Our hopes and prayers this Advent - Maryknoll Lay Missioners
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December 2020 newsletter


Hiep Vu and Tawny Thanh, Bolivia

Providing food assistance to needy familes during the pandemic

Dear family and friends,

Advent is here! On these days last year, many were preparing and planning for Christmas programs. Now a year has passed, and this year’s many changes have deeply affected us and everyone around the world. We are sure that many of us have had moments of pleading to God for blessings for ourselves, our families, our communities as well as our country.

What do Tawny and Hiep wish and pray for during this Advent season in Bolivia?

Comforting a villager who lost a child to COVID-19

We hope that young people, who have not been to school for almost a year, will do well in their families and get along well with their neighbors. While most students in the city have opportunities for online programs, students in the villages and in the area of Punata, where we serve, do not have these privileges. They wander around with neighbor kids, playing with sand and gravel and under the usual open sky — now quieter because of many restrictions.

We hope that the parents of these children find ways to sustain their families. Many have lost their jobs since the beginning of the pandemic and since then were only able to go out of the house at certain limited times.

We hope that the many people who live on a day-to-day income, such as street vendors, who barely made enough to feed their family, will be able to return to their normal lives soon.

May today’s difficulties connect us with acceptance and lead us to share stories of human love with one another.

When we shared emergency packages of assistance within our community, some would tell us, “Our neighbor’s situation is much more difficult than ours.” For example, there is Freddy, who just lost his son to COVID-19, leaving two young children and a young wife. Soon after, the father-in-law also died of COVID-19. May their souls rest in God’s eternal peace.

We hope that the newly elected government in Bolivia will succeed in moving this country forward.

Donations helped to provide this food cart to a street vendor.

What about you and your families and friends?

We turn our hearts to the U.S. with the conviction that our Lord is always filled with mercy, trusting that He will destroy the plague. He will comfort and alleviate all pains and suffering. He will grant peace of mind and guide you in the days to come.

Together with you, we continue to hope in the Divine Mercy of God. We hope in the passion of Jesus, who died for us on the cross, will cast away evil forces and will bring eternal happiness to His people on earth.

We wish you and yours this eternal happiness. Remember to pray for each other and for the world.

In Christ,
Hiep and Tawny


Tawny Thanh and Hiep Vu
Tawny Thanh and Hiep Vu work in several ministries with children, youth and prisoners in Punata, Rosario and Cochabamba, Bolivia.