Cambodia – Myanmar for a Culture of Care as a Path to Peace

 

    Welcoming the New Year takes a different tone for the 9 communities of Mary Our Help Province (Cambodia-Myanmar) as they celebrated it opening the doors of their hearts and homes to families either of Christian or Buddhist religion who are given a treat for a day. The proposal which is intended to be a concrete gesture of solidarity to our brothers and sisters badly affected by the pandemic and a way to transmit to them God’s benevolence and love encouraged the communities to give up something to be able to prepare something special for the families.

    Such initiative was also a timely response to the invitation of the Holy Father for the 54th World Day of Peace with the theme “Culture of Care as a Path to Peace”. With the involvement of some young people and lay collaborators, the Sisters manifested their care for the families by bringing them joy, relief and making them experience what it meant to be treated in a special way, even just for a day. Some communities went out of their way to visit the families in their respective homes while others welcomed them in their convents where varied formation sessions like physical care, hygiene, and maintaining the cleanliness of the house were conducted to the family members. The festive encounter with the families ended up with a sumptuous meal bringing delight to the entire family. It was such an unforgettable day for all the families as well as for the young, lay collaborators and Sisters who volunteered to animate the gathering, leaving a mark in each one’s hearts!








Hands that console and give hope amidst Covid-19 Pandemic

 

The FMA of Myanmar, give shelter to help families in difficulty due to Covid-19.

 

Hlaing Thar Yar (Myanmar). The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of St. John Bosco Community of Hlaing Thar Yar, in Myanmar, of Mary Our Help (CMY) Province, had taken the risk to stretch out their hands in order to show closeness, solidarity and love to the most suffering ones, by taking an initiative to give shelter to help some poor families by building small, but safe and secure huts in one of the slum area called, Padan which is close to the community of the sisters.

 

During this Covid-19 Pandemic, the words of Pope Francis “Use what God has given you and look at the poor. Look: there are so many of them; even in our cities, in the center of our city, there are many. Do good!” challenged the FMA who live in the heart of Hlaing Thar Yar slum area, to go out and seek much more poor ones in the area where they are serving. As the sisters started to provide food items to the poor families in August and till now, they found out more and more poor families who are living in the waters damp and their huts are full of holes, some are already collapsing and full of trash around. During the raining season, they don’t even have the place to sleep and to cook due to heavy rain that comes into their huts from the roof which is full of holes.

 

When the Sisters saw this, they feel the strong call of the Lord in their hearts to give safe shelters to them. With the help of generous donors, the Sisters have the chance to be a voice of the poor. The Sisters pay visit to them, talk to them and try to know their conditions and ask their consent to repair their houses. With the help of some fathers of our Don Bosco Kindergarten children we were able to realize the dream to give shelter to them. The small huts (8ft x 14ft) are built with bamboo, zinc sheet roof and the floor is with ply wood.  All the families are very grateful to the donors and to God for the safe shelter for their small children.

 

When each hut is finished, the sisters go to meet with the family and gifted a Bible to each family wishing them that God, with His love and peace, will be present in their new house, in their family and in their hearts. They joyfully and with reverence, accept the Bible as a presence of God in their home. They promise that they will value it and some also ask our permission to read it though they are all Buddhists.

 

The Sisters also feel great joy because of the positive response of the families. Many families exclaimed with joyful thanks saying “now we, with our children, can sleep peacefully even if the strong rain will come because of the shelter that is being provided to us by you dear sisters. We are very grateful to your God who sent you to us. Your God is so good and we feel it through your goodness, concern, kindness and love for us and for our children.” With the generosity of the benefactors and the Sisters well able to support around fourteen families for safe shelters.




Educating Community in Synodality as it celebrates the 4th World Day of the Poor

 


“Stretch forth your hand to the poor” (Sir 7:32)


Hlaing Thar Yar, Yangon (Myanmar). On November 15, 2020, the St. John Bosco Community of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Hlaing Thar Yar, Yangon (Myanmar) Mary Our Help  Province (CMY), celebrated the 4th World Day of the Poor by distributing food items to 700 poor families and feeding some cakes with the help of parents, teachers and children of the Educating Community


The food items consisted of rice, oil, bean, salt, chili powder, noodle, onion, fish can, fish paste, vitamin C, milo, masks and hand sanitizers donated to the families  for a second time by Mr. Thomas Neisinger, the Ambassador of Germany to Myanmar.  


Since the preparation of food items for distribution to the poor families, the Sisters  lived the experience of synodality by planning and journeying together as an Educating Community to start the Revolution of Tenderness in the slum areas of Hlaing Thar Yar. Packing 700 food bags for the poor ones is a tiring one but with the parents, children, teachers and Sisters working together with so much joy of to prepare something for the poorest ones made things easy for everyone. The same thing happened on the distribution day, November 15, all were filled with enthusiasm and sense of collaboration.


After the distribution of food items, the Sisters and some teachers and oratory children, cut the butter cakes received from a benefactor, in order to bring to the poor children of the slum areas. The children were gathered by some mothers who kept them beside the road. They were all sitting quietly waiting for the Sisters who will come to share with them some cakes. When the Sisters distributed the slices of butter cakes they were so surprised and so happy to eat the butter cakes for the first time in their life. They have never eaten it before except one child. The Sisters were edified and impressed by some children who didn’t eat what they receive but kept it for their siblings, since they had it for the first time in their life. Though they are very poor, they have big heart and loving concern for others. They don’t think of themselves alone. The Sisters then appreciated their kind gesture and shared to them two slices each. The children were very grateful to the Sisters who love them and who always share whatever they have with them.


The Sisters of the community were also very happy and grateful to God’s providential care, who through our generous benefactors, made the children  experience the joy of sharing and celebrating the World Day of the Poor with the other poor children and families on this special occasion of the 4th World day of the poor. 






4th World Day of the Poor


The Auxilium Community in Yangon, Myanmar celebrated “World Day of the Poor” on November 15, 2020 with 45 poor families of vendors. Seventy-five persons from different slum areas of Yangon, who are daily trying to earn their living and that of their children by selling flowers, cigarettes, fruits, eggs, masks and some snacks, etc., arrived joyfully at the appointed time.

To prepare for the day the community fasted for a month and half by eating on two evenings per week only boiled-rice porridge so as to provide a good meal for some families and on the day, the sisters, together with the boarding students of the Home and Food Management Center, cooked chicken rice and served it with a large piece of chicken, vegetables and some appetizers.

In giving lunch to the people, we had to divide them in three groups in order to abide by the Government regulations since the rate of Covid 19 cases is very high here in Yangon. Joy and satisfaction ran through the group as all fed on such scrumptious meal.

Love and gratitude bloomed even more when, after lunch, we distributed to each family, with the gracious support of the Embassy of the Republic of Germany, Yangon, a ‘Love pack’ consisting of  rice, oil, salt, chili, noodles, beans, canned fish, fish paste, milo and also soap cream, hand sanitizer and Vitamin C tablets for virus protection. 

Indeed, it has been a deep joy for all of us to experience brotherhood in this time of Pandemic, to experience that God is ever present among us and that  this time He has manifested His love through the generous concern of the German Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar on whom we ask God to bestow His bountiful blessings.






Happiness in small things!

Fun-raising on Mission Sunday 2020, in Anisakan, Myanmar

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