A new church at last for the village of Hathituku
"Thank you ACN!" proclaims the large poster that the Catholic faithful of the village of Hathituku have attached above the entrance of their new church. All of them are in their festive clothing and rejoicing at the fact that their village church has finally been consecrated. At last they have their own modest, but fitting, House of God!
The village of Hathituku is around 15 miles from the parish centre in Telendiki, in the midst of the jungle. Wild beasts and the struggle for daily survival are part and parcel of life here. But Father Stephan Barla gives thanks for the strong faith of his people.
The villages that make up the parish are anything from 5 to 20 miles from the central parish church. Since this is too far for most people, many of the villages have built their own churches, where the faithful can gather to pray together and where the priest can celebrate Holy Mass when he is able to visit. But the little church that was built 30 years ago by the faithful in Hathituku was only made of mud, and over the years it had become so decrepit that it was no longer even possible to renovate it. Besides, it was far too small. When it was first built, there were just 20 Catholic families in the village. Today there are 50.
The people have already made big sacrifices for their new church. Although they themselves are extremely poor, they nonetheless gave money for it. They have also contributed their energies and the work of their hands, even though they already have to do hard physical work simply in order to survive and support their families.
Given the bad roads and the poor transport infrastructure, they themselves had to carry the building materials a good part of the way through the jungle and up the hill. On top of this, last year saw exceptionally heavy rainfall and flooding, which destroyed the crops in the fields. As a result all building work had to be suspended for some time. Still, none of this discouraged the faithful. But finally, the money ran out, and so Father Stephan Barla turned to ACN for help. We immediately gave $11,600 towards the cost of the project.
This project is an example of our work. Your donation will be attributed either to this or to another similar project that accords with the pastoral priorities of ACN.