First World Day of the Poor
To bring a smile to a poor man’s face, to offer him a healing hand of prayer, to give him courage to live with his sickness and most importantly to tell him that someone cares. This is what motivated we, the Sisters, Teachers and Class Three students at the School of the Holy Spirit in Kukuom, Ghana.
Ernest Kofi Mensah is a young 40 year old man. Six years ago he was swimming with his friends in a small river when something struck him in the water and he became instantly paralyzed. Since then he has been lying flat on the floor day and night with only his mother to care for him. He cannot use his hands to even feed himself nor does he have the strength to lift his head nor turn his body. His wife and children deserted him. Only his mother washes him, cleans him and feeds him.
We, the Sisters wanted to make the World Day for the Poor meaningful for our teachers and for the oldest children that we have in our School, Class Three. We prepared the children for what they would witness and how we would make the day bright and beautiful for Kofi.
We travelled five km away from our school to the village of Dantano. We entered the village singing in our school bus and carried our gifts to Kofi’s house. In this simple room we found Kofi lying on a mattress with a smile on his face. We decorated his room with some ribbons and ballons, sang joyful songs and one teacher led us in a powerful prayer, with the children responding “Amen” to each response. We brought along various food items which Kofi and his mother can enjoy.
The important feature of this day was to let Kofi know that we care. We promised him that we would come again and the children were very eager to do so. We reminded the children that there are many old people who may live near them and they should visit them offering a smile and a greeting. We pray that Kofi may not feel totally abandoned in his illness.
Sr. Dorothy Kporyi
Sr. Perpetual Owiridu
Sr. Mary Laureen Lahnan