Thursday, December 15, 2016

Pauline Africa Update

Our intrepid Pauline missionary in Kenya, Sister Mary Augustine, went home to Ohio for a family visit this past year. As always, she happily accepted donations for the media ministry in her adopted country where she has devoted her energy and initiative for close to 40 years. Sister Mary Augustine was a printer here in the US, and was first sent to Kenya to train the young African sisters in running the presses, and books continue to stream from "Paulines Africa" for every audience, from bishops and seminarians to pre-schoolers. Vocations are booming, and our ministry is expanding to new countries.

This week we got a wonderful newsy letter from Sister Mary Augustine and I just had to share it with you:
When I was home, many of you gave me  donations for our Sisters in South Sudan to lower the prices on the children’s books to enable them to be able to purchase the materials at a much lower cost. For those of you who are not aware of it, here is the story. Last May, South Sudan was in a terrible civil war and all the prices went up over 50%, but the wages did not. There are many schools near our Book Center in Juba and the children always came in to browse and buy some books. But then they were unable to buy anything because their parents were having a difficult time in just buying food for the family. The children came in just the same and would sit on the floor and read the books. One day, a little boy had the money to buy one and when Sister asked him where he got the money from, he replied, “This is my lunch money. I did not eat lunch today because I wanted to buy this book!”
This incident gave us the inspiration to ask for donations for the Sisters to be able to lower the prices very much. They could not give the books for free, because Africans do not like handouts. They are proud to be able to say, “I bought it with my own money” (even if it is very little.) Your donations really helped the children a lot and you can see from the pictures how eager they are to read and to learn.
In the attachment which I hope you can open, is a Thank You Letter from the Sisters in Juba, along with a few pictures of the different age groups of children in our Book Center. I also thank you for your generosity and love and ask you for your prayers that the situation in South Sudan will improve and that there will be peace again.
 While South Sudan is not one of our newest Pauline missions (we have had a community there since 2008), it is still a "baby house" for us--in a country with more than enough challenges even on a good day. Here is the "Thank you" from the South Sudan community:
This is a note to say thank you, from our hearts, for your big act of kindness and generosity. We, the Daughters of St Paul in Juba acknowledge with deep gratitude the gesture of supporting the education of the young generation of South Sudan.  
The children in this country have faced a very difficult reality of war and harsh economic crisis, which has made their basic needs inaccessible due to the poverty ravaging the entire country. Many of these kids express a great desire to grow in knowledge and widen their scope of values but are not always able to find the opportunity or relevant resources. Our collections of books for children are meant to develop these children into young responsible persons. We have been trying to find ways of making the books affordable for the kids. Therefore, your generous contribution towards this noble cause, which is very handy and providential, is going a long way in empowering at least some children for the good. These children are the hope of South Sudan. We strongly believe that if they receive good formation, it will enhance a transformation of the growing society towards peace, stability and development.  
Once again, we appreciate your kindness and sacrifices, and we ask God to abundantly bless you.
Daughters of St Paul
Juba, South Sudan

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