Prepared Exclusively for Special Friends of Salesian Missions
A Written Testimony Of How You Bring God-Saving Grace To A Troubled World
Don Bosco School in Goma Becomes An Emergency Home for Refugees As war and violence erupted in the Democratic Republic of Congo, thousands of families were forced to flee their homes, fearing for their safety and their lives. Within hours, the Don Bosco Educational Center Ngangi of Goma was transformed into a refugee center for those who had nowhere else to turn. Salesian missionaries and volunteers counted a total of 2,578 adults – mostly mothers – plus an additional 4,962 children. “The refugees were sheltered in the big hall, in the classrooms, in tents on the basketball court and in all available spaces,” explained Fr. Piero Gavioli, the director of the Center. Those who made it safely to the Center were the fortunate ones. Sadly, stray bullets claimed the lives of two people close to the Salesians, including the secretary of the Christian community and
the child of a teacher at the Center. In one day alone, dozens of children were gravely wounded from gunshots and mortar blasts. This recent crisis is just one example of how the Salesians go above and beyond their everyday service in order to provide victims with emergency help whenever it is needed. In Goma, the Salesians worked around the clock for three weeks to ensure that everyone under their roof received proper care and support. The most needy
included 316 malnourished children and 20 newborn babies. Conditions at the Don Bosco Center were understandably miserable – families cramped into tight spaces, a limited supply of food and water, and a high level of anxiety as to whether or not they could ever return to their homes. But throughout the terrifying ordeal, the Salesians were able to maintain an element of calm fueled by loving support, strong faith, and hope that peace would prevail. While the situation in Goma remains unstable, residents now know they can rely on the Salesians – backed by caring friends like you – to guide them through their darkest hours. Please visit the video link below to learn more about our work in the Democratic Republic of Congo: www.salesianmissions.org/Congo
This Month’s Child
Name: Age: Home:
Smita 13 Years Old Mumbai, India
For most of her young life, Smita had been held captive in an abusive household with a mentally ill mother. Unable to bear the cruelty any longer, the petite girl escaped and began living on the streets. That’s when she met the outreach staff from Don Bosco Balprafulta. But her path to freedom and a better life would take another year. The city’s Child Welfare Committee decided to return Smita to the care of her mother, with promises that the child would receive better treatment. But the Salesians who got to know Smita remained concerned
about her wellbeing and safety. So, they scheduled regular visits to the girl’s home, where they discovered unusual behavior. As it turns out, Smita had not been allowed to step outside her house for 10 months. Determined to rescue the little girl, the Salesians engaged local police, neighbors and relatives. It was a long and challenging ordeal, but eventually the mother was checked into a hospital and Smita was sent to live with her grandmother. Today, Smita is a vibrant and happy child – grateful for her freedom and thankful to the caring Salesians who wouldn’t give up on her.
This Month’s Call For Prayer Please pray for the safety and wellbeing of all children -- particularly those most vulnerable to hunger, disease, violence and abuse. Your thoughts and prayers will give them the strength to overcome adversity and the hope that better days lie ahead.
Published on Feb 5, 2013
Our World Bulletin is a written testimony of how the Salesians, with the help of our supporters, bring God-saving grace to a troubled world.