A Simple House for the Priest in a Remote Parish Outstation in Ethiopia
Project Code: 118-04-19
A poor, remote and underdeveloped region, the Apostolic Vicariate of Gambella lies in the extreme west of Ethiopia, close to the border with South Sudan. Many of the children here are visibly undernourished. Here the Catholic Church is greatly welcomed. Many people say to the priests, "When the Catholic Church comes, everything becomes fruitful!" And they remark with wonder, "Wherever the Church is, there is water. The government gives us bad water, but the Church brings good water. We love your God; please come to us also!"
The Church not only brings water, but also hand mills for grinding corn. She sets up kindergartens and gives help and advice in agricultural matters. And she seeks to promote reconciliation between the tribes, since again and again there are outbreaks of bloody feuding, especially between the tribes which practice cultivation and those which live a pastoral, nomadic lifestyle. The flocks come and eat the crops of the farmers, while the farmers take the grazing lands of the pastoralists.
In the village of Puol, the people also want the Church to come to them, but this village is almost literally at the end of the world. The "road" leading to it is difficult to negotiate even in the dry season. And when the river Baro floods its banks in the rainy season, the village is completely cut off from the outside world for up to 4 months of the year. The people cannot even reach the neighboring villages. During the wet season, the only way that Father Desalegn Desale, their priest, can reach them is by motor boat.
Thanks to help from ACN, a chapel has already been built in the village; it was consecrated at the beginning of this year, 2013. This is where the Catholic faithful meet for Holy Mass, for prayer and religious instruction, for educational programs and for other activities. Over 120 people in the village here are preparing for baptism. Until recently, they simply sat under the trees when the priest came.
Father Desalegn Desale travels regularly from the town of Isang to these remote regions in order to visit and minister to the people here. But given the poor roads and the difficulties of traveling, it would make things so much easier if he had a place to stay in Puol. Then he could stay here for several days and minister much more effectively to the people in Puol and the surrounding villages.
Now he has turned to us for help. Traditionally, the people in this region build huts of wood and mud. But while cheap to build, such huts quickly deteriorate as a result of the rain and the floods and the termite activity. Consequently there is a need to build something more permanent. We are hoping to be able to help with a contribution of $9,600, so that a simple and modest house can be built for the priest and the parish.
Will you give to provide Father Desale with a simple house so that he more effectively minister to the faithful in Ethiopia?