How many faucets, sinks, and toilets do you have in your home? If you live in a house, you probably have outside spigots to which you can attach your hose to water your lawn or garden. They are literally such common fixtures in our lives that we don't really think about them.
Imagine life without them; think about being unable to provide your children with the basic necessities of clean water and proper bathroom facilities.
Imagine the heartache and pain of watching your children constantly become sick because you lack clean water.
For thousands of families in the island country of Madagascar, no imagining is necessary -- this is their reality. Though surrounded by water, access to clean water for washing, cooking, and drinking is scarce. Thousands of Madagascan children die of water borne illnesses every year.
Sister Rose Rasoavololona runs a Catholic school on the east coast of Madagascar. The dirty surroundings were a constant spreading ground for disease. Thanks to help from donors to The Propagation of the Faith, Sister Rose has been able to build six water pumps and eight toilets at the school; this provides essential hygiene and sanitation for children and their families.
Sister Rose says, "My students were falling sick all the time. Now, I see great changes in the children. Being able to wash themselves and keep clean has increased their self-confidence and eagerness to learn."
Sister Rose needs help from The Missionary Childhood Association to provide physical water for the children of Madagascar, but also to give the Living Water gained through spiritual activities. Having dedicated her life to spreading the Gospel, Sister knows the hope and love that strong faith in Jesus Christ brings to life. To share it with the children, Sister needs Catholic religious education materials, such as bibles, classroom posters, and catechism lessons to help form the young ones in Christ's name.
There are countless children, in Madagascar and other mission countries, who are waiting for missionaries to bring them life-saving clean water. They also wait to be saved from the spiritual dryness that chokes a community.
Missionaries' ministries are sustained by the regular offerings made by those of us blessed with the ability to drink clean water right from the tap. Most importantly, they need our help to plant the Word of God in the hearts of those who have yet to hear it or embrace it.
Together, with your generous support, we can give the children of the missions the clean and Living Water they so desperately need.
Got to www.propfaithboston.org and register your recurring support for the Missionary Childhood Association.
- Maureen Crowley Heil is Director of Programs and Development for the Pontifical Mission Societies, Boston.