As we have the opportunity to praise God for His immense generosity, we should remember the gifts received from His hands. As we see how much he has done, our hope and strength are renewed to continue walking. “If the grain of wheat that falls into the ground does not die, it cannot bear fruit”, several missionaries this year had the experience of being this little seed sown in the ground. They are still small seeds, but they already share the robustness of their life experience and the joy of the missionary life lived in different places and people.
Shalom in Lisbon, Portugal
The arrival in Lisbon caused great joy because the Community had long desired to put down roots in this beautiful city to announce the Gospel of the Living Christ in it to reach the hearts of all people, but especially of the young. This great desire became true thanks to the preparation of the World Youth Day, since the Archdiocese of Lisbon invited the Community for the service of this amazing and important event for the Church and for the youth.
The six missionaries of the Lisbon mission are currently engaged in the work for the preparation of the World Youth Day 2023. Isabel, shares the great grace of bringing the newness of the Shalom charism to Lisbon.
“We are the expression of the charism here, it is very beautiful to communicate with our life the experience of the Gospel. We don’t have many structures or activities like the big missions: prayer groups, evangelization centers, so it is from our own lives, by being shalom missionaries, that people have their first contact with the Charism.
Shalom in Hsinchu, Taiwan
The arrival in Taiwan was a wonderful gift of God, a dream that became true thanks to the intercession of many people and the fruit of a long preparation on the part of the missionaries.The experience in these initial times “is like taking off the sandals from your feet,” describes Father Vitor Bonfim, one of the missionaries in Hsinchu, making reference to the passage of the burning bush. Removing the sandals from the feet in a sense of detachment and welcoming, as people from Taiwan do. Our focus in these first months is also learning the language, “because those who love want to communicate,” explains the missionary.
“Joy, openness and communion have marked our life here. We have been able to get to know this wonderful people in a deeper way, their characteristics, culture and traditions. It is very beautiful to live the time of foundation of a mission, it’s a renewal of our life offering”, concludes the missionary priest.
An immense richness is hidden in the experience of these missionaries in Lisbon and in Hsinchu. They have the common passion of evangelization and the patience of love, which has its own times and rhythms. Whether in Portugal or in Taiwan, the human heart thirsts for God.