A Tractor for Parish in Burma
Burma has had a troubled history in recent decades, and the Church there, too, did not escape the suffering. Between 1966 and 1970, all Catholic missionaries were expelled from the country on the pretext of excluding "foreign influences." Yet, despite this, the number of Catholics in this predominantly Buddhist country has since grown to almost 660,000. And although this still only represents about 1.3% of the total population of almost 50.5 million, Catholics are nonetheless noted for their deep piety. This is above all evident in the rural areas, where even on working days the faithful gather early in the morning for Holy Mass and then meet again in the evening to pray the Rosary.
Father Joseph is the parish priest of one Catholic community in a remote corner of the country. There is no telephone network here and there are no paved roads. Without the Church, the children would not even have access to any schooling. In fact, the parish maintains a boarding house for 80 students who cannot walk to school from their remote villages every day. This boarding house is the only way these children can have a chance of a better future.
In order to help support and feed the children who live in the boarding house, the parish has decided to plant 15 acres of rice, maize and vegetables. There is sufficient land available, and the parishioners have pledged to volunteer one day a week, or at least every other week, to work on these fields. However, it is a difficult and expensive business to hire a team of oxen and a plough. As a result, Father Joseph’s predecessor appealed to ACN for help to purchase a walk-behind tractor. Sadly, he suffered a stroke before seeing his dream fulfilled, but Father Joseph shares his dream and works in the fields himself.
ACN was able to help with a donation of $2,300 for the purchase of this hand tractor. Father Joseph is immensely grateful to all our benefactors and promises his prayers for all of you who have helped his parish, so that it can in future take responsibility itself for the support of the children in its boarding house.