Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The anonymous almsgiver

People devastated by hurricane Sidr in Dhaka, Bangladesh

The Pope encouraged almsgiving in his Lenten message, dated Oct 30 and released yesterday by the Vatican. The Pope clarified in his Lenten message that Gospel charity should be hidden:

"The Gospel highlights a typical feature of Christian almsgiving: it must be hidden: 'Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,' Jesus asserts, 'so that your alms may be done in secret' (Mt 6,3-4)."

Meanwhile, this news item in ABS CBN culled from Agence France-Presse reports today that:

"An anonymous individual has donated $130 million to build hundreds of schools and cyclone shelters along Bangladesh's cyclone-devastated southern coast"...

"The government would spend 110 million dollars from the donation to build about 500 primary schools cum cyclone shelters in the coastal districts, while the rest would be spent on immediate relief agriculture and fisheries projects."

Wow. This is the largest single anonymous donation I have heard of thus far. We do not know if the Pope's message ever reached that anonymous donor who took it to heart. Maybe yes, maybe no.
Maybe a professed Christian, maybe not. Many more people might be moved into helping the poor in the spirit of Lent, but we simply do not know for sure.

What we do know is that:
- There is an anonymous m/billionaire somewhere with a Good Samaritan's heart.
- Millions of poor people in Dhaka will now have food, shelter, livelihood, and most importantly - hope.
- God's Light shines through.

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