Our heart pulsating with love, fills up to overflowing with happiness!
On Thursday, November 22, we left Guatemala very enthused, with a lot of joy and hope. With a touch of homesickness we said good-bye to family and friends and started the much awaited journey to Brazil, exhausted by its length, but with the children happy to board the plane. Also with strong feelings over the blessing of being able to come.
Lourdes was happily waiting to receive us and we were just as happy to see her, amazed by the scenery and in a hurry to get home. We boarded a bus and then the MCCJ were waiting at the station to take us home. Quite an adventure, with 13 vehicles to take everybody. When we arrived we felt at home. I was thinking that, even had we left a lot behind in Guatemala, here we were getting twice as much. Simply put, the Lord is not stingy.
We rested some days after the journey and got ready for Sunday Mass. It was a beautiful celebration that filled our hearts with joy beyond description. This day, the Feast of Christ the King, reminded us of our short mission experience in San Luis Petén, where the Lord got hold of us in a deep way, and where we discovered that we wanted to be Comboni Lay Missionaries, because when we were there, we ended our mission experience on the feast of Christ the King. How joyful to know that the Lord spares no effort to win our hearts! This is how in the depth of our being the fire of love is born and generates a strength that cannot be silenced, a most pure love that gets into your very bones and makes you move out from where we are. During this beautiful Eucharist we were well received, the children did a dance representing Brazil, and we felt welcomed by the whole community where providence and the generosity of people certainly are not lacking.
After Mass we returned home for lunch, where Lourdes had prepared a banquet which we shared with Alejo, Tere and their family. With them we also shared many of our desires and aspirations of being missionaries out of our reality, as a family. We also met Neuza, a neighbor, laughed and started making acquaintances. How close one feels to Brazilians! The openness of the people here is quite impressive and especially in this little corner of Brazil.
We have been here a week and in truth it went by fast, between long trips to change money, to know the neighborhood and three-hour long shopping trips, it has been quite an experience. Many people approach us to talk to us, because the children draw a lot of attention and so does our poor Portuguese, which is improving by the day. Lourdes has been our strength and joy, takes us everywhere, teaching us, explaining and showing us everything, solving our doubts and loving our children. By now she is already officially our Brazilian grand-mother: Vovó! Even though we did not know her, she opened to us the doors of her house and of her heart. It is so comforting to know that as CLM we are one in Christ, one in love.
With a lot of anxiety we took the first round of formation with Alejo. Blessed are the eyes and ears that are attentive to the word of the Lord! It was an oasis in the midst of confusion, a pause that refreshed the soul. We sang missionary songs, and does the soul vibrates when you sing about the call God has given you! We scrutinized the words of Genesis 12:1-4, Leave your land, leave your father and your mother, your family, your country and go to the land I will show you… I will make of you a fount of blessing…
At different times the Lord makes himself known in small things, in greater things, in simple events, in something personal. This reading, that had been the main theme of a retreat given by the MCCJ provincial Fr. Victor Hugo Castillo, reminded us of the moment that defined our discernment about three years ago, when we decided to leave everything and join the CLM, the moment when we made ourselves available to mission as a family. And today, as we start in it the Lord repeats to us: “I know you, I love you and you are here because it is my will.”
How great is the love of God! There is no measure and our mind is so limited that we can only allow ourselves to be loved.
Today our hearts are full of love and want to share all these details of His dealing with us. You cannot say no to God. How could we be so blind as we face the sweetness of his love? Only by living it we can know it and by giving of ourselves we can feel it.
Our hope is based in our faith in Him and, because we feel so loved, we are here. We hope that our life may be a source of animation and hope in the face of desolation, of purification for our souls and of light for those who do not know true love.
Pray for us, that we may be useful instruments of God.
Greetings from Ipê Amarelo, Brazil
Ana Cris de Camey