The apostolic vicariate of Iquitos lies deep in the jungle of the Peruvian Amazon region. Even getting to the capital involves having to travel by air or by boat. What might appeal to a holiday adventurer, however, represents a major challenge for the pastoral workers of the Catholic Church. For the parishes are generally made up of numerous small riverside settlements, all of them accessible only by river boat. And the possibility of visiting these various settlements depends very much on the river levels and the season of the year. In summer, when there is very little rain and the water level is low, many of the settlements simply cannot be reached.
Consequently, the local catechists play a very important role in the Church, since they can pray together with the people in the villages, instruct them in their faith and generally sustain the life of the Church for long periods of the year, given that the priests simply cannot get to every individual village as often as they would need to in order to provide the necessary pastoral care for the people. But now, at least in the parish of Santa Clara of Nanay, it has been possible to improve the training of these catechists, thanks to the generosity of our benefactors.
Every month in the parish there is a meeting of all the catechists, at which there are workshops and a range of different ongoing training opportunities. And at the same time the catechists themselves can exchange ideas, based on their own personal experiences. Thanks to our benefactors, ACN was able to contribute 5600 Euros towards setting up this programme.
Now Father Jacek Zygala has written to thank us. „It is still too soon to speak about the fruits of our work“, he writes. „We sow, and it is God who gives the harvest. But we are happy and satisfied to have been able to make this project a reality. Without the financial support we have received from you our missionary and evangelisation work would be impossible.“ And he ends with a heartfelt thank you to everybody who has helped!