At the end of last month, Pope Francis announced that he will make an apostolic trip in September to Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius. The Shalom Community is present in two of these three African countries.
The first missionaries of Shalom Community arrived in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, two years ago. They found a country devastated by poverty and uncontrolled diseases. Today the country suffers the consequences of the terrible cyclone Idai. Despite many difficulties, people bring hope into their eyes and joy into their hearts.
In this context, the Shalom Community wants to be a response to the needs of the Mozambican people, knowing that the greatest of these is God himself. The experience with his love restores the sense of personal dignity and offers new hope, opens new horizons.
“When the Shalom Community arrived I was in the depths of darkness, without the meaning of life… when I met the Shalom Community, this changed my life. It is a charism that reaches young people and puts them on the right path and I was one of those young people. My life has begun to make sense. It’s like I have a light inside me that I didn’t know and that I discovered. My heart opened and I started to get closer to God, to talk to him day after day. I am walking and growing in faith. And I am very grateful to the Shalom charism!”, says Emilia Ramos, 24, a young Mozambican.
In Madagascar, the Community has been present for over 10 years. In the country, 90% of the population is poor, children are malnourished, a man earns about 20 cents a day and there is no basic salary to buy clothes and food. People welcome the proclamation of God’s love expressed in material help, in concrete assistance, in the proximity of the missionaries and thus have the possibility of having a life transformed.
“People had no hope and had very little dignity. After the Community arrived 11 years ago, it is possible to contemplate and see in the face of the Malagasy people a different joy and hope, a desire to know the image of God and have an experience with his love”, shares Vanda Santos, missionary of the Community of Life in Madagascar.
The Pope’s visit in September is an expression of his desire to bring the hope of the Gospel to the peripheries of the world and his conviction that right there is Christ: the missionary is called to follow Him and proclaim Him right there. The Shalom Community, by the grace of God, already experiences this call.
Translation: Jhoanna Climacosa
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COMUNITÀ CATTOLICA SHALOM – International Assistance
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