A recurring appointment every Sunday. 

Every Sunday, the spoken word of God at Mass is like a flame that warms the hearts and souls, keeping alive the hope of an entire family that has lost everything. In dark moments during the COVID-19 pandemic, Catherine does not lose her faith; on the contrary, she clings even more to that hope, to the love of God. Together with her family, every Sunday, she turns on the radio to listen to the Mass, the word of God.

Through prayer and perseverance: a journey out of poverty

Born into poverty, my husband and I found ourselves homeless with nowhere to call home. 

Initially, we lived with our parents, but the space was overcrowded and too small for all of us and we were forced to leave. 

We moved from one place to another for some time, until eventually with the few savings we managed to set aside, we settled near Creekside, right beneath an affluent district. Our small hut lacked even the most basic amenities and during rainstorms, it often got flooded.

When we faced eviction from our makeshift home, the pain was unbearable. Seeing my children feel uncertain and insecure broke my heart. My husband, recently out of hospital and jobless for nearly a year, could do little to help. I felt powerless and all I could do was cry.

Homelessness brought so many hardships; we lacked a permanent address, making it impossible to access electricity and water. Schooling for my children was another challenge. They needed to contribute to housing expenses and so they had to stop their education. It broke my heart.

What kept me going in those moments was my faith in God and the strength of my family. One day during the pandemic, I returned home from work, my heart heavy with worries about our uncertain future. But as I stepped in and saw my family gathered around the radio, united in prayer during Sunday Mass, my heart was filled with joy. Thanks to them, I remembered that I was not alone and that God was there in the strength, unity, and love of my family. Their love gave me the determination I needed. Each day, I kept seeking God’s mercy through prayer, even after devoting half a day to worship in church. 

My prayers were certainly heard. One day, thanks to the support of the “13 Houses” Campaign, our lives changed forever. I still remember the time I received the invitation to participate in a meeting organized by the city government and parish and my family, and I suddenly dared to dream of owning our own home.

Thanks to the Campaign, we were given a new home in St. Isidore Village. We now have a permanent address and access to water and electricity. Thanks to that, our children have been able to go back to their studies. 

Having a home to call our own restored my confidence and sense of dignity. I no longer live in fear of being evicted and I take pride in knowing that we worked hard to secure our family’s future. We were blessed with kind and generous benefactors who supported us and this reaffirmed our belief in the goodness of humanity.

With our comfortable and safe home, we no longer worry about our children’s education. We look forward to the day when they will graduate from college; they already finished their grade levels with honours and we could not be more proud.

To those experiencing homelessness or dreaming of their own homes, I say, hold on and cling to your faith in God. In His mercy, He will send people to help you. Even though God may seem absent at times, He is always there for us in the love of people who surround and support us in moments of pain. You may not achieve your dreams immediately but never lose hope, trust in God, and keep praying and working towards your goals.