–All good dreams are blessed by God-
First Festival of Christian Music in Mal Abrigo celebrating the 18 years of “Hogar Buen Samaritano” [Good Samaritan Home], work that was born in that city, with its first home to rehabilitate young people with addictions. From its beginnings it has been accompanied by the priest Néstor Vera, who along with others supported it and continues doing it for the young people with problems of addictions. Today it has 9 houses and has been extended to the Diocese of Rafaela. Several musicians participated in the festival among them: “Refugio de Resistencia” [Refuge of Resistance], “Testigos de la luz de Mal Abrigo” [Witnesses of the Light of Mal Abrigo], a group from the Good Samaritan and Athenas Venica, native of these lands of Santa Fe.
Last Sunday the 13th, the First Festival of Christian Music was held in Mal Abrigo, a city that is 120 km from Villa Ocampo. We participated in the encounter as a parish: the prayer group of the charismatic renewal, other groups of the same movement and the missionary community “Compañeros de Jesús” together with Patricia and Celina. There we also joined the youth of the other missionary community that we accompany, “Manantiales” [Wellsprings] of Arroyo Ceibal, and also religious friends.
The festival was a time of celebration, dances and songs with the guest of honor Athenas Venica, all united as Church. During her performance there was a time of adoration, where she invited the public not to be mere spectators but to get involved, dedicating that time and space that united us to pray together, to listen to God and to accept what He tells each one at this time, praying especially for peace by lighting a candle that had been given to us among the audience, passing that light from one person to another, committing ourselves to be instruments of peace. The children of the catechesis were the messengers of peace, bringing the candles with their light from the stage to the audience, to share them with the people, while in the background Athenas sang “Paz en la tierra” [Peace on earth].
Another of the most significant events of the festival was the presence of more than 100 young people from Hogar Buen Samaritano who joined the rest of the audience, making themselves known with their applause and songs. It has been demonstrated in these 18 years of history of the Home that, united with the will of the young and faith, the grace of rehabilitation is possible. Another constant in these 18 years has been the donations that are made by the community, sustaining the work through them. The entrance fee to the event was a contribution to the home.
An extract of the words of the priest Néstor Vera:
Blessed be God that the Church gives an opportunity for rehabilitation and healing to many young people who struggle to get out. The boys you are listening to are struggling and wanting to get out of this reality, that hell that is lived by a boy who has fallen into addictions. In a special way, we thank the entire Mal Abrigo community.
How the Good Samaritan Home Was Born
I remember during the time when I was parish priest, when we would finish the masses on Sunday, here not more than 20 years ago, we would get together to take some yerba mate with the young people. One night we set out to dream about beautiful things, good things that we would like to live, and we dreamt about camping, and now it has already been 18 years that it has been held here in Mal Abrigo. We also dreamt of this house, which today 18 years later is a reality.
How the First Festival of Christian Music in Mal Abrigo came about
One night the group Genesis invited me to share how this work of the Good Samaritan was born, and I told them that it was born of a dream. Every good dream is blessed by God, and they told me that their dream was that one day Athenas Venica would come and sing to our parish. To which I told them that surely God will bless them because it is a good dream.
After a few days they told me that this dream was being fulfilled because Athenas had said yes, that she wanted to come to Mal Abrigo and this is the great message: every good dream that you have, God makes it possible, He blesses it. That is why, boys, this dream of a new family, this dream that we can change different realities that today our young people, our families, suffer, God can also make it possible. I invite you to continue mightily, fighting to make new dreams come true along our paths, many thanks to the whole region, Reconquista, Villa Ocampo, Calchaquí, Vera, many thanks to the whole diocese, the brothers of Buenos Aires who have come this morning to share with us, from Chaco, Formosa, and Santa Fe, who have come to share and celebrate together these 18 years in this feast that God continues to bless us.
He finished his words and an ovation of applause was heard, and the chant of the audience who was celebrating the anniversary, the youth of the Good Samaritan: Ole ole ole Nesto Nestor !!!!
The feelings of the young people who participated:
“Exciting to see so many kids in the process of rehabilitation from addictions, the willpower, joy, faith that they exude and how they transmit it. It shows that not everything is lost for the addicted kids that we see or find in some places. As a group it was nice because almost all of us shared a nice different afternoon.” Jessica
“Being able to feel as community here and wherever we go, sharing the story of the Good Samaritan in that little video, and the good sounds that they put which was contagious, giving ourselves to God in the moment of prayer and especially the gestures with the neighbor, hugs, not only while the festival lasted but also afterwards”. Florencia
“We did not expect the moment of prayer but it was very nice; more than one, and I included, were moved to tears. It was the right and precise moment where each one could make a deep reflection in a climate of peace”. Estefanía
“It was nice to see them all with the T-shirt, sharing and dancing.” Evelyn
“As one young woman listening to another… seeing that love that she feels and transmits, it encourages you to ‘want’ to do what makes us happy. Not every young person dares to love that way. In her one sees that happiness. It encourages us to give our best to Him who is our God. Her music is a channel for a personal or communitarian encounter with the Lord. It makes our heart believe, want to praise, want to adore so that Christ may reign as power.” Pamela
Thank you, God, for making us witnesses to the life of this work of the Good Samaritan Home among us and that of each of the young musicians, of the whole community that I accompany so full of life in Christ Jesus.