As I’m sure everyone reading this knows, Katie and I have been diligently working to get over to Africa for the last decade. Our Tanzania placement with Maryknoll Lay Missioners is a dream come true and the answer to many prayers. We appreciate all the support that folks have given us over the years.
Since we’ve found out about our placement in Tanzania, we’ve been asked this question a lot: “How can we help you?” So I offer both an answer to that question as well as an appeal for support and assistance. Up until this point we really haven't had an answer to how people could help us. So much was unknown that we couldn't give any specifics. Now that we're much further into the process, we have come up with a list of three ways that you can help:
1) Monetary Donations.
Unlike many other mission-based work, our service with Maryknoll Lay Missioners does not require extensive fund-raising, nor is our acceptance contingent on raising a specified amount. MKLM has their own fund-raising staff who, with the occasional support of the Missioners, raise enough money so that the mission staff can concentrate on what they were hired to do--service to the poor and the marginalized. That being said, the organization does rely heavily on donations for its operations. We have been asked to raise $1000 prior to our departure in January 2012. If anyone would like to contribute to our goal, we would be most grateful. Donating financial support to MKLM is a very important way for people to get involved in our mission. It is a great way to support not just us but an organization that has been working for decades with some of the world's most needy people. I know the economy is rough right now and many folks are in less than ideal circumstances, but even the smallest donations add up, so please give whatever you can. No amount is too small.
If you would like to make a donation, you can send a check directly to:
Maryknoll Lay Missioners, Advancement
PO Box 307
Maryknoll, NY 10545-0307
Please put “Chris and Katie Reid” in the memo line of the check in order to ensure that we can be "credited" for bringing in the donation. We can also take cash and mail a check to them ourselves with your name on it, if you would prefer.
2) Storage Space.
Although we are selling/donating most of our possessions, there are a few things (photographs, family heirlooms, etc.) that we will put into storage while we are away. Some of these things need to be stored with care because prolonged heat/cold might hurt these items. Obviously, obtaining a climate controlled storage unit for 4 years can get a bit pricey (though we will do it if we have to), so if anyone has any storage space that they are willing/able to let us use for at least 4 years, please let us know. We'll weigh our options and then figure out the best solution from there. We don't want to have boxes spread out at two dozen homes around the country!
This is the most important need, of course. The changes that we are making in our lives (and in the lives of family, friends, colleagues, etc.) would be insurmountable if it weren't for the Grace of God and the Peace of the Holy Spirit. We ask for continued prayers for us, our families, and our friends, as well as for all Missioners around the world working toward peace and justice. We would love it if people would add our intentions to any prayer groups or Church services that you know of. And if you are not religious, then happy thoughts are equally appreciated.
For those of you who are not familiar with Maryknoll Lay Missioners, here’s bit from the MKLM website:
“… [MKLM] are a lay Catholic community called through baptism to witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, crossing boundaries of culture, nationality and faith to join our lives with impoverished and oppressed peoples of the earth. With them, we discern the presence of God’s Spirit in all creation and in the world’s many cultures and religions, and work toward human liberation and inter-religious dialogue in Africa, Asia and the Americas.
…We strive together for justice, peace and fullness of life, and so our ministries are offered in response to the needs of the people with whom we live and work, and with respect for the integrity of all creation.
…We challenge unjust structures and systems, seeking transformation of the very powers that create and benefit from the marginalization of communities, and we commit to becoming a dynamic anti-racist organization that reflects the ethnic and cultural richness of the US Catholic Church and the world in this millennium.”
Learn more about MKLM at their website.
Any support you can offer is greatly appreciated. We could not embark on this endeavor without the support that others give us. Thanks to everyone for being an important part of our mission- a mission that has just begun!