Bicycles for 30 Catechists in Ethiopia
On Sundays, catechists often have to travel many hours on foot to reach villages where there is no priest to celebrate Holy Mass. That way they can at least pray with the local people and instruct them in the Catholic Faith. Can you help with supplying bicycles to make this travel easier?
The Apostolic Vicariate of Gambella lies in the
extreme west of Ethiopia. On the frontier with South Sudan, it is a remote and
underdeveloped region where there is widespread poverty. Many of the children
are visibly malnourished, and there are recurrent intertribal conflicts, especially
between the more settled, farming tribes and the nomadic herders. The cattle
eat the farmers’ crops, and the farmers are taking away the traditional grazing
lands of the herders.
In this conflict over scarce resources, clashes can be
frequent and violent. In recent times, there have also been clashes between the
local population and refugees of the Nuer tribespeople from South Sudan. According
to the UNHCR, there are currently over 330,000 refugees from South Sudan in the
area – almost as many people as the existing population of Gambella.
In early 2016, there was violent unrest here, with
numerous deaths. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church is working strenuously for
peace and reconciliation and is the only force in this region – a potential
powder keg – that is capable of combating the violence, hatred and rising
There are many people in this region who have still
never heard the Good News of Jesus Christ. Many of them are open to the faith,
well disposed to the activity of the Church and eager to receive baptism. But
the region is remote and the villages widely scattered. There are too few
priests, and so catechists play a vital role, both in preparing people for
baptism and in promoting the process of peace and reconciliation.
On Sundays, these catechists often have to travel many
hours on foot to reach the villages where there is no priest to celebrate Holy
Mass. That way they can at least pray with the local people and instruct them
in the Catholic Faith.
ACN has promised $8,400 to equip some 30 of these
catechists with a bicycle each. This will help them to save time and energy and
enable them to better carry out their vital and precious service. They will be
able to reach more villages and to devote themselves still more intensively to
the work of evangelization.
Will you give to provide bicycles for catechists in
this remote and impoverished region of Ethiopia?
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