A Chapel Roof for Missionaries in the Philippines
Project Code: 329-01-19
For three years now, Father Norbert Koima of the Divine Word Missionaries (Steyler Missionaries) has been working on the island of Mindoro among the native peoples of the Mangyan tribe, who live in the jungle in the Philippines. They were forced to flee into the jungle when settlers took their land from them, land which they have lived on since time immemorial. Today, life for them is a constant battle for survival.
Father Norbert wrote to us, saying: "The Church plays an important role in the lives of these innocent and peace-loving people and is helping them to win back a little of the land of their forefathers. The Church also brings education and health care in these remote regions where the government is not present. The Church shares in the pain and the struggle of these people and will continue her work in the hope that peace may soon reign in the hearts of these aboriginal inhabitants, so that they may with joyful hearts sing hymns of thanks to the Heavenly Father for the wonders He does."
Crossing rivers, climbing mountains, exposed to sun and rain alike, all this is a normal part of the daily life of this missionary as he sets out to visit his faithful. In many places he celebrates Holy Mass under an open sky, in the shadow of a tree or perhaps inside a school building.
There are three villages in which there are chapels. These are in such a state of disrepair that they could collapse at any moment, because the termites quickly eat through wood and bamboo and violent storms also assail them. In 2011, the roof of one of these chapels was torn off by a typhoon.
"Although their churches are almost collapsing, their faith is very much alive," Father Norbert wrote. His goal is to gradually renovate these chapels, little by little. The faithful have already begun the renovation work themselves. They have removed the parts of the buildings that were threatening to collapse at any moment and have felled trees and cut lianas (vines) in readiness. But without outside financial support they will not manage it.
And so Father Norbert has turned to ACN for help, so that at least the largest of the three chapels can be fitted with a new roof that can hold out better against the termites and tropical storms. We have promised him $4,000 for the necessary building materials. Will you support Father Norbert and give to repair this chapel roof in the Philippines?
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 needs that ACN witnesses.
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