These communities were Ando and Kolina after the flash flood survey by seminarians from HNMS. The relief aid fund was given by the ASMOAF (Australian Salesian Mission Overseas Aid Fund) to the Salesian Sisters. The combination of food, tools, cloths, beddings and buckets were distributed to the communities.
The parish priest, Fr. Raul CM and the candidates of Vincentians were working together with the Salesian Sisters and their candidates in delivering this aid to the people.
The scars of the flash flood were still fresh to the memories of these people. They need more than material aid. They need to be accompanied psychologically, mentally as well as spiritually in order to help them to rebuild their lives.
“What we bring to day for you and your community is in the form of material aid but we accompany these material aid with prayerful support and affectionate from the people who generously donated these for you,” said Sr. Sialei Puapuaga.
On arrival to Ando, the community came and helped taking the relief aid to the community chapel where they said a short prayer and acknowledgements before distribution.
The opportunity was also given to Mr. Gideon Harp to thank the people for their support and cooperation during the survey.
He also thanked the people for the courage shown in the rebuilding of their lives. This showed their strong faith and love of God, neighbor and families. “You proved that you are true citizens of our country.”
One of the catechists spoke words of gratitude and appreciation to the team. “We are very thankful to the Salesian Sisters and the Vincentians for their spiritual support as well as these materials you donated for us as we are trying to rebuild our lives.
The materials we receive today are secondary to the great love and spiritual support you render on us continuously in good and bad times such as this flash flood. We pray to God that his blessings and graces will be always with you as you serve us in our parish.”
The relief team left Ando about 11:00am and headed to Kolina. This community in situated near the Lunga River inland. When the team arrived the people were still working in their garden. In a flash they were all gathered and welcomed the team near the community chapel named St. Thomas.
The catechist, elders, women, youth and children came and met the Salesian Sisters and the Vincentians. Sr. Sialei once again introduced the group and explained the purpose of the visitation.
The faithful were already given words that the Salesian Sisters will bring something for the community. This community only lost gardens but their houses were saved.
“On behalf of the community, I would like to convey our sincere gratitude for your generosity. The community not only received these material aids but the faith you continuously strengthen in us. We find the physical and spiritual strength to rebuild our lives and be strongly united as a community because of your support,” Mr Kerry said.
In conclusion of the mission work Fr. Raul led the group in reciting the Lord’s Prayer and gave them his blessing.
The team returned happily to the Salesian Sisters residency for thanksgiving prayer and refreshment. Fr. Raul thanked the Sisters for their great work and for everyone in helping out with the distribution of goods to the two most affected communities in the parish.
He assured everyone that the little they did on that day for the people it meant so much for them.
By Sr. Sesilia Sala FMA