Dicember 2019 – Middle School Amazing Advent
By loving others, I will prepare myself for your coming. I will remain ready for your return because I wish to live always in your love. (Matthew 25:1-13)
CHS Middle School Religion classes have been sponsoring 3 Bangladeshi children who attend the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows (OLS) schools since 2007!! The children have become a part of our prayers and almsgiving during Advent, and they remain in our hearts always.
These children face unbearable odds, but with education they are much more likely to have good, healthy, dignified, and happy lives. The Sisters do all that is humanly possible to give hope and love to those suffering poverty and repression, and our CHS Middle School students have been AMAZING donors in the past, though there has not been, nor will be, any designated credit (Lasallian Service hours) or physical rewards for donations. Our goal is to give $250 per sponsored child to assist with their educational expenses. Each year, we have met or exceeded the goal! Our students are encouraged to give of their own money and to earn money by doing extra chores. Any donations above our goal of $750, will be sent to the OLS “Bread for Life” program, which provides lunch for the poorest of the poor children, who attend their school in Zimbabwe, Africa, where my sister currently lives and works.
The mission of Our Lady of Sorrows in Bangladesh involves assisting very poor people, especially children and women. Bangladesh is a country in Southeast Asia where most people are poor and where less than 1% of the population is Christian. Most are Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist. The Sisters began teaching the children of the poorest people of Dhaka on their patio, about 25 years ago, when children lined up an hour or two before class would start, for what was the best part of their day.
The Sisters’ mission has grown through their efforts and the donations of many benefactors. There are now two OLS, Bangladeshi schools, St. Louis Elementary in Rajshahi and Carlotta School in Dhaka. There is also a literacy program where children who have not gone to school are taught to read and write, as they prepare to attend school with children or their age. The Sisters also provide help for some children to attend government run (public) school. Most of their students live in the slums and their parents cannot afford to educate them. Many children come to the convent for tutoring after the regular school day, so they are not on the street, and in order to dedicate time to studying. Approximately 500 children, ranging in ages from kindergarten to 12th grade, attend the schools, either as regular day students or in the after school programs.
The sisters provide for all school expenses, school materials, teachers’ salaries, etc. with money from generous sponsorships like ours. We are blessed by our association with the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows, an order which my sister, Sr. Mavis Champagne, has been a professed member of for over 30 years. We hope that our Advent efforts will change the lives of a few children and might also change our own lives by making us more aware, generous, loving, and kind. As we joyously prepare to celebrate the Birthday of Jesus, may we seek to be more like Him in “loving our neighbor as ourselves”. Matthew 22:39
Please pray for the success of this mission which Mrs. Brenda Smith & I have organized and encouraged for several years. Mrs. Lindsey Valls will enthusiastically assist in the mission as well this year! We invite our CHS family to be a part of this Advent mission.
Peace, Hope & Love,
Mrs Lucy Lissard