Partaking of the bounty of a Thanksgiving dinner reminds us of how good God has been to us, and how grateful we should be for all we have received. But there is more to gratitude than just reveling in our good fortune. We should also strive to work in the lives of others so they too are able to see God’s love at work, and be grateful for it.Sister Dee Smith, MM does this through St. Mary’s Hospice in Guatemala which she co-founded in 2005. Her mission is to help the living live longer and to help the dying end their lives with dignity and as comfortable as possible. In this region 61,000 people are currently living with HIV who have minimal access to medications and treatments, most of the patients Sister Dee works with are terminally ill with AIDS or HIV+. The patients who are HIV+ receive a second chance at life through treatment with antiretroviral medicines. This enables them to avoid AIDS indefinitely as long as they are able to keep up their treatments, maintain their overall health and of course have access to adequate nutrition!
YOUR Thanksgiving donation will help Sister Dee deliver nutritious food to the patients at St. Mary’s Hospital! On her half acre plot of land Sister Dee cultivates and harvests an abundance of organically grown products: (vegetable crops, fruit-bearing trees, egg-laying chickens and honey producing bee hives).
Unfortunately, not everyone with HIV is diagnosed in time or has the means to obtain life-saving medicines. Some have contracted full-blown AIDS and will not survive. And because the
disease still carries a heavy social stigma in this region, many of the dying cannot rely on their own families for end-of-life support.
St. Mary’s Hospice has the resources to provide around-the-clock palliative care for 18 patients in the terminal stage of the disease. In addition to managing pain and discomfort, the hospice also enables patients to die with dignity and companionship among caring people.
Sister Dee says, “We launched a family garden project for 60 families and have had success with this initiative. However, lacking funds to continue has limited our ability to help many more families.” The goal is to enable 180 families in the area become nutritionally self-sufficient by maintaining their own garden plots. They can also earn an income by selling their produce.
The good news is that you can make a difference right now, and become a partner of Sister Dee and St. Mary’s Hospice as they make God’s love visible, and make hope visible, to the sick in Guatemala.
Your Thanksgiving gift will be used to help support Sister Dee and the rest of our Sisters who are providing comfort to those suffering around the world