Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lent: Responding to the Need

Rosie Chinea, the campus minister at Aquinas Newman Center at the University of New Mexico, wrote a very touching piece about Thomas Awiapo in her blog.  Mr. Awiapo is going around the country to promote Operation Rice Bowl, a program sponsored by Catholic Relief Services during the Lenten season (and beyond the Lenten season). He was in Albuquerque just last week. His presentations are especially powerful because Operation Rice Bowl actually helped him when he was growing up as an orphan in Ghana. Here is an excerpt from Rosie's piece.
One day he smelled some food being cooked not too far away. He walked to the food and it was a school that was built by CRS. They were enticing kids to come to school by giving them a snack and a hot lunch; both of which were provided by the project Operation Rice Bowl. He went to school not because he wanted to learn but because he wanted to eat. Thomas stated that he would sometimes try and trick the teachers in giving him the snack without having to learn. But CRS and the teachers they hired were too smart. 
But I especially like the way in which Rosie described how she was touched by the talk.
Working in the Church, I don't make a salary that gives me a lot of flexibility in how I spend. However, hearing the story of Thomas today has empowered me to give out of what I don't have. I don't mean that I am going to go in debt giving to people who need it. What I mean is that I will give up something I want to give to someone who needs. I am living in wealth, whether I realize it or not, and others are barely living. Giving from a place where it might hurt a little bit for me will help someone eat and survive.
Read Rosie's complete piece

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