Welcome to Photo Friday! Each Friday, we share photo collections of our favourite shots from our sponsor sites around the world.
This week, we’re marking National Week for Life and Family, an annual event in Canadian Catholic churches. The family is a place of sharing. When each member shares their gifts, their faith, their good works, their joys, and their hard-earned wisdom, the family grows into a little “church.” Our top 5 “sharing our gifts” photos celebrate how the families in our sites constantly demonstrate how to grow together into resilient, loving little churches.
#5: Sharing our time, talents, and gifts
Abinash, from India, was born with a development disability, and was unable to attend his local school. He required full-time care, preventing his parents from earning daily incomes.
With the support of sponsorship, Abinash is now able to attend a school for children with disabilities, and lives on campus with caregivers. He’s made a lot of progress, and is now able to perform daily tasks such as washing and dressing without any assistance.
Abinash is lively, curious, and friendly. His parents are both skilled potters, and with Abinash’s needs being met at school, they’re able to pursue their work full-time. They believe that he will be able to take up pottery and help them with their business when he graduates!
#4: Sharing our wisdom
As Pope Francis once said, “the Holy Spirit even today stirs up thoughts and words of wisdom in the elderly.” Listening to grandparents and elders in our community deepens our roots so that, as a family, we grow taller. Sponsored elders in Kenya participate in Chalice family circles, are decision-makers with their finances, and are strong examples of leadership to their families.
#3: Sharing our faith
When Chalice family circles are able to meet in-person in our CMAVIL site, they all begin with a reading and reflection on the Gospel. “It is very motivating,” writes the site staff, “as it helps each one to strengthen their faith through motivational messages.” Even through the very act of listening to the Word and to each other, they grow together in their bonds of friendship. They also demonstrate to their little ones, like the one pictured here, how the words of the Bible can become a source of life and hope.
#2: Sharing our joy
One of the best things we can do to build up our family is to share our joy. In Tanzania, mothers greet their guests with songs and dances of welcoming and gratitude. When we thank God for each other, we grow together as one family. Lifting our voices in songs of celebration unites us all.
#1: Sharing the spirit of charity
When Christmastime came around, the families in our Cañete site had hurting hearts, unable to gather with loved ones and grieving the passing of friends and family.
The families decided that the best remedy for aching hearts was to serve their neighbors. Each family circle, communicating virtually, chose a family in their neighborhood who was in great need, both of material necessities and emotional and spiritual support.
The circles prepared baskets of essentials, based on the family’s needs, such as items for a Christmas dinner, medicine and diapers. In small groups, they visited their neighbours and shared a moment of prayer with them.