Africa is a continent in crisis: 15,000 Africans die each day of diseases such as malaria, TB and AIDS. The AIDS pandemic has left 11 million children orphaned; recent ethnic conflicts have claimed millions of lives; one half of Africans live in extreme poverty, making it the poorest region in the world; nations struggle to recognize basic human rights and are burdened with widespread corruption.
Understandably, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, in his recent book The End of Poverty, describes Africa as “the world’s most distressed region.” Yet the Church is very much alive in this massive continent of 750 million souls, and Africans are a people of inspiring faith despite the many hardships that they face. MKLM missioners in Africa bear witness to Christ’s healing love through our mission service to God’s poor.
Maria, a young Kenyan just entering the prime of her teenage years, is getting medical attention needed to repair her heart. As a child she developed rheumatic heart disease, an ailment that is all too common in Kenya. As an adolescent, she is receiving care from Maryknoll Missioner and Cornell-trained physician's assistant Kathy Dunford at the Kiminini Cottage Hospital. As Kathy works tirelessly to ensure Maria gets proper treatment for her heart, Maria only has to look into the camera to steal ours.