a severe trial of my own faith, even in the very first year after my ordination’. 

Thanks to the new motorcycle we provided him, he can now do twice as much in half the time, and also better channel his energies and focus more on the needs of the people themselves.

Again in Malawi, Father Stephen, of the parish of Christ the King in Domasi, writes enthusiastically,

‘Thanks to this motorcycle I can climb every hill and mountain, and we have many small villages and chapels up there. Now it takes me one hour instead of three and on Sunday I can say two Masses instead of just one. Now I can perform funerals for Christians even in places where there is no public transport. I can organise Bible study groups and visit the elderly and sick. I take the sacraments to them, and we pray together. It’s as though by turning the throttle, I can also speed up the spiritual life and my evangelisation work.’

There are many other priests in Malawi and Zambia who feel the same way as Father Juliano and Father Stephen. Indeed we have funded 50 motorcycles in these countries and were able to get a 40% reduction in price by placing a bulk order.

Cars are much more expensive, both to buy and to repair, but their advantage lies in the distances they can cover and their ability to transport more people over flatter and wider expanses of territory. But in many places, notably Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Uganda and other parts of Africa, motorbikes are the ideal solution.

Recently we have funded or promised around 100 motorcycles at a cost of €100,000. As Father Juliano writes, ‘Everything is fine. Things are running well in the vineyard of Our Lord Jesus.’

For the Sisters from the discalced Carmelites in Antioquia, Colombia, the convent chapel is the place where they live their vocation of prayer most intensively. That is why, in thanking us for our help in building their chapel, they also thank us ‘for believing in our vocation that God has given us, of praying here in seclusion’.

For these enclosed Sisters it is something of a miracle that their chapel has been built and consecrated.

‘Now we feel truly a part of the great ACN family’, writes Mother Maria Alba Lopez Rios, ‘not only because we have received so much from you, both spiritually and materially, but above all because we can now take part in your mission daily, through our prayer here in front of the Tabernacle.’

 


This article can be found in Mirror 0817.