Greetings from Sr. Mary
Greetings. I am a little late in sending this thank you for your March donation. I am also late in wishing you blessings in this Easter season. I was out of the country for a month, returning back to Tanzania just before Easter. I had travelled to the States for a Congregational meeting and I also got a chance to be with my family for a week or so.
It was nice to see the early spring flowers and the trees getting ready to burst into that beautiful soft green. Returning to Tanzania, I was faced with people worrying about the crops. The long rains which normally begin mid-March had not yet come. Easter brought some rain but it may not be enough for the corn. There will be famine later in the year as the price of a bag of corn doubles and triples. People have planted beans, and maybe they will get a harvest, but it is iffy. The climate is changing and people don’t know when to plant! Please keep the people of Arusha in your prayers.
This year, we have been blessed to have one of the priests from the Diocese come every week to celebrate Mass with the students. In the past the girls led their own services. All the girls attend, even if they are different denominations. Some of the Catholic girls had not yet been baptized, so they have been studying with a catechist and were baptized at Easter. I prayed with the students for the Saturday night Easter vigil. It was beautiful as we sat under the stars in the courtyard of the Center, listening to the Biblical readings, giving the foundations of our faith. I find the celebration of Easter, of new life very meaningful among our students. In the Northern hemisphere, it is spring and the whole earth is bursting with new life. Here in Tanzania, it is the time of the long rains and everything is green and growing. I see my work here
very much an “Easter” exercise. Students come to us, scared, shy, afraid to talk and express their opinions. But when they are with us just a few months, they begin to change and blossom. By the end of the year, they are confident and so happy and ready to begin a new leg of their life journey as they move into secondary school. I keep thinking of the line from the Gospel of John, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). I feel this is my mission here at Emusoi to help these young women find their gifts and potentialities and to develop them so that they may be abundantly alive.
They, in turn, will bring this life to their parents and families and to their own children. I see the effect of Emusoi moving out touching many more lives than just our students here. All of you through your generosity are helping these girls become alive. I was so saddened by the bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter and then the shooting at the Synagogue in southern California; so much death and destruction. There seems to be so much evil and hatred in the world. But I see your contributions helping to bring grace, a positive energy to a broken world. Your help is constructive, investing in young girls who are becoming such a force for good in their own communities.
I thank you for all your help and I beg you not to tire helping us. This year, we have lost a number of donors who had been very faithful. We are struggling to search for the money that we need to continue with our work. I wish you a Happy Easter season, Happy Spring and Happy Mother’s Day!
Sr. Mary Vertucci
Note: All donations should be sent via Maryknoll Sisters, Box 311, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0311. Checks need to be issued in the name of “Maryknoll Sisters”, with “Emusoi Center” written on the memo line. Please include a note designating the gift for Emusoi Center, Arusha, Tanzania. You will receive an acknowledgement from Maryknoll which can be used for tax purposes. I will also send you a thank you from here. If you do not hear from me, let me know about your donation. It will take 2 months or so for me to get news of your donation. You can also contribute electronically. Check out the “donate” page on our website. If any of you would like to receive this newsletter by email, just write me at email@example.com and let me know. Thank you.