Update from SF Maryknoll Affiliates, now Lay Missioners, Pat and Ilona Helmholz

April – May, 2010                                                                                                               
Helmholz Update No. 11  Street Children (Survivors)

Dear Family and Friends,                                                                   

Since my arrival in Mombasa I have been very disturbed by the presence of children on the street. Sometimes mothers with children, toddlers or babies, sitting all day and into the night. I have driven home at night and seen children fast asleep on the curb and just one child rolling over could be killed by an oncoming car. I have asked the question why isn’t somebody doing something – doesn’t anybody care? The expression, familiarity breeds contempt, is very true and one can become inured to any situation but as long as someone cares deeply enough, action must be taken and I believe there are others out in society who do care and are doing something – I would like to meet them.

The thought has come to me “But for the grace of God go I, or my children, or my grandchildren. For mothers of children, who are trying to survive on the streets, what must be their thoughts when they go to sleep at night not knowing where their children are? Our circumstances are not always in our control, which is true of many, but little children of whom the Lord said “Suffer the little children to come unto me for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven", the least so. Children, we are told, are a blessing from the Lord, so impressionable (like wet cement) and all they ask is to be loved. “To whom much is given much is expected.”      

Bernard has been meeting with the street children and I have accompanied him for 3 weeks now and really feel connected with the kids. They have beautiful spirituality and some really want to improve their lives. Apart from snacks they are given we have added an apple and last week a banana. We have discussed some of our ideas with which they were very pleased but we also cautioned that progress will take time. I have run into a few on the street and they gladly greet me and I them.  

Rescue, rehabilitate and resettle are our goals. Shelter, food, clothing are their immediate needs. We need more volunteers to help in this endeavor. Let’s work together to help our most vulnerable of society to become responsible citizens with a future of which they could never have dreamed.

If you wish to support Lay Missioners in the field, please refer to the text further below.

Love, Ilona and Pat

Our work would be impossible without your prayers and financial support.  With this in mind, we ask that you consider making a gift to Maryknoll Lay Missioners or even becoming a Companion In Mission sponsor, by which you can schedule a donation in the amount and frequency you determine.  To do so, log onto our website: www.mklm.org or call Donor Care on our toll free number below. Use the Special Intentions box to designate application of funds. Reference General Fund #5890 and/or Helmholz Mission Account #5891.
Legal name:  Maryknoll Mission Association of the Faithful, Inc
PO Box 307    Maryknoll NY    10545-0307
Toll free # 1-800-867-2980
www: MKLM.org