OCEANIA/PAPUA NEW GUINEA - A nun at the service of the illiterate and people with AIDS
Port Moresby (Agenzia Fides) - 50% of the population of Papua New Guinea are illiterate. There are no sufficient schools for the children, as well as future employment opportunities. Sister Marie Benedicta Sim, SND, served among people with HIV for three years, offered prayer ministry, taught the Creole language and the Bible to both adults and young people of the parish church of Banz, Western Highlands. With her prayer groups, participants shared experiences of faith. A testimony given by sister Benedicta states that "even though Papua New Guinea is a Christian country, many people do not have a Bible. I was lucky to teach, from the Genesis to Revelation, five groups of adults and five youth groups". "Often young people, wander with nothing to do and giving lectures on the Bible offered them a constructive way of doing something", she added. "It is very difficult to help illiterate people to fulfill their dreams in this technological world, and learning to read and write offers them the opportunity to learn more about sewing, cooking and computers". Over the years, Sister Benedicta took part at the International Congress on AIDS in Asia Pacific (ICAAP) and recently at the 11th Annual Congress. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 19/12/2013)
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