“I belong neither here nor there, but wherever God wants me to be” (Saint Vincent de Paul). Taking into account these words from our patron Vincent de Paul, I went to the First National Mission of Vincentian Marian Youth (VMY) in Brazil, with many doubts and little certainty about what would happen. It took me a long time to write about this, because I reflected at length about my experience and now I have decided to share it with you.
For six days, I and eight other missionaries went to the city of Jandaira (Brazil), more specifically to the community of Tubibal, and there I had one of the most incredible experiences of my life.
I joined VMY in 2013, I have attended many meetings, Nevertheless, I can say with certainty that I had never felt as welcome as I felt here among the young peope of VMY in Tubibal. Every handshake, embrace, face-to-face conversation, loving gesture … all of these renewed me as a Christian and as a member of the VMY.
Tubibal is a small community of hardworking people, who promote unity and companionship among its inhabitants. That perspective makes them strong because they help each other to grow in a selfless manner.
During those days I met humble people who, despite their difficulties, kept a smile on their faces and hope in their hearts. With what little they have, they are happy!
We became a big family … the great Vincentian family, which, despite its many branches, has many things in common, including: love and care for those who are poor and in need!
We visited families, met new people and listened to their stories. We learned much experienced God as never before! Yes, that is true. God was revealed in those humble and simple people whom we met.
When we live in a big city, with a busy life or more tasks than we should have, our vision is clouded and trivial things distract us from that which is really important. Building a relationship with God becomes increasingly difficult and we wonder why we don’t get answers. Although we have much, often more than we need, we are not happy.
In one of the visits, after a long chat, I said to the man of the house: “Even with all of this, you can deal with life, right?;” The man answered me quickly: “If we do not deal with life, death takes us!” We covet what we do not need and enter an endless cycle that leads nowhere, and we forget what life is all about.
I was moved by the consecration to Mary and to the Association of 12 members (like the apostles) of VMY in Tubibal. I was touched by their testimonies. I was touched by the sign of God presence through the child Gael, who revealed that God is always by our side, regardless of the circumstances. I was deeply moved and I learned much during that week in Tubibal.
I thank God for being healthy for having lived this blessed week. I thank my friends of the VMY in Tubibal and the residents of that community, for being open to our visits. I also thank the missionaries of Natal, Pau dos Ferros, Recife and BH for their company and their friendship; and I am most thankful for the opportunity that on a daily basis God offer us, namely an opportunity to be better than yesterday.
Suerllen Marinho, province of Recife,
National Communication Advisor.