Society Matters | Volume 31 No. 2 | Winter 2021

Volume 3 1 No. 2 | Wint er 2021 8 Society Matters A Newsletter of the Divine Word Missionaries Inc - Australia Province Donations to the SVDAUS Province Overseas Aid Fund can be made online at or by mailing to Divine Word Missionary Appeal Office, Locked Bag 3, Epping NSW, 1710, Australia. +61 2 9868 9015 @svdaus Supporting missionary work in Thailand ‘a real privilege’ Running a busy transport business in Far North Queensland means that Lyn and Allan Harris can’t take off and become missionaries in a far-off land, but it doesn’t stop them responding to their Christian call by being regular supporters of the Divine Word Missionaries. “We think it’s a privilege to support the work the Divine Word Missionaries do,” says Lyn. “It all started when I saw an article in one of the Catholic newspapers about their cattle project in Thailand, years ago. “At that time, we were wanting to donate to a worthy cause and because we were living in a rural setting that project appealed to us. “We were also attracted to supporting a project that help people become self-sufficient, rather than giving them a handout.” That project which first caught Lyn and Allan’s eye aimed to provide help to HIV positive and poor families from the six districts of the Nong Bua Lamphu Province in Thailand. Brother Damien Lunders SVD says the project started with help from a Foundation in Germany which gave sufficient funds to buy a mother and a calf for six families from each of the six districts. “The idea was that the families were to return half of the money used for the purchase within a year or two and these returned funds would be used to help other needy families,” Br Damien says. “The project went well, with a return of about 90 per cent, so that the project was able to continue for many more years.” That initiative has now widened to include other self- help projects in the area, including with the planting of vegetables and other small projects. Br Damien says Lyn and Allan continue to send monthly donations which are now used for other needs of the SVD’s Mother of Perpetual Help Centre in Nong Bua Lamphu, such as the hospice and helping needy children. “If we think of a person with true dedication, Lyn is that person,” he says. “I am always amazed at how generous Lyn and her husband have been and continue to be. “Mother of Perpetual Help Centre has surely benefited from their support over the years, which enables the Centre to help so many needy children, not only of HIV families, but poor families in the Province.” Lyn says it was her Christian faith which drew her to begin supporting the work of the Divine Word Missionaries in Thailand. “My basic motivation is that I think it is incumbent upon us as Christians to carry out the Gospel in our world,” she says. “And for me, Matthew 25 lays it out – ‘I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me ...’. And also Isaiah 58:7 which talks about sharing your food with the hungry and providing shelter and clothes with those in need.” Lyn says that over the years they have formed a friendship with Br Damien, which they deeply value. “Most of us can’t go out and do this kind of missionary work, but we have the call to support those who do go out and do it and it’s a real privilege for us to be able to do that,” she says. “We feel blessed to be able to contribute to it and we hope to be able to do it for many years to come.”