Today is Lent Fast Day 2014 and it’s a great opportunity to take a moment to consider those less fortunate than ourselves. People like Mohammed, for example…
Mohammed is 14 years old and lives with his mother in Sierra Leone. He was born in the middle of a brutal civil war. He doesn’t remember these years, but his mother, Jatto, says her overriding memory is of fear – fear of being captured and killed; fear of losing her baby son because she couldn’t find enough food to feed him.
Even after the war ended and as Mohammed grew, he and his mother faced the problem of starvation. They had no money, no food and no home, all compounded by Sierra Leone’s “hungry season”. This is six months in the year when nothing grows. If you can’t forage for wild vegetables and if you have no money, then your chances of survival are slim. Through sheer force of will and resourcefulness, Jatto kept her son alive.
That was before.
Now, Mohammed has brothers and sisters and the family farms its own land. They grow rice, corn and potatoes. So not only is there food for the table, but the family also has peace of mind because they won’t starve during the hungry season. And the surplus crops are sold to pay for the children’s education, giving them a really important chance to build a better future for themselves.
CAFOD supporters have made that difference possible. Your support is enabling the Church in Sierra Leone to do incredible things. They are training families like Mohammed’s to farm land that was previously thought to be unfarmable – the diamond mines. But these former mines are actually perfect places for growing crops: the land is more fertile and the soil stays moist throughout the year. This means families like Mohammed’s can reap several harvests in the year.
It’s a truly incredible project that has transformed land that was once the source of so much brutality in the war into a source of hope and much-needed food.
This Lent we can stand in solidarity with Mohammed’s family and Dig Deep. This doesn’t just mean digging deep into our pockets, it means digging deep inside of ourselves. Because Lent is a time for reflection and prayer. That’s how we nurture the roots of our faith: we take time to reflect on our relationship with God and each other.
Today especially we remember our sisters and brothers who are poor and do not have enough to eat.
For a short video focussing on Mohammed’s story, please visit cafod.org.uk/Give/Donate-to-CAFOD/Lent-2014
Please join us in saying our Lent Fast Day Prayer 2014:
- Your garden of plenty
Giver of life,
From tiny seeds and parched earth
your gentle hand grows richest fruit.
Reveal to us, Creator God, the seeds within us;
moisten the soil that our neglect has made dry.
For alone we lack the vision of your Kingdom.
Alone, we fail to recognise the hungry in our midst.
Alone, we lack the strength to fulfil your purpose.
With your inspiring love, Redeemer of all,
may the shoots of our potential break free
and our hands, voices and spirits toil in communion
so that your garden of plenty can be shared by all.