Benivalda Carvalho arrived in Lubango in Angola in December 2018. “To live in Africa is very challenging, and also very enchanting”, evaluates the missionary who completes one year of service in that city along with other missionaries.
Lubango is the one of the most populated municipality of the Huíla province with more than 700 thousand habitants. “Angola is a country that suffers greatly due to social inequality, with the population being made up of mainly young people and children who live in extreme poverty”, explains Benivalda.
However, the missionary explains that the conjuncture of misery does not extinguish the sense of sharing and respect. “Each day we experience the solidarity and companionship from our brothers. Here everything is done alongside someone else: eating, working, playing, walking, smiling, suffering, crying; everything is interlaced with sharing”, highlights.
We are never alone
“Us missionaries of Shalom, experience the grace of ‘to never be alone’ everyday, we are never alone. In fact, I would never have had the courage to come in mission alone, I need my brothers, I need parents, mothers who accompany me. No ‘Shalomita’ lives alone. It is impossible to live the Charisma without brothers”, testifies Benivalda.
One of the works developed by the shalom mission in that city is the door-to-door evangelisation. “In these evangelisation moments we have profound experiences of touching the poor Jesus, as we come in contact with poverty and human misery”, shares Benivalda who has been a missionary for 21 years.
“We also witness acts of great courage from the poor who never give up on life. This week for example we went into a hovel, which had no furniture, no utensils, no food, all it had was a small stove, awaiting a miracle. The richness of this house was the family”, recalls.
Benivalda believes that the evangelisation in that city must be marked with compassion, teaching, group training and the reiteration that they are the protagonists of a new time. “Our aim, first of all, is the youth, how beautiful it is to acknowledge their desires, wishes and dreams. They have nothing different from young people of Europe or America; what separates them is poverty, or rather the misery in which they have to live in. Notwithstanding, all the poverty, the urban chaos, the drugs, the lack of perspective, etc. I see a nation that smiles, dances, shares, teach. Young, black, beautiful, preen, full of the desire to live and learn.” She concludes.
Currently around 54 missions from the Shalom Catholic Community develop systematic actions of Human Promotion. The majority of them work to evangelise deprived places, hospitals and socio educational centres. Additionally, the community has expended this project to 9 cities: Itapipoca, Fortaleza, Natal, Senhor do Bonfim, Sobral, Aracaju, São Luiz, Rio de Janeiro and Juazeiro do Norte all in Brazil.
The Human Promotion projects work with a distinct group of people: children in vulnerable social situations (Joseph of Egypt Project), the homeless living in the streets (Jesus My Shelter Project) and those addicted to drugs (Come back Israel Project).
You are able to support these projects and be a active member of these projects by making a donation.
SHALOM CATHOLIC COMMUNITY
IBAN: IT93 S030 6909 6061 0000 0008 887
CURRENT ACCOUNT: 100000008887
BANK: INTESA SANPAOLO
Translation: Gabriela Gois