Letter from Father Greg

May 17, 2011

Mission Venezuela

Dear Friends of the Venezuelan Mission,

Yoryelis Botaban

I want to share with you how your support of the Venezuelan Mission is making a difference in the life of a young girl today, a family I have known for many years. Her name is Yoryelis Botaban. She is 14 years old and is being raised by her grandparents. Her grandmother, Noelia used to visit the sick at the public hospital every Saturday morning with other members of the Legion of Mary from our parish. Noelia helped me prepare for Mass at the hospital and if I was running late, she would lead the people in singing while they waited. She enjoyed visiting the sick and lifting their spirits with her positive attitude, warm heart and great sense of humor. Noelia is a woman of great faith and shares her faith and positive attitude with others.

About 10 years ago, Noelia witnessed the murder of her 17 year old son. He was called outside by a young girl and when he stepped out into his front yard, was shot by two gunmen waiting for him. He died in his mother’s arms. This was the second son Noelia had lost to the violence. This traumatic experience left Noelia unable to sleep at night and unable to walk. She was paralyzed from the waist down from the trauma. Dr. Luz Rodriguez visited Noelia at great length and helped find a psychiatrist for her. Noelia now sleeps better and gets around with the help of a walker supplied by our St. Vincent de Paul Conference. Over the last couple of years, she has slowly been able to return to Sunday morning Mass making her way up the hill with the help of her walker and then back down again afterwards. Yoryelis, Noelia’s granddaughter, has helped care for her and walk with her to Mass every Sunday.

Noelia’s daughter, Yoryelis’ mother, is mentally challenged. Noelia and her retired husband take care of Yoryelis and her mother on his pension check of $285.00 a month. They struggle to get by with food costs, medical costs and education expenses. We help this family through our St Vincent de Paul Conference.

Several days ago, Yoryelis came to Mass in the evening and asked to talk to me. She told me that she had received $500.00 worth of products to sell – AVON type products of lotions, creams, aftershaves and so forth. She was selling these products to raise money for much needed braces for her teeth. Last weekend, someone broke into their home and took all of the products she had and the money she had raised so far. Yoryelis’ family members paid for the products that were stolen but the amount was not enough for the braces. Thanks to your generosity and support, I was able to give her the money she lacked for the braces and she is off to have them put on. I feel very blessed to have been able to help this young girl and her family that have suffered so much and continues to struggle. Thank you! I hope someday you will be able to meet this wonderful family and have Yoryelis thank you herself for your help.

Thank you for your support of the Venezuelan Mission. Your prayers and support are making a difference in the lives of so many people!

May God bless you for all your kindness and generosity!!!

Fr Greg