CAFOD Harvest Fast Day is almost here. Hopefully you have your envelopes ready and have organised a speaker to tell everyone about the journey we’re inviting them to share with Nicanora and her family on the Altiplano in Bolivia. Lyn Goddard from St John Vianney (Bexleyheath) is sharing with us today how they organise Harvest in her church with Parish Volunteer, Serge Makoundou.
In our parish we present our talk on the Sunday before Fast Day. We’ve found this works well for us as it really gives people a chance to think about what we are focussing on. We also staple the CAFOD envelopes to the newsletter rather than put them in the pews or at the back of the church.
This year we decided to have a CAFOD display on the main notice board in the church porch. This has given parishioners a chance to see just how far the money they donate can go and what a huge difference even a small donation can make. Did you know that if you give just £5 you can provide someone with the gift of some worms, which will mean rich compost for their crops?
Volunteering to speak in your church on Fast Day may seem a little daunting but it’s a very rewarding thing to do. I asked Sege, our CAFOD Parish Volunteer, why he decided to give his support to CAFOD.
He said: “I heard about CAFOD at the French parish church Notre Dame de France in London’s Leicester Square. There I volunteered for two months, at the end of 2010, as a weekly night shelter helper for the homeless. It was a great experience making myself available for the sake of people in need and gave me a positive orientation to my spiritual life. I realised how much people can suffer around us. People who need not only material assistance but also love and dignity. I believe poverty can be alleviated with solidarity. Since then, I vowed to share my little love with people I don’t even know or people I have never met beyond the frontiers, as I know love can reach any part of the world. I’ve been inspired by CAFOD’s various campaigns all over the world, as a testimony of the word of God: ‘So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead’ (James 2:17). I think volunteering means working in God’s field as a labourer.”
Your Fast Day donation will make such a huge difference to Nicanora and her community in Bolivia. If you can make a regular gift you can follow the community as they put their plans into action. And please, if you can, sign up for Gift Aid and make your donation go even further. Here’s to a fabulous Fast Day!