OLSH Sisters Mapourdit

Garden at Aluakluak

Garden at Mapourdit

Sr Wendy - Sr Suwarti - Sr Bernadette and Sr Rita

Two Students

Water tank and solar panel

Dear All,

The writing of this letter coincides with the Eight Days of international mourning for the Late Prince Philip; with the rest of the world we hail the Late Prince as a steadfast Christian who for more than 7 decades stood by Queen Elizabeth throughout her good times and not so good times. Within the Mapuordit context, the Late Prince Philip is somewhat of an unknown; additionally, in a polygamous society it is unknown for a marriage such as we've witnessed to be possible.

The purpose of this letter is to once again express our deepest gratitude to all who contributed to the recent funding received from Overseas Aid. In the past few years, Australia has come through severe drought, through fires so severe that the smoke circumnavigated the globe; then along came the dreaded Corona Virus and most recently flooding bringing heart break to thousands. Sr. Wendy follows Australian News daily; I follow the BBC world news; Pauline reads the Headlines of both; so between us we fairly much are able to keep abreast with what is going on.

In view of so much widespread devastation within Australia we were considering possibilities of lessening rations etc. But your generosity enables us to continue a support program for the many destitute living in and around Mapuordit. From the 15 house-bound elderly widows benefitting from your support, thank you. From blind Abraham Macok and family, and his many other blind confreres and their families, thank you;from the lepers and their families, thank you; from the small children, often isolated in the hospital and visited by Sr. Wendy thank you. When Wendy pulls a lollypop from her hospital bag in the children's Ward, many otherwise sick eyes glitter with joy. Thank you. When worthy students merit on-going training in either agriculture or University studies but can't afford all expenses themselves, thank you. Deserted HIV widows and small children greatly benefit from your kindness. The litany of beneficiaries is inexhaustible.

Until very recently Mapuordit seemed totally free of Covid 19. However, several positive cases were identified after the arrival of testing kits! Most positive cases surprised everyone because no symptoms had been detected; even now most positive cases are asymptomatic. Thankfully the strain testing positive is very mild. As elsewhere, those who've died had pre-existing conditions and presented very late for treatment. Till now our schools unfortunately remain closed.

Recent developments include our three trainees in Agriculture in Uganda returning to school. Our gardens flourished while they were home on leave. Their many newly gained skills were generously shared amongst the local population. An ex-student formerly working in Nursery school is now attending the Rumbek Branch of the Juba Catholic University. Thank you for your support.

The news of our newly appointed Bishop Elect has brought great happiness throughout our Diocese of Rumbek; Bishop-Elect Christian Casselare mccj, an Italian Comboni missionary priest. Meanwhile we appeal for prayerful support for worrying instability amongst the politicians of South Sudan. The whole population yearns and prays for PEACE.

Sincerely grateful and in admiration of the generosity of all Australians,

Sr Rita Grunke

Grade 12 Class of 2020