I begin this first letter of 2017 with a quote from Dr. James A. Nyangas (PhD), the director
of the Living Wells project in Tanzania: I am writing to let you know that SWLD has
accomplished the fourth Living water project (2016) at Mikuyu community... The community
has about 1,100 residents who will benefit from the new well. The majority of villagers
are smallholder farmers. Before this new well villagers suffered from the lack of
clean and safe water. They used to fetch water from unprotected traditional shallow wells. As a result many villagers suffered from water born diseases such as typhoid and cholera.
Four of the five wells Pius supported this past year are completed! Congratulations!
In our first reading from Numbers, the Lord tells Moses how he is to bless the Israelites. There are three parts to the blessing: The Lord bless you and keep you! This deals with staying alive, staying healthy. The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! This deals with prosperity, with having the material things necessary for a good life. The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace! This deals with a life of peace, free from fear and danger.
These are three things I ask for all of us as we begin the new year. And often God gives us the support and help we need through each other. May we be God’s face shining on others, may we be generous to others, may we look kindly on others and bring peace wherever we find ourselves in this new year. I wish each of you a holy, happy, and healthy 2017. God bless.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS