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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
January 28, 1994     The Message
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January 28, 1994
 

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1994 The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 3 A letter hom_00 ..... .., ,. Mater Dei grad wr,tes about her Ivory Coast m,ss,on work thy Bartek, a - ate of Mater Dei And looking at my role as a missionary -- t" Evansville, jour- Ie lvory Coast in in the light of Christianity- I'm trusting a two-year stint as a of the Society of She was as- Work with Liberian said the Kathy "aft-- onth an. ,,_ J /'" ne reatiza- the things that were for her to adjust to ,sere when she woke day, and the next ".k sent a Copy of letter to the SOme por- er than "Hello!" I've dozen other seaside which is simi- Kiu-man lan- Tabou. I accompa. who is pa- to teach me a neighbor mOUrning the So we dingy light of greeting in tee old WOmen along the dressed in newly- in with solemn nod consol- bereaved Into a wide by her not sure at- my presence here is significant in the un- folding or coming of the kingdom, in the coming together of people reverencing creation in all its uniqueness as envi- sioned by the Creator. L tempt to speak Grebo or laugh- ing with delight that I'm trying to learn their language. At any rate, when Betty and I left she declared, "See how happy you make people, trying Grebo, just small-small." The moment exemplifies sev- eral experiences in which I've learned that what I expected to be doing with people is not at all the outcome. Thankfully, the realized effects m and af- fects -- are just as fulfilling and meaningful as my hoped- for intentions. However, at times, I struggle to let go of my expectations and ideals of my role here as a missionary .... I don't think anything could have prepared me for the is- sues with which I've struggled concerning my role as a mis- sionary amidst the overwhelm- ing needs of the refugees .... There are a lot of people here struggling with many losses: loss of homes, farms, savings, careers, businesses, and the most tragic -- loss of loved ones. Also, for all the victims, witnesses and perpetrators of personal evil of war, there is the loss of peace of heart, of so- lace of mind, of dignity, of self- worth, of hope ..... So after a few weeks in Tabou, it was the amount of physical needs that over- whelmed me, not only as those . HereToHel00! mg all families .with dignity attention fo,- over one half centu . 7 . "" " ry .,vaoe Funeral Home 1!9 S. Vine Street, Haubstadt, IN needs are more easily per- ceived, but also as they are the the needs people are con- stantly bringing to me, asking me for help. So how do I ex- plain, "Yes, the Catholic mis- sion has money to fly me here, to put me in a nice concrete house with running water and electricity, to feed me, to pro- vide a jeep and the gas to run it, but now, don't have money to give to you." There are ways to help peo- ple in their physical needs, which empower them rather than enable them to become dependent on the aid, like in- vesting in agricultural and profit-making projects or any- thing in the realm of education and training. There are many refugees who are doing a lot of help themselves like my friend Betty. Betty is a 24-year-old mother of a six-year-old girl, Patience, and a nine-month-old boy, Emmanuel. She came over to the Ivory Coast about six months ago. The father of her children was killed when Betty was in the hospital for Em- manuel's birth. Four months ago she assumed responsibility for her uncle's seven children when he died. Betty, the nine children, and her aged mother sleep in a room the size of two queen sized beds which she rents in a mud hut .... I'm amazed by Betty's open- ness, concern for others and hopefulness after hearing sto- ries of her terrifying and painful experiences of the war. Betty has shown me the small circular scar on her lower spine where she was stabbed by a soldier demanding money. 768-6151 . . As a result ofthat beating, she about prc-nccd counseling. Alan I. Wade ,v00/AIT U NT'li'- . REACHED .... YOUR IMIT , tly0,r e feeling as th . L , L ougn you simply cannot cope We Qli;:llOne more demand, give us a call. 4 hourA(, , confidential personal aueurnents a day, seven days a week to help you get past it. THE HELP LINE - Sa'NEED (634-6333) Toll Free 1-800-852-7279 II A service of the = ,,th Care C, en=r . STEEL ROOFING "Over 30 Semi Loads In Stock" 36" coy. #1 std. white .......... $41.95 sq, (Prem. & colors slightly higher) 24" coy. 26 ga. white....$32.95 sq. #2 metal ....... $19.95 to $36.95 sq. Scrap metal panels, ..... $18.95 sq. 5V galv ............................. In Stock 1 1/4 calv. con' ................. In Stock 1 1/2 calv. corr ................. In Stock OVERHEAD DOORS Hundreds in Stock 9 x 7 Insulated ................. $209.95 A TRUSS RAF'J'_ RS ny s,ze up to tsu span POST BUILDING PKGS Any Size -- Call for Free Quotes EXCELLENT PRICES DAVIESS CO. METAL Hyw. 50 E., Canneltmrg. 4 . E, Montgomery 812-295-4229 II I KATHY BARTEK can't breast feed Emmanuel. Betty is a missionary in her neighborhood visiting the sick and bereaved, counseling and encouraging the troubled... Each day helps me realize how I can make meaningful connections with people in emotional, mental and spiri- tual realms despite the dispar- ity of our physical environ- ments. I'm gaining confidence in my purpose here as I ex- plain to people, "I don't have material aid to give you, but what I can give you is my hands, my heart, my ears, my time and energy, my prayers m and most seem to hear me. I spend most of my time sim- ply visiting with people, listen- ing to their stories of the war and their struggles as refugees, sharing our ways of life, perceptions, faith, hopes, and laughing a lot. Some of my time is structured in teaching catechism to Liberian children 9-12 years old, assisting with the Liberian and Ivorian youth groups and a weekly Bible re- flection with Liberians .... So this type of mission of "being" rather than "doing" is challenging me to have confi- dence in the importance of my presence here, sharing in the lives of others as we connect across cultures, contributing to an understanding and appreci- ation of the diversity and simi- larity of people throughout the world. As our world grows smaller, as countries affect each other more significantly through institutional realms of politics, economics and de- fense, I feel a need for individ- uals to strive for a reverencing of the people represented and affected by these institutions. And looking at my role as a missionary -- in the light of Christianity -- I'm trusting my presence here is significant in the unfolding or conning of the kingdom, in the coming to- gether of people reverencing creation in all its uniqueness as envisioned by the Creator. More and more I'm thinking that's what it's all about -- a mutual reaching out and re- ceiving whether it's drinking coffee with a neighbor, ex- changing greetings with a homeless person on the side- walk, happily accepting a bou- quet of flowers hand-picked by a child from your garden, or saying Tay-lah-oh" to a Liber- ian widow. Peace, Love and Prayers Kathy We've BECHER & KLUESNER FUNERAL HOME Downtown Chapel, 214 E. 7th North Chapel, 33rd Newton , ,... ,,,, , , KREMPP LUMBER CO. WHOLESALE BUILDING MATERIAL DIS- TRIBUTION & GENERAL CONTRACTING YARD CONSTRUCTION 482.1961 4112-6939 I I II JASPER LUMBER CO. COMPLETE BUILDING SERVICE Ph: 482-1125 RT. 4, JASPER I I I