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Holy Child Volunteers live with the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus. Kathleen King directs the medical clinic; Mary Alice Minogue directs the school; Fatima Yibial and Genevieve Ihenacho are both young Sisters from Nigeria. Each volunteer has his/her own small room (with a bed, desk and chair, mosquito netting, fan, a wardrobe and shelves). Our house is comfortable and roomy and we are a community in every sense of the word, supporting one another every step of the way. We share all community tasks, each one taking his/her turn shopping, cooking, and cleaning. Upon arriving home from our work each night we have supper together around 7 p.m. followed by community prayer twice a week.
We each take turns cooking dinner during the week. Our meals are simple and you can cook whatever you like. Some of our volunteers have branched out and have become experts in Dominican specialties!
In our neighborhood, we can buy eggs, bread, cheese, ham, canned tuna, rice, beans, noodles, potatoes, lentils; there are quite a few fresh veggies available such as carrots, tomatoes, green peppers, eggplant, squash, cabbage, onions, garlic, plus others peculiar to this tropical climate (yucca, plantain, yams). Fruits include pineapple, papaya, oranges, bananas, mangoes, tangerines, grapefruit, lemons, melons, etc. In large supermarkets (about a half-hour from us) or in nearer stores, we can buy different kinds of meat and poultry. Extreme caution is needed with regard to water, fruits, and vegetables, meat, and fish. (We need to disinfect all vegetables and fruit!) We buy meat only at the “safe” places that we have discovered—and we never buy fish except from the supermarket.
Faith & Prayer
To keep alive and cultivate our faith (which, when the going gets rough, is sometimes our only light and strength!), we reflect on the message of Christ, taking different texts from the Gospel or other sources, deepening our understanding of them to see what light they shed on our experience, sharing our insights—and our struggles. We have community prayer twice a week; one of those two times is a “review of the week” among ourselves where each one shares how God has been present to her during the week and what graces and gifts and/or difficulties there have been. We take turns preparing these community prayers which are essential to the program. Also, at least three weekend spiritual retreats per year help fortify the spiritual aspect of our missionary effort.
Batey Lecheria, where our mission site is located, is about three miles from our house. Read more about a Holy Child Volunteer’s typical day.