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So many times I’ve written to you telling about the needs of the poor — the need for food … for clothing and temporary shelter … for sources of fresh, clean water. The list of items that are needed for those who are living in such dire poverty throughout Africa goes on — and indeed, it can be quite overwhelming. And each time I’ve written asking for your help, you have responded with incredible compassion and kindness.
As St. Paul wrote, “I always thank God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you.” And as you share your gifts with those in need, your love for the poor is evident.
That is why I am writing this letter to you today — because of a very special need.
Please read on and I will try to explain.
I think you are probably aware of the conflicts and crises that continue to plague many regions of Africa. Wars continue to rage. Drought and famine continue to claim lives. And each year, especially in East Africa, diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS, and typhoid are killing men, women and children.
The need among Africa’s poor is perhaps greater now than ever before. That is why it is critical that I respond to a recent letter I received from one of our missionaries working in Tanzania.
Fr. Victor Lijaji is a Missionary of Africa working in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in East Africa. Not long ago, Fr. Victor wrote to me explaining the increasing need for adequate healthcare among the world’s poorest people.
Tanzania is home to one of the largest populations of refugees in the world. A number of years ago, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children fleeing war, drought and famine flooded into Tanzania — seeking basic living necessities and safe refuge from the violence that had ravaged their home countries. It was a massive influx of people who had lost their homes, nearly all of their belongings and who even had witnessed the deaths of their loved ones. And while many nations would have turned away such a large scale of foreigners, Tanzania’s generosity knew no bounds.
More than 165,000 refugees were even granted citizenship!
But the cost of such kindness has overwhelmed Tanzania. As I write this letter to you, there is a desperate need for medical personnel and adequately staffed hospitals and clinics. There is also a tremendous need for medical equipment and supplies.
“There is a group of religious Sisters operating a hospital here,” Fr. Victor writes. “We have visited them and seen their work first-hand. They are doing incredible good in their service of those in need, but as the need for medical care grows, the Sisters also need to expand their hospital.”
“I am hoping that we can help them expand their current medical center with two additional floors,”he continues. “In order to do this, funds are needed to cover the costs of the actual construction as well as medical equipment — including laboratory equipment and supplies. The total cost of the medical center expansion project is $67,500. I know it is a lot of money, but I am hoping that there is some way the Missionaries of Africa can help.”
My friend, as I have said before, you have been so kind and faithful in your financial support of our work among Africa’s poorest men, women and children. I am praying we can count on you again. Is there some amount you can send?My hope is that we can raise at least $42,500 to be used toward the expansion of the medical center in Tanzania as well as for the other ministries our missionaries are actively working in throughout Africa. Whatever amount you can send — large or small — will help in some way. Quite honestly, every donation — no matter what its size — matters.