Reaching Out in Love to Ghana’s Rural Poor: The FST Rural Ministry
By Sister Frances Emily Owusu-Ansah CoL
One of the ways through which we, the Daughters of the Most Holy Trinity (also known as FST sisters), share God’s love with the needy is through the Institute’s Rural Ministry whereby our sisters travel to remote villages where there are no priests to evangelize the people.
To support this ministry, we solicit support (mostly donated clothing) from the parishes within the city of Kumasi which are taken to the rural outstations. We clean and sort the clothing received from donors into those for children, adolescents, young men and women and bag them neatly for easier distribution when we get to the villages.
All the villages are remote, although some are farther than others, and the roads are decrepit — from lack of proper maintenance or they are simply poor untarred roads that are worsened with heavy rainfalls making it dangerous to travel. Many of the roads cannot be traveled without a truck or four-wheel drive car because they are dotted with numerous large potholes. Yet, none of these challenges deter our sisters. They sit at the back of the pickup truck and journey joyfully to share the Word of God with the people and to share the donated clothing. The last Rural Ministry was at Asuboi and Kwaponin villages in the Ashanti region on June 11.
All sisters, regardless of our primary apostolate, participate in the Rural Ministry Sundays which are undertaken at least every quarter. This way, united as a family, we share this ministry together. We also involve our younger sisters under formation (postulants and novices) in this special ministry. Active participation in the Rural Ministry is important to us as an institute because we consider it to be core to our establishment as a community for the rural poor.
When we visit, we not only distribute clothing and other gifts purchased by the institute, such as school sandals for children and food items, we also evangelize by celebrating a variant of the Eucharist with them since in many of these villages there are no resident priests. In addition to the communion service, we educate the people about something that benefits their lives — such as how to use their indigenously grown foods to make nutritious, balanced meals for their children.
The Rural Ministry, although challenging, is a very fulfilling experience for us as FST sisters and for the people too. For us it provides the opportunity to share God’s love that brings us joy. The people we visit often tell us that they are encouraged in their Christian journey to know that there are others who think about them and care enough to visit them despite the extreme difficulties in getting to their villages. It is a win-win! And God is glorified!
Here are some additional pictures of our postulants and young sisters in the Trinity cloth, which also forms part of our habit. Thank you for the opportunity to share our life with you!