Meet Our Missionaries
“At the end of November last year, I entered a new stage of my missionary life. It started with a persistent pain in my left arm. I did not pay attention to it because I thought that it was a passing problem without great importance.
At the end of the month of December, a French friend who was visiting us expressed his concern to me—for him, that the pain could be a symptom of a stroke. After visiting several hospitals and consulting several doctors, my fears were confirmed — I had Parkinson’s disease.
I thought that I had not deserved this punishment and that God had let me down. Everything had crumbled and I seemed to have tumbled into a precipice of death. I was tempted to stay in Belgium for good, to surrender all my commitments, to isolate myself and to try to survive as best as possible.
After some time of serious reflection and conversation with the Lord, I realized that instead of complaining and brooding melancholy, I had to treat this disease like a cross which helps me to be near Jesus and to meet the joy.
My mission today is clear: I have to give testimony of His joy! Moreover, I have to live intensely each moment without seeking refuge in the past or in the future — the orphans of Sunflowers Family Centre have helped me to realize this mission.
My illness is an opportunity to give more responsibility to the educators and the youth of the house. Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus said, "Everything is grace!": a great truth! Even Parkinson's disease is a grace. It allows me to build a new missionary commitment. I have to be and not to do!”
Fr. Pierre says, “Our goal, our mission, is to turn what could have been a life of permanent tragedy into a life of hope and dignity. And I can tell you from personal experience – working with these children each day – that this is precisely what is happening. The joy and hope in their faces is sometimes more than I can absorb!”
In response to Our Lord’s call to love and serve the vulnerable and defenseless, Fr. Pierre and his mission team serve the orphans of Zambia through Missionhurst’s “Sunflower Family Center” — a community of homes for those children orphanage.
For the 103 children here at The Sunflower Family Center – as well as for many who “stand in line” right behind them – this orphanage is their best hope for a life that has a promising future. The kind of environment that we provide not only addresses their immediate need for love, family, security, food, and health care … but also simultaneously prepares them for a life of responsibility for themselves and for others as they grow into maturity.
“These orphaned children are amazingly joyful. Their smiling faces are bursting with life and gratitude. One would hardly be aware, seeing them at the Sunflower Center, that they were victims of tragedy at all.” — Fr. Pierre.
Fr. Pierre and his mission team have started a commercial farm that can produce much of the food needed for the Sunflower Center orphanage as well as for new orphan homes that he plans to open with your help. We have already been able to purchase 25 acres of arable land that has a good well. The needs for development and expansion would be overwhelming if “God was not with us doing it” … and if we did not have the support of our friends in the U.S.
“One of my dreams is to have a doctor here at the orphanage in order to help the orphans, but also to help the other people who live around here. With this doctor we could establish a good program in order to fight against HIV-AIDS. Right now, in cases of emergency, we have to drive for two or three hours in order to arrive in Kabwe where there is a doctor.” — Fr. Pierre
Your prayers — along with your caring monthly gift — will enable Fr. Pierre and his fellow missionaries to continue to love, serve, teach, and pastor the abandoned, orphaned, and vulnerable children of Zambia.
Your support will help Fr. Pierre’s dreams to come true and enable this orphanage to continue and thrive so that we can reach out to more and more abandoned and orphaned children in the Village of Mulungushi Agro, St. Monica Parish Kabwe, Zambian Central Province, Central Africa.
Would you consider becoming a monthly sponsor to support our missionaries' work?
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