The “cannon of charity”
rolls for a good purpose
The CSLI- group member JESUS BIKER® International has invested in a mobile field kitchen in order to support the people in the German Ahrtal Region with the multi-year aid project “Pray, Eat & Help – the cannon of charity”, some of whom lost everything in the flood disaster in July.
We were deeply affected by the extent of the destruction and it was out of the question for our community that we want and need to help here sustainably. Since it will probably take years until people in the destroyed Ahrtal Region can live a kind of normality again, we have decided against a one-time higher monetary donation, but would like to support this reconstruction in the longer term.
Due to a fortunate circumstance, we were able to buy a decommissioned but unused field kitchen from the Lower Saxony Civil Protection, which – after inspection and registration by TÜV – will roll in the future as a “cannon of charity”. On the one hand, we will use the mobile field kitchen to organize regional fundraising campaigns to generate funds. But also missions in the Ahrtal Region itself are planned to cook for the helpers and those affected on site. In the autumn, many aid units that have been on site from the beginning will leave and a supply shortfall threatens to arise, which the population of the popular wine region is afraid of. This was reported by our contact person, Major of Reserve of the Federal Armed Forces Uli Seidler, who has been working there for weeks for the Army Postal Service.
Test generates first funds
For a sample cooking of a tasty lentil stew, during which we familiarized ourselves with the functioning of the “cannon” operated with gasoline, diesel and wood fire, friends and neighbors came together for a spontaneous evening and left 550 Euros for donation. The money was handed out to the hotelier Alexander Zimmermann together with a field postal transporter full of tool donations from the population during a Jesus Biker work assignment in the Ahrtal Region. The operator of the hotel “Kalenborner Höhe” standing on a safe hill immediately closed it after the flood disaster for the tourist business and has since accommodated and cooked free of charge for affected citizens as well as auxiliary staff. He also coordinated the distribution of partly new tools to the locals inhabitants.
At the end of September, Jesus Bikers will once again help for a few days in the Ahrtal Region and take the opportunity to make further preparations for the future use of the field kitchen in the flood area. Then the second donation of 314 Euros from the first official cooking assignment on 29th August will also be handed out, which unfortunately was not so high due to the bad weather and lack of visitors.
In the future, the food station, which is always staffed with two or three cooking enthusiasts of the “cannons of charity”, will hopefully spoil many palates and generate a lot of donations, which we will hand out unbureaucratically and without financing administration where they are needed.
Life tasks with added value
Our permanent project of the “Missionary Friends India” could look forward to a financial donation again this year. Due to the Corona pandemic, our biker brother Canon Babu George from India had to cancel his summer holiday replacement in the Catholic Parish of Schaafheim for the second year. He had always taken this as an opportunity to collect donations for his mission station in Jalipudi and to inform us about the progress made (we have already reported on this several times). But despite the spatial distance, it was again possible to support the work in the slums. CSLI-comrade Dr. Thomas Draxler, founder of the Jesus Biker, celebrated an anniversary party on August 7th. The occasion was the pearl wedding anniversary with his wife Jutta and this year’s 20th anniversary of his practice for spine therapy and his school for health and self-defense sports. In advance he asked the guests to refrain from gifts and to pay an obolus for our Indian friends. The result were 1.630 Euros during the convivial day with freshly baked pizza, chilled monk secret beer and live music and together with an anonymous individual donation we were able to transfer over 3.000 Euros to the account of the “Missionsfreunde Indien e.V”.
In addition to this commitment, the canon of charity is now added, so that we will certainly not run out of work for the next few years. We gratefully and humbly accept these tasks and look forward to any active support.
Cannon also in Austria?
In 2024, there is an upcoming anniversary: The Jesus Bikers can celebrate their 10th anniversary. Reflections are already being made and plans are being made as to how we can celebrate this occasion properly. The trend is clearly pointing in one direction: We would like to celebrate the festival with many people. With our beloved friends who have experienced, accompanied and supported our career. And also with people who still want to get to know us. Therefore, our wish would be to celebrate the festival at the Heiligenkreuz Abbey – the third stage of our Peace Ride® 2019 to the Holy Father Francis. Perhaps this project will succeed and in 2024 we will also be able to make the “cannon of charity” glow in the Vienna Woods for the comrades of the CSLI…
Text: Markus Sell Chairman of CSLI group member Jesus Biker® International
Photos: Reinhold Blaha & Jesus Biker® International