Missio supporters in England and Wales have been digging deep during the Coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to you, parishes like Turda in the Philippines are able to help vulnerable and sick people in their communities. One of our partners, Fr John Paul MHM, has sent an update with thanks from his community:
More mouths to feed and no food
‘Turda Parish is a small, rural setup. When things are going well in the surrounding islands, people go about their daily routine, but once this daily routine is shaken, it destabilises the communities. The lockdown really shook people, and the fear of getting infected forced many to remain indoors.
‘Many people working in the tourism trade in nearby towns have had to return home. That has meant more mouths to feed, but no income to buy food. Meanwhile, the coast guard has banned fishing and there are checkpoints everywhere, restricting movement.’
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Putting smiles on people’s faces in hard times
Missio supporters’ generosity is helping to get families back on their feet. Fr John Paul MHM continues to share:
‘Turda Parish is very grateful for the donations sent to support our feeding programme for poor people in our parish. We have been able to reach out to five of our communities. This has put smiles on the faces of many who have been facing hard times as a result of the lockdowns.
‘Volunteers have been distributing rice to parishioners in the communities of Tara, Borac, Marcilia, Ndungon and Depuyok. It’s a vital boost to the diets of poor Filipino families, who generally are able to supplement it with locally grown vegetables.
‘Our style of outreach is quite simple. Once we buy rice, we transport it, we repack it and take to the islands. In some islands with about 500-600 households, we load about three boats at a single go. The distribution has been successful and the team that went around distributing are impressed with the level of cooperation from the people.
‘Parish volunteers, including youth and parish staff, have been doing a great job delivering the supplies. Without them it would become difficult to reach out to the people.Chapel leaders in each area kept the process running smoothly by gathering people to collect the rice.’
It may seem small, but the impact is big
Thanks to you, families who had lost their income have food. Fr John Paul MHM tells us:
‘Someone may see 5 or 10 kilograms of rice as nothing, but to our parishioners it made a big difference – people have been able to eat, children have had some food. People are happy; not only happy, but they are appreciative of the gesture. One can hear words like “please thank them for this great gesture”. The people of Turda Parish know that the world has not abandoned them.’
Helping wherever it’s needed
Right now, the Philippines is gradually opening up, and people are slowly getting back to their daily routines. We hope and pray with Fr John Paul and his parish team that that the situation stabilises. As always with Missio projects, the team in Turda is helping without discriminating. Anyone in need of help is helped, regardless of background or belief, showing God’s love to the whole world.
‘It was quite challenging when we got repeated calls requesting help and we had none to give them. We felt challenged. The missionary team on the ground feels settled in the heart now that families have received their supplies,’ says Fr John Paul.
‘Missio has put hope in them and Missio has made us to know that God does not fail and that the Church is really Mother and really reaches out to her children in times of distress.’
Thanks to you
Thanks to you, our Missio family in England and Wales, people in Turda can keep their families safe and healthy through this crisis. Through your prayers and donations you have helped so many people.
There are many more of our Sisters and Brothers in need. If you can, please consider donating to our Emergency Fund today.