Yesterday, we spent the day planning and preparing the classes for next week. You would have been amazed to see the missionaries’ dedication for almost six hours! Also, they made the decorations for our Thanksgiving mass on Tuesday at El Shadai Chapel, where the roof is ALL DONE!
Today was a long day. We stared early, by 9:00 am we were already at the Novitiate of the MC’s, we spent the day with them, accompany them in their apostolate.
In the morning, we went to a slum, on top of a dump site, where the squatters settle in their shacks. They survive by collecting what rubbish that they can sell. The land was recently bought by some developers. They offer them housing and relocation, which none has done. Instead, the place is being cleared little by little. Last week they destroyed the chapel that the Sisters use for Sunday School.
In the afternoon, we divided into two groups to go visit two childrens prisons. One was a juvenile detention center, and the other one a detention center for street kids. The Novices gave a brief explanation of Corpus Christi, which is celebrated tomorrow and our missionaries helped with the activities and led song with the inmates.
We arrived at 5:00 pm back to the Novitiate to spend time in adoration with the group of Novices and then sharing time. It was a beautiful moment of church and community. We exchanged experiences. A few “quotes”: Prayer is talking with a friend; my favorite part of my vocation is the gaze of my beloved; joy, the outcome of feeling loved; here I have discovered the freedom of been myself.
At the juvenile detention center, we encountered young women, Gemely, a 16-year-old girl with a three-week-old baby, Lorenzo. She was there for robbery; Gerald a 20 year old boy who had committed murder, Emmanuel a 17 year old boy convicted for drug trafficking…145 youngsters are already doing time. As I was there looking at our missionaries interact with them, teaching them songs, talking to them about Jesus, I couldn’t contain my tears. What went wrong with these young people? It could easily have been them (our missionaries). My girls, your daughters…as I saw our missionaries so full of life, of joy, of dreams and with a whole life and mission ahead of them, and then the dreams of the “inmates” where cut short. I just raise my heart to The Lord and thank Him for all and each one of you, parents that have been and are there for your daughters guiding them by example and giving them all the opportunities a young woman needs to achieve their dreams. Also, I pray for the missionaries, the five who were with me and all those young people that we come in contact with, that they will be generous and thankful enough to take on those opportunities and fly with them.
So parents, I wish I could give each one of you a big hug (and that a big deal for me because I don’t like hugs) to thank you for been there, for been a parent, a guide, a friend a role model for your children. Today, I saw it very clearly the importance of family, the building blocks of our societies.