The advent of the Coronavirus pandemic has led to a rise in the number of unemployed Nigerians, ranging from street traders to workers laid-off due to lock-down measures imposed by the Nigerian government to curtail the spread of COVID-19. Now, with even greater hunger in the country, the Nigerian government has no plan on how to feed people who are in lock-down indefinitely. It is difficult to stay indoors when one’s stomach is empty.
In the spirit of solidarity and love, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur were moved to share resources with people in need. People who are poor are very close to the heart of Jesus, and to the heart of Saint Julie Billiart, foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Saint Julie could not sleep until the hungry people were fed. In the same spirit, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Nigeria Province, prayed, listened and were moved to action to share their food—rice, yam tubers, beans, onions, tomatoes paste, banana, vegetables and fruits—with the people of God who live around them.
As we continue to hope and pray for an end to COVID-19 in our world, let us look around and help someone today. The Sisters heard the voice of Jesus saying to them, “Give them some food yourselves.’” Luke 9:13. God has blessed the Sisters with fertile land, where they planted vegetables, fruits, and maize. Even during dry season, the Sisters were enjoying fresh vegetables. It does not matter how small, when you help people in need, you will not go without God’s blessing. God needs you and wants you to bless someone today. Will you listen to God’s call?
Sr. Veronica Fatoyinbo, SNDdeN
African Sisters Education Collaborative, Country Director, Nigeria