Its at times like this that I look at Josemaria and cannot help, but hug him very, very tight.
I have an adoptive son and since then I cannot sit and cross my arms when I hear about the suffering of orphans . I cry at reading the RR orphan reports, and pray hard for them, but now a case of 6 orphans has struck close to home and I am not sure how to help.
I am great at giving money, but terrible at fundraising. Arghhhh!
This is the story of six (actually 8 orphans ) and a priest. A true story that sounds more like a drama for TV, but all of this is true.
I go to church in Mexico. I do not have a particular spirituality, but in this church I have found my home.
I have been close to the Jesuits in university, the Opus Dei due to later studies, the charmismatic renewal, but where I feel most at home is the Brothers of St John. A french order founded by a dominican that was very close to JPII.
Its a modern order of brothers, sisters and priests. Filled with hundreds of vocations. Its very contemplative, intelectual with a great sense of community.
This order has been key in my spiritual development and was the one that opened the door to Napro here at the very beginning when most people thought I was crazy.
Well one of the priests of this order comes from Africa, his name is Fr. Louis Lam.ah (Gobo.uy.aza). Since its a French speaking order they have many vocations from French speaking countries in Africa.
I will put a picture of him in the next hours when they send it to me.
This brother spent a year in Mexico city and I had the pleasure to get to know him and was then reasigned to Saltillo in the north of Mexico. The city where my grandmother comes from.
A city of amazing people, hard working, deep Catholics in the desert . Amazing, amazing people, some of the best I have ever met.
The brothers there have a monastery and a convent and thriving community.
Well this priest left his family back in Guinea to follow God´s call and has been giving his life to helping others for the last decade.
And tragedy after tragedy has struck his family while he is working for others.
His brother had 8 children when he died 2 years ago. The children remained with their mother who died last year. Both completely unexpected deaths in a very Catholic family.
Well then the 8 children went to live with their grandmother who struggled to save these 8 grieving children and tragedy struck again. She died this year, and as the priest says, it was of exhaustion.
She left 8, yes 8, orphans. Eight children alone, without any food. Only 2 close to 18, but the rest children. Due to security issues and visa regulations I cannot put a picture of them here.
I just cry when I write this.
They went to live with their uncle as in Africa the social security system is your family, but this brother has also a large family and cannot even feed some of these children.
And so Fr. Louis has been struggling to help in any way he can, while being a priest and not having any money of his own.
I cannot imagine having a religious vocation and knowing full well that your family back home is going hungry, does not have a place to put their heads at night. Children suffering.
The community in Saltillo has been amazing. Well they found families in a matter of weeks for each of the six children and has come together to bring them here.
Six families in weeks committed to six children who are grieving, that do not look anything like any other children in Saltillo, that do not speak Spanish. Brave, amazing, loving families.
The body of Christ coming together .
The 2 older children who are close to the age of 18 will remain with their uncle and help the rest of the family back home.
And so began the process to bring these 6 orphans to Mexico. To save them.
Getting 6 visas, plus one for the brother of the priest who is now their guardian and all the paperwork. The children are in Guinea and in order to travel to Mexico they must travel first to Nigeria where the Mexican consulate is and where the flights to America are.
But doing it by bus could cost these children their lives so it must be by plane. They could be murdered during this journey so they must fly.
All unexpected expenses for the families that have committed to them. Nothing has been as expected. Hundreds of details to sort out. God guiding the way.
Then when they arrive in Nigeria they must have an translator since they are French speaking and need to be interviewed. Also unexpected.
And then getting them their visas to Mexico. Well their visas were granted, but they expire today and if they had waited another day it would have been another year to get them out.
Its so significant that the visas expire today, day of the birthday of our Lady, but also the 100th birthday of the founder of the brothers of St John: Fr Marie Dominique Philipe.
They are now traveling, Guinea to Nigeria, Nigeria to a city in the USA and then to Mexico city, Mexico city to Saltillo. I cannot imagine the trip these children are going through.
Children that have lost everything.
Since time was of essence these parents to be have gone into deep debt and so has part of the community.
And so 6 orphans arrive today, the birthday of our Lady to a city in Mexico that has committed to save them, but they still need help.
These families owe now thousands of dollars, but had to do it to save these children from another year of hunger, disease, etc. I do not even know where to begin
I have no idea how to put a pay pal button on my blog, nor how to raise money (this is not common in Mexico, we do not do this normally), but I need your advice and help .
So far my DH and I have committed to matching up to 500 USD.
I only know that as an adoptive mother I cannot cross my arms to both help a priest whose community I owe so much and 6 grieving children.
If you have any ideas or can help please let me know. Also all prayers are welcome.
The journey to save these children has just begun and as a Catholic I must help.
And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.