1 November 2015, All Saints Day
Charity begins today. Today somebody is suffering, today somebody is in the street, today somebody is hungry. Our work is for today, yesterday has gone, tomorrow has not yet come–today we only have today to make Jesus known, loved, served, fed, clothed, sheltered, etc. Today–do not wait for tomorrow. Tomorrow might not come. Tomorrow we will not have them if we do not feed them today”.
—Words of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Greetings of peace and love from your brother and family here in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa. We pray for you every day and hope this letter finds you doing your best.
Life here has become seriously difficult for us, and at times we have been lacking in food. Our family now has 62 youths and this year many have been in the hospital. The most expensive was Houston who was premature and in the hospital for over a month. Alex had serious knee surgery with a rehabilitation of 12 months. Despite the high cost, he is doing well. Kamau, our six year old who was kidnapped last year, had been hit on the head causing a cracked skull. Now a year later, he is still suffering from this injury and has spent much time in the hospital. The latest was John who was attacked by three thieves carrying machetes and a pistol. John was deeply cut on his head in two places and his hands were cut with one finger completely severed. These and other hospital bills leave us stranded financially.
Joshua was kidnapped this year with his life threatened at gun point after being tortured by drug dealers. Moray and Rebecca added twins to our family, naming them Ted and Dancan. Eric and Teressia brought us Cynthia, Isaac and Beatrice brought Dorothy, Johnstone and Debra brought Ted, and Ben and Eddah brought Houston. Two other babies are on the way.
We had a number of cholera outbreaks in the country killing many. On April 2nd,
148 students were murdered at Garissa University by Shabaab. Violence continues. In another instance, 80 children were squeezed into three cars.
We continue to have water shortages and starvation ravages part of our country. Our students were out of school for five weeks because of a nation wide teachers strike. Our slums lack water and continue to have sewage come right to their door steps. Our high cost of living leaves most with only one meal per day. We need your prayers and help so that we can survive. More than any other time, we are suffering in these very serious difficulties. We are operating on almost nothing. Whatever you can do to help us will be so much appreciated.
On the bright side, Pope Francis will be visiting us on November 25, 26, and 27. May his journey to Kenya be a successful one.
Twenty-five years ago when I was in Rome, I met Mother Teresa. She asked me to be a missionary and to assist her sisters. I have served them in Albania and the West Indies especially Haiti, meeting Mother many times along the way. Now I have been in East Africa for 14 ½ years (12 years in Kenya after 2 ½ years in Uganda). I have been teaching religion in our government school without pay. It is a joy to being Jesus to them. I continue to work with the Missionaries of Charity (the Sisters of Mother Teresa). Besides offering mass and hearing confessions every week, I also do the funerals and burials for their crippled children. The sisters house is next to the biggest slum in Africa: Kibera Slum which is 1.5 million people in 630 acres with over 100,000 orphans. The sisters and I work together to help those in the slum. I have a home not far from that slum where some of these youths can have a better life. We also rent some simple apartments for the other youths who all come to our main home every Sunday.
The gifts that you send are used to provide food, shelter, medical care, tuition, and other needs. We exist solely on your donations. It cost roughly $9,610 per month for everyone (or about $155 per youth per month). Our youth are all deprived and have suffered much. I ask you to pray very seriously for us. Without your help, we cannot go on. We thank you for your kindness in supporting these youths. May God bless you more and more.
My mom continues to reside in the Lutheran Nursing Home of Mendota, Illinois. She celebrated her 93rd birthday on September 13th but suffered a stoke last October, which prevents her from speaking clearly and keeps her bound to a wheel chair. Please keep her in your prayers. I did get home in May/June and we had many good times together, but there’s never enough time to see everyone. I was able to preach about our African Mission and I am very grateful to all I met during this time and for the kind support that was offered especially in Augusta, GA; Evans, GA; Rock Island, IL; Macomb, IL; San Antonio, TX; Danville, IL; and Peterstown, IL. Thank you so much we are praying for you.
My masses and sacrifices are offered everyday for all of you. Please know that we need your prayers. In praying for each other, we are united in doing God’s work. Thank you again for all you are doing for us here. We greatly appreciate any help you can offer us. As we prepare for the birthday of Jesus, let us share His Love with all we meet through the Heart of His Mother Mary. We love you!!!! God bless you!!!!