Life is Short, but Love is Forever
I will begin this message by paying tribute to Prof Gerard Mannion, of Georgetown University who died of a massive heart attack on September, 21, 2019. He was a dearly beloved colleague and an extraordinary Catholic scholar with a deep faith and a deep love for people. He wanted our churches and Christians to become witnesses to love and friendship and worked for a world where we all would dwell in common (the title of one of his edited books). He built bridges across cultures, races, nations and religion. He was a giant light in the world who worked tirelessly in challenging the Catholic Church to reflect the many faces of God to the many faces of God’s people on earth through an inclusive and compassionate ministry carried out in humility. He was only 49 years. His death was sudden and unexpected. He was a very healthy and strong man, but we do not choose how we die; we can only choose how we live. Gerard made a good choice to live a life of love, courage, joy, and truth.
Life is Short, but…
Indeed, we all have a short time to live here on earth. As a result, we must commit ourselves to invest our time and resources on things which really matter. The things that really matter in life are like imperishable diamonds; search your souls to find those things which are often the things not written in your resume, but those things people remember after your death. As people of faith, we must work hard to commit to living a life of service and love; a life of sacrifice and compassion. As Pope Francis, recommends, we must commit ourselves to a revolution of tenderness in a world where many people are carrying deep wounds and are broken and sometimes move around with deep pains and holes in their hearts. We are the hands and hearts and minds through which God will seed goodness and beauty in the world.
Your greatness as a person or as a Catholic is not measured by the size of your wallet; the kind of car you ride or the type of house you live in. True greatness is not to be measured in your income. Rather, your greatness will be measured to the extent to which you have served, how much you have given, how have you added value to people’s lives, and how have you been a light of God’s love in the world and how you helped to make the world a better place for others. Martin Luther King Jnr once said that the most important question for everyone is simple but profound: What am I doing for the good of others? At the end of life what will count is not how much you have acquired but how much you have given. Both the rich or poor has something to give, and something to surrender to God. Everything we have here on earth will end and perish one day, but the love we have given, the kindness we have shown to people; the joy which we have brought through our generosity and sacrifice for the good of others; and the worship we have rendered in humble gratitude to God will remain for all eternity.
Good News from CSA’s Mission
When Virginia, the leader of the new cohort of 23 women formed by the Adu Achi women co-op in a different town, called me recently, she was so filled with joy. She was grateful for many things: First, that the women of Adu Achi co-op who began operation in 2007, could reach out to a neighboring community, Umumba, to help them to start their own women co-op. Second, that these women from a different village could share their own limited resources by giving them some seed money to begin a new cohort. Thirdly, that his 23 women cohort members have all started small income generating activities; something which most of them never thought would have been possible many years ago. Such joy and happiness which I felt in the voice of Virginia is really what motivates me. It is wonderful to know that with 2500 CD, CSA could change the lives of 23 women and their families and improve the food security and livelihood of more than 200 children.
How you can Support our Ministry
Stories like Virginia’s are the kinds of success stories of changes in the lives of African women which I hear always from our partners in South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Central African Republic, and Burkina Faso. At the same time, we also hear the appeal for more help to scale up the capacity of these rural and courageous women. I am a firm believer that this world with all its contradictions and complexities can still be a garden of love and life where people are flourishing. I believe that God’s dreams can come true in small ways in our daily lives. It only requires that Christians and all people of good will commit themselves everyday to doing good and saying to the darkness every day through our way of life, ‘you do not belong here.’ As the Psalmist says, “The Lord takes delight in his people” Ps149:4a) and this happens when we live as God would want us to live—loving, accepting, celebrating, helping and healing each other. In that same spirit, I invite you to do any or all of these three things to support our ministry:
- Pray for us and all people who work with the poor in the world and in particular in Africa.
- Consider making a monthly or annual donation of any amount to support our ministry with rural women in poor African communities. A donation of 250CD is able to support a woman in an African village to begin a business or an agricultural venture which could substantially alter the life of her family.
- Consider joining us next summer (2020) for an unforgettable trip to the African Safari and volunteer for a week with one of our projects in East Africa.
Stan Chu IloDownload Newletter to read more >
Pity is not enough, compassion is a real and deep human feeling, sympathy and empathy are good, but solidarity is better, and collaboration is the best thing we can offer to Africans especially the women and children who want to work hard to realize a better future for themselves and their children.
- Stan Chu Ilo