Home is often our place of comfort and safety — something we take care of, where we sleep, eat, and spend time with our family. (CRS Lenten Rice Bowl 2020)Food, water and safe shelter are the basic necessities of any home. Lent provides a time to reflect on the essentials of life through sacrifice, prayer and acts of mercy that help us experience the passion of Christ and the hope of Resurrection. Catholic Relief Services Lenten Rice Bowl invites us to do this by accompanying three young women, their families and homes in Asia, Central America and Africa.Here are profiles of the three young women from the Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl website.

Nguyen Thi Trinh of Vietnam(CRS photo)

“Trinh is a hard-working, energetic 12 year old. She lives in a farming community in Vietnam with her parents, two older brothers and younger sister. For Trinh, home is where her family gathers — to play, to eat, to rest. One way she shows her family love is by doing chores around the house. She bathes her little sister, Trang, showing her how to wash her hands and helping her with schoolwork. Trinh likes washing the teapot and cups and collecting eggs from the ducks. Often, she will ride her bike to get medicine for her parents when they are sick. Trinh likes to catch dragonflies and crickets with her sister. Since her house is surrounded by rice fields, and coconut trees and bamboo, there’s plenty of places for the sisters to play. But the house is also near a river, and when storms pass through, Trinh’s home often fills with water. In Vietnam, CRS helps students like Trinh learn ways to protect their home, food and family from destructive storms.”

Maria Ana Gomez Perez of Honduras(CRS photo)

“Maria Ana, 16, is serious and kind. She lives with her parents, four brothers and one sister in Honduras, a country in Central America. Her village is surrounded by hills. Her family’s home was destroyed in a recent accident, and her family is living in a temporary space — a small wooden hut — until they can get it fixed. It’s been hard not having a permanent place to call home. Everyone sleeps on the floor, and during the rainy season the roof often leaks. Maria Ana is hopeful her family will have a new house soon. To help make the dream a reality, Maria Ana works hard in school — and CRS provides school lunches to ensure she can focus on her studies and not on her hunger. Maria Ana also works in her community to earn money to support her family. At home, she helps with chores, like washing the school uniforms, helping prepare the family meal, and fetching and boiling water to make it drinkable.”

Yvone Nancy Awino of Kenya(CRS photo)

“Yvone is an ambitious and intelligent 11 year old. She lives with her grandparents, her aunt, three siblings and three cousins in a village in Kenya near Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa. The village is also close to the Equator, so it is very hot. In Kenya, chores are one way Yvone helps her family. Each morning she washes dishes, sweeps the house, prepares lunch for the younger children and washes their school uniforms. Yvone’s family has a hut where the family eats and sleeps, a stable for the animals and a separate kitchen hut. During the rainy season, the family collects water from a system on the roof. When it’s dry, they borrow from neighbors or walk to a community water point to fetch water. Yvone’s family life has changed for the better thanks to a CRS program that teaches families about healthy food.”For more on how these stories can help connect our Lenten prayer, sacrifice and acts of mercy with others in need to develop hope-filled homes around the world and here in Hawaii, please visit www.officeforsocialministry. There you will find more about CRS Rice Lenten Bowl and how to accompany Trinh, Maria Ana and Yvone in their homes, and also how to be involved with community partners such as Catholic Charities, HOPE Services Hawaii, and Habitat for Humanity working with others in need to make basics in life such as affordable housing available for all families here in Hawaii.Mahalo,Our friends at the Office for Social Ministry
Read the article direct through Hawaii Catholic Herald here.