Last night I stayed up reading a novel till unmentionable small hours of the morning. I couldn’t put it down. I tried but couldn’t sleep. I had to know how things would turn out for these ordinary yet heroic Hollanders who hid Jewish people in their Haarlem home in World War Two. The fact that this story is true and autobiographical added a bittersweet poignancy which really captivated me.
I can’t recommend this heroic story enough. But be sure to buy Kleenex, and some strong coffee (preferably Dutch) for the mornings after you stay up way too late reading it on the edge of your seat. The sacrifice of sleep will be worth it to renew your faith in the amazing ability of humanity to survive in the most horrific circumstances…and not only to survive, but to thrive, at least interiorly. The women in this story suffer deeply, but instead of becoming darkened by hate, they become luminous…in the midst of evil, they glow. Love does this. Faith does this. Unshakable determination to do what is right does this.
I was extremely inspired by the ten Boom family, whose loving description reminded me a bit of the family in Little Women. It made me feel that my struggles are very small indeed, and that I want to pray for greater heroism in overcoming the bitterness and self-pity that can creep in through the cracks of exhaustion. Corrie, who is a watchmaker in her 50’s when she joins the Dutch underground movement, makes it very clear that any good she did came not from her own virtue or strength, but from the faith and love infused into her soul. God’s providence runs through the story like a shining golden thread.
“I remember harvesting beans with my grandmother from her backyard garden. As we would wash and clean them standing over the kitchen sink she would entertain me with stories from when she was a little girl. She grew up on an isolated farm in the country with no electricity or running water. She had many chores to complete before walking to school each morning, one of which included drawing water from their well. It was most certainly a demanding task and quite unpleasant in cold and rainy weather to be sure, but at least she didn’t have to worry about getting attacked by crocodiles or snakes!
As a child I could never understand what it was like for my grandmother to not have access to water inside her home. Even today as an adult who works in international development, knowing the realities million of people around the world face each day, I still find it difficult to comprehend the monumental effort people put forth each day in their quest to gather enough water to meet their daily needs.
This may be the reason that ensuring people have reliable access to safe water is one of my favourite projects. The unification of our generous donors here in Canada which allows for the infrastructure to be built overseas and brings such joy and relief to the families in our sites is a beautiful sight to witness. We are excited to present our most recent water project which will bring treated water to about 4,100 residents and schools within Aduoyo and Kokise villages at our Asembo sponsor site in Kenya.
Because of their location these villages have been by-passed by the existing water connection from the water treatment plant. This project will provide clean water for the communities and solve many problems associated with lack of water and water from unsafe sources. One of the barriers to education is the time and effort it takes children to fetch water which causes them to miss or be very tired in class. Currently women and children in Aduoyo and Kokise, who are often assigned this arduous task, have to walk long distances to fetch often untreated water for their domestic and school needs. Furthermore, the community has lost many lives as a result of crocodile attacks while gathering raw water from along the shores of the lake.
This project will connect a 28,530 gallon reservoir tank at the village to the water treatment plant two kilometers away. The reservoir will be built at the highest point of the village, allowing the water to be distributed to the village through gravity. This is a large undertaking to be sure, but is the most effective way to ensure a sustainable supply of safe water for the villagers.”
This article was published by OneNewsNow on Nov 6, 2019.
As I mentioned in my last post, it’s pretty disgusting how pro-life people are treated in this country. That being said, it doesn’t stop us from doing what we do. Thank God for that. No matter how hard they try, they can’t keep us from witnessing and praying for children in the womb and for their mothers. Even if it has to be outside the abortion bubble zone.
From Bishop Grecco: On Wednesday, November 20th, RED WEDNESDAY, parishes are asked to pray for persecuted Christians around the world and if possible offer a RED MASS.