Today is New Year's Day, Jan 1, 2010. It is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and on this day the church also celebrates world day of peace. Jesus is Prince of Peace, and Mary, therefore, is mother of peace. We pray for peace in our lives, our families, our workplaces, our country and in the world.
But we need more than prayers for peace to happen. We need action. One organization working towards peace is the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA). This organization connects sponsors in the US with children and aging adults in 24 countries. Through sponsorship, children are given the chance to attend school, a chance they most likely would not have otherwise. The children, their families, and the sponsored aging are also given food, healthcare, spiritual support, and an opportunity to work, thus giving them the ability to help themselves and rise above their poverty.
The poor are not poor because they want to be poor. They are poor due to situations beyond their control. CFCA gives the poor the means to control their own lives, and gives them the hope and dignity due all people. Following the Gospel message, CFCA works in the Americas, the Carribean, Africa and Asia, and has over 300,000 sponsored children and adults. But according to their latest newsletter, Sacred Ground, there are over 26,000 children and aging still waiting for sponsors. There are also many young adults in need of short term sponsorships to complete their education.
I sponsor two children in Guatemala through CFCA. I have visited them several times and met their families. The faith, hope and love found in these families for everyone they meet preaches the Gospel daily by their actions. Guatemala has been a war torn country for many years, as have many of the countries CFCA works in. On this day of world peace, let us pray for them and all the poor of the world.
On this feast of Mary, Mother of God, please think about sponsoring a child, youth or elderly person. The Holy Family was poor. We were not there to help them, but we can help others today. Jesus told us that the poor would be with us always. They are not with us to stay poor, they are with us so that we can be Jesus to them and help them rise above their poverty.
For more information on CFCA, the countries they work in, and the joys of sponsorship, visit their websites at http://www.cfcausa.org/ or http://www.walkwiththepoor.org/ .
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