A few weeks ago, we shared with you the small steps we have been taking in Uruguay with people who have had to emigrate from their countries due to various circumstances.
In these months the Lord has been leading us in a surprising way. He has conquered our hearts, has sensitized us, and filled us with the courage to open the doors of our house to migrant brothers.
What a great grace!
We do not know very well how to describe this experience that we are living but we will try to express something. Since September 3, our house has been transformed into an “enlarged community”. First, we received five Venezuelan brothers, then one more. Some, after a few days with us, are being received by other communities of religious from the interior of Uruguay with hope of work. And again we are welcoming other brothers, these days from Colombia. The coexistence that is taking place is incredible. Joy is flowing, the corners of the house are filled with laughter; collaboration for cleaning, cooking, shopping turns into availability; giving us free time to play cards, watch TV. Sharing stories, those of each one brings color into our daily conversations. And in that interchange of sharing stories, gradually, the sadness, anguish, and uncertainty diminish; gently resurfacing hope, illusion, desires to move forward, obtain documentation, get a job, feed the dream to return to their countries someday.
Four of the eight Colombians that are staying in our home are teenagers who need to be literate since they have not had the opportunity to attend school in their childhood. Every morning, Kenia dedicates two hours to teach them to read and write. Witnessing joy, because of the advances that these teenagers make every day, seemed to bring back to us that beginning of the congregation when Mother Candida was performing the same task.
Each blessing of the table is a true sacrament. There, in a few minutes, a deep community prayer is condensed that has a Eucharistic flavor, an atmosphere full of gratitude to God who does not abandon us, who takes care of us and becomes Provident Father. In that blessing, we are all united as brothers and sisters under the same God. There, without really knowing how, the experience of feeling ourselves friends in the Lord is woven over the days.
It has been a few weeks now that each of our days has been anointed by a Presence that surrounds us. Each brother who goes through our house anoints us with hope, joy, simplicity, humility, mutual care, listening, Kingdom. We are learning to look differently at this world and at each person. We are learning like Jesus to discover the goodness that is hidden in every human being. The Gospel of Matthew tells us that when Jesus turned and looked at Peter, that look transformed Peter’s heart (Mt 26, 75). Our migrant brothers are giving us the look of Jesus and that look is transforming us inwardly.