Ms Annie shared
The National Society of Saint Vincent De Paul (SSVP) is a well-established Catholic charity. They are no strangers to many Catholic families as they used to go out to collect donations from door to door in the past, to provide direct help to the poor and underprivileged of all religions.
Over the years, SSVP in many parishes faced struggles to continue because of the lack of volunteers. The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore may we all pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest, so that more poor people may be served.
My name is Annie Leow, I am from NBVM parish, Butterworth.
I’m involved in SSVP, Butterworth.
Our tasks including giving emergency assistance for Utilities, Rent, flood & Other Expenses. Feeding the homeless, soup kitchen and food distribution on the streets.
St. Vincent De Paul teaches us to see Christ in the poor and suffering, so much so that the poor become our Lords and Masters and we their servants. Vincentian spirituality is centered around this concept. Jesus said “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25: 34-40).
The great thing about serving the poor is that it is not performance based and there is no competition. I can find the poor everywhere. If I can’t feed everyone, I will just feed one. The scripture verses I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink inspires me.
I learnt that the poor are also the children of God just like me with a soul, spirit and emotion.
Give monthly aid and distribute ration, feeding the homeless, helping single parent with children,
Helping handicapped children, adults/children with mental health and depression issues.
I usually meet families with children, individuals who are staying alone and individuals who are homeless.
One of my unforgettable experiences during my mission is when I found out that one of the girls at the learning centre could not afford to buy food on that morning and because of her hunger she could not concentrate on her studies.
Volunteering to help the poor helped me to see God’s creation through the lens of Jesus to practice grace and mercy which God has given me unconditionally.
I see God’s work in the life of the poor when I see donors donate for the aid of the poor, individuals who help transport the sick to the hospital and also that the poor helps us to realize that when we help the poor, we are actually helping ourselves to be more caring and loving to others.
Helping a poor person might not change the world but it could change the world for that person.
We want to invite you to take the first step on your journey by simply stopping for a moment and prayerfully and humbly seeing and hearing the people around you.
The next step is to start a Kempen Kasih in your family, school, office, ministry or church, to offer food to the hungry, a caring hand to the sick and dying, listen to the voice of the voiceless and echo their cries, and giving alms to those who are needy.
Finally you are welcome to inspire us with your Lent experiences.
May our care for creation and the poor move us to action.
Watch, read and reflect on these human stories.
Caritas is the charitable arm of the Roman Catholic Church. It is to spearhead the church’s social mission, to respond to humanitarian crisis, promote integral human development and advocate on the causes of poverty and violence.
Caritas Penang comes under the jurisdiction of The Titular Roman Catholic Bishop of Penang.
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