Latest update from Fr Paul

May 2020

My dear Antioch brothers and sisters in Christ,

PEACE BE WITH YOU! RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT!

I give thanks to God for all of you. Let me also thank the many of you have supported me and the relief work in Payatas with your prayers, with your encouragements and with our donations.
I have been asked how things are going. Here is my response. Things continue to be extremely busy. We have now distributed around 47,000 relief packs to about 12,000 families and the work continues. I am seeking to encourage everyone to remember that although this is a very active ministry it depends on prayer and we need to seek to keep prayer at the centre. We begin with prayer time everyday, we live-stream praise and worship and the Eucharist everyday, and we have continued prayer and adoration going on in the afternoons until 4 pm.
Tomorrow the quarantine in Manilla will be downgraded from Modified enhanced community quarantine (MEHQ) to General Community Quarantine (GHQ). I am still seeking to know what that might mean in terms of people in Payatas. I am not sure how many will now be able to start work and when they will get their first salaries. I think that very many will still not be able to work.
We are needing to think and pray about HOW we end the relief phase of our COVID-19 Pandemic response and start to move on to the rehabilitation and development phases of our work . One issue in particular is whether we have a staggered end or whether we finish our food distribution all at once, there are pros and cons to both approaches.
As well as the “how”, we also need to think about WHEN we should end our relief phase and start move on to the rehabilitation and development phases of our work. I would imagine that, even if there is no return to a stricter lockdown, that the relief phase of giving out food will last for another 2-3 weeks at the very least, but we shall see.
We also need to think and pray and clarify more about WHAT we aim to do in the rehabilitation and development phases of our work and FOR HOW MANY PEOPLE AND FOR WHICH PEOPLE.
We also need to pray that donations still keep coming in and even increasing (there has been an extremely big drop in financial donations recently) and to think and pray about our part in this. I think our part should involve some sort of fundraising and partnership development strategies even as we seek to rely mainly on prayer.
There is also the very big and important issue of how we can help the tens of thousands of people we have served, and whose trust and respect we have gained, to come to know the Lord better and to become or grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. This for me is actually the most important issue.
Once again thank you for all your support. I keep all you friends and supporters in my daily prayers. There are many of you for whom I pray for individually when I have my daily morning offering and intercession times.
I wish you all a most BLESSED feast of Pentecost. May you experience a new Pentecost every day of your lives!!! May you allow the Holy Spirit to convince you of God’s love, convict you of sin, lead you to deeper repentance and faith in Jesus, transform you to become more and more like Jesus, and empower you to live lives of holiness and mission. May you increasingly receive God’s love, love God back and love others, including those who hurt you and especially the poor and suffering.

Your brother in Christ

Fr. Paul Uwemedimo MGL

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