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For Lent for Life 2021 – Week #4

Fourth Week of Lent: Tending home gardens in Timor-Leste

“For I was hungry and you gave me food.” ~Matthew 25:35

As we continue our Lenten journey together, we turn our attentions to families struggling with food insecurity on the other side of the globe. This week, through Catholic Relief Services Stories of Hope we visit Timor-Leste, which is a small island country with the highest rate of child malnutrition in Asia. Many children suffer from stunted growth, which could cause major health problems for them and their future. As we make time for Lenten prayers, let us consider the following reflections:

  • What do you eat to stay healthy?
  • What can you do to ensure children have enough food to thrive?

Many families in Timor-Leste live in rural areas and work as farmers. However, extreme climate patterns make it difficult to grow enough sustainable food. More than one-third of the population do not have reliable access to nutritious food, which affects children’s growth and development.

“I know the vegetables provide essential vitamins for them.”

Thankfully, with resources and training from CRS, families like Eliza, Paulino and their six children, have learned to start home gardens of their own, that are built to withstand droughts and flooding.  This makes it possible to grow a variety of vegetables, beans and other foods that provide important vitamins and nutrients to help their children grow up healthy.  Members of the community also form nutrition groups where they share best practices and ideas for improving their gardens and tasty dish recipes. To try this special Timor-Leste meatless Lenten recipe of squash, corn and bean stew, click here!

To view this week’s Story of Hope from Timor-Leste, click here and be sure to reference WEEK 4 of your Rice Bowl Calendar.  

Learn how CRS programs offer solutions for families to address conditions which lead to hunger and food insecurity.

For creative meatless meal ideas try this Timor-Leste Lenten Recipe!

Batar Da’an, a recipe from East Timor used for Rice Bowl 2013.

To learn more about CRS Rice Bowl efforts in Hawaii, click here.

For more information or to have a Rice Bowl and calendar mailed to your home, email the Office for Social Ministry at

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