I’d like to introduce you to Maria — which is not her real name; she asked me to keep it secret due to dangers she faces. She says, “It is getting very nasty and scary.” As you read her story, keep in mind that her faith in God is what gets her through it all.
Maria lives in Central America on the banks of a beautiful river. She’s battling cancer, which has prevented her from working a job. By the grace of God, a friend donates one of the medications to her, and another friend gets a big discount on another prescription and has it delivered to Maria.
Maria thanks God that she has a home, despite the fact that it is tiny and has no electricity, no refrigeration, no water facilities. The night-time is lit by a small solar lamp that someone loaned to her. Once every ten days or so, she gets 10 gallons of water from a waterbus for drinking and cooking. She collects rain water to wash dishes and sometimes to cook. She collects river water to wash clothing, clean the house and bathe.
She says, “I am having lots of problems with a new neighbor and his guardian. They come in and steal what little I have. They took my identity papers. They menace me and threaten to rape me.” She recently sought help from the courts, but since the neighbor is rich and influential, the Justice of the Peace ruled against her. You can imagine how she feels.
Maria lives in the countryside and rarely gets to town. “There are ferocious battles.” She describes “very loud, obscene volumes of music, shots in the air, like a dark world led by the workers and servants that pretend to serve, yet abuse others.”
Then she adds, “Even church here is a mess.” (She’s Catholic.) “The doors are closed till Sunday. I am not accepted to teach the young, even though I studied with a priest. Only fifteen kids are catechized a year! There are hundreds of others in other denominations — daily.”
Through it all, she turns to God. “I only have God,” she says. “I have a monthly daily Mass book, but when I read your reflections, I learn, accompany God and understand. Your ministry is an oasis where I can refuge with God, hear his word, analyze it, go profound.” Good News Ministries has been making a huge difference to her. She says that she hopes more people will donate to this ministry so that it continues. “God is all I’ve got,” she explains, “At times, when I was ready to call it quits, THE LORD sent me your email. You have always opened your doors for me, even more so when I am beat, hungry and tired.”
Since 2011, she has been relying on the Good News Reflections, video courses, and many other services and resources on our websites. To access it, she uses a phone on a $15/month plan, which she does not have the electricity to charge very often.
“I beg you to please continue sending me everything you have. You have been my guide and help for a long time now. Please do continue. I need this spiritual Catholic aid.” (When she says “you”, she doesn’t mean only me. Everyone who supports Good News Ministries is in this “you”.)
Maria first came to our attention in 2011 when she wrote to me at Catholic Digital Resources to take one of the online courses we had at that time. She asked for a scholarship: “I am seeking your online Catholic homestudy of the Word for free. I’ve been searching for six years and can’t seem to find one. I implore you to help me. I don’t want to miss out on the LORD any longer. Finding books here is almost impossible or miraculous. Please aid me. Thank you.” Of course I granted her free access, and since that day she has hungrily asked for many more resources and we always give her everything she wants.
Her reaction when we began this relationship is something that everyone who has supported Good News Ministries should take personally. She told me at the start and she has repeated the sentiment often over the years: “Thank You for allowing me to learn. I am the HAPPIEST person for having this SPIRITUAL FOOD. You cannot imagine HOW much I am learning, growing. Boy, it’s been a long road for me, but with everything you have gifted me, I am studying daily and cannot IMAGINE being ONE SINGLE day without The LORD. So for all of this I BLESS YOU. GOD BLESSES YOU MORE. I’ve waited ALL my LIFE for this. I had always searched to learn about God. Until God led me to you, I found the Word but it was not Catholic. After praying, begging, and upsetting others about it, I found you. It was God.”
Can you sense God’s appreciation of you when you read that? I hope so! I cannot do what I do without both the Lord and those who champion the outreach of Good News Ministries with donations.
Soon after, she wrote this: “I would like to ask your permission to share with 6 more people what you have sent me. These people are as thirsty as I am, and some don’t have jobs. It is hard times and very little money. I pray to God you can authorize me to do so.” And thus we became able to reach even more people like Maria in her little part of the world.
Maria explained her motivation to share our resources: “This is to evangelize. My concern is that they find it as THE GREATEST GIFT and that they will also want to share it. WE NEED to SPREAD GOD’S WORD as MUCH as possible here because we are loosing Catholics to other religions, because we don’t have something like what THE LORD has rewarded me with in your BEAUTIFUL STUDIES, easy explanations, profound insights into the WORD, like a real net to fish.”
If you make a donation today, you can continue to serve Maria and uncounted others around the world. Many cannot support this ministry except by their prayers. Those who can and do help through financial support are serving all of these precious children of God. I beg you today to keep this going.
We need to put an end to our monthly shortfall. Each month costs $6000 more than we receive in donations (and believe me, we operate with smaller salaries and fewer expenses than most organizations). Last December’s fund raiser fell too far short of the goal. It will get us only through August at the current rate of monthly support. Heaven forbid!
Those who have already made the commitment of a recurring monthly donation are some of our best champions. Even small monthly donations become helpful when they add up over time. But unless the Lord graces us with full monthly coverage, the mid-year boost we need in one-time gifts is $35,000.
Click here to help spread the Catholic Faith. Help feed Maria’s hunger for the Word. And several thousand others like her.
Blessings of Peace and Grace
as we serve Christ together,
Good News Ministries
Keep your eyes on Jesus!
Look to the past with gratitude.
Live the present with passion.
Move into the future with hope.
Find creative ways to proclaim the gospel of joy!
(Wisdom by Pope Francis)