Witnessing Gospel Lived in Ghana and Burkina Faso

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Mark Cregger helps a local farmer to weed his green beans. Photo by Mikaele Sansone/CRS

Mark Cregger, from the Diocese of Gary, IN, recently traveled with a group of seminarians and one priest to Burkina Faso and Ghana. The trip was part of CRS’ Global Fellows program, a grassroots speaking initiative that draws on the talents of Catholic priests, deacons and seminarians to spread the Gospel message and the mission of CRS in parishes throughout the country. The group visited Silmidougou Irrigation Project and Kaya Shelter for Young Women in Burkina Faso.

As we passed out of the city and through the countryside, it dawned on me how immense God’s love must be. It stretches from village to village moving the souls of His beloved to daily acts of charity. This grateful people understands what God has blessed them with. They welcome all and give with an open hand.

In a remote area in West Africa, a young woman carries a basket of fruit balanced on top of her head. A young man piles rock in a wheelbarrow as women and children bend at the waist to stir the soil, pulling out weeds on a small farm. By the sweat of their brows, God’s will is being fulfilled. His peace and mercy fill their hearts as they work to provide for their village selflessly.

The generous people of CRS have given the Burkinabe the basic knowledge of irrigation in Silmidougou so that their soil might be quenched after thirsting in the scorching sun. With Christ’s pierced hands, they have planted the seeds of solidarity and reaped a bountiful harvest. With Christ’s rugged feet, they have led girls escaping unwelcomed arranged marriages to a shelter in Kaya. There CRS makes it possible for the young women to receive a formal education and learn a trade. These girls, the poorest of the poor, have been empowered with a mission and their dignity has been recognized.

We have the opportunity now as the Body of Christ to witness our brothers’ and sisters’ plight. We stand with CRS under the protection of God to provide their bodies and souls the nourishment they hunger for. Let us ask God for the graces of courage and humility to accomplish His holy will and give the people of Burkina Faso hope in Christ’s infinite love.

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