Read the report of four volunteers on their experiences in the Light-Community
In search of a broader and more uplifting purpose for their lives, an ever-greater number of young adults of various nationalities are finding an alternative to the prevailing system in the Light-Communities, affiliates of the Fraternity – International Humanitarian Federation (FIHF). After a period of experience, many decide to live as volunteer collaborators in those place. Others choose to remain for a certain period of time, in which they participate in projects aimed at the common good, gaining new experiences, and are restored in an environment of collaboration, simplicity and peace.
In the Light-Communities, the young people can dedicate themselves to prayer, to gaining self-knowledge, to elevated music, and spiritual study. Besides that, they participate in daily tasks, come into contact with nature and are part of activities in the sectors with which they have the most affinity. Rather than spiritual centers, the Light-Communities are like living laboratories, always thinking of new self-sustainable, social and educational solutions. For this reason, there is no lack of demand in the different areas of knowledge, which is to say, there are chores for the most varied vocations.
New patterns of behavior
In spite of visits being suspended because of the pandemic, the Figueira Light-Community located in Carmo da Cachoeira, Minas Gerais, Brazil, has dozens of stable young residents. They live committed to a collective life project, based on the sharing of ethical and spiritual values, in service to fellow beings and in harmony with the environment.
In that place, all the daily experiences and practices stimulate the young people into adopting a new mentality, substituting concepts rooted in common life, such as materialism, individualism, consumerism and competition, with values such as spirituality, solidarity, the giving of self, personal divestment and cooperation.
These attributes are well represented in the Youth Campaign for Peace, an ecumenical and international movement headquartered at the Figueira Light-Community. Every two months, its members promote the Youth Festival for Peace Online, with the support of people from all over the world, the aim of which is to disseminate a culture of peace, a connection with the divine, volunteering, and love for the Kingdoms of Nature among the new generations.
Besides the participation of young people from other countries in innumerable online events done in the Light-Community, the flow of foreigners, especially coming from Latin America, was always intense in the location. So much so that in daily activities, the commonly spoken language was not only Portuguese, but also Spanish, and eventually, English.
Unity with Creation
Juan, 29 years old, from Valdívia, in the region of Los Rios, Chile, is one of the coordinators of the Kingdoms Sector of the Figueira Light-Community. His task involves the care of dozens of rescued animals, the monitoring of dogs, cats, cattle and poultry that live in the Light-Community with their care-givers, as well as the organizing of group tasks of neutering and caring for the animals of the region.
His first contact with the Light-Community was in 2012, when he became familiar with the Fraternity of Aurora Light-Community, in Paysandu, Uruguay. “It was there that I felt a call to live in these places, and in this way, give my life to the Evolutionary Plan,” he affirmed.
After spending a period of time in the Aurora Light-Community, Juan returned to his city of birth, where he participated in the coordinators’ board of the Planetary Light-Network – previously, he had already coordinated the Chilean Light-Network – and in other activities such as a volunteer collaborator with entities affiliated with the Humanitarian Fraternity (FIHF).
“In spite of being quite involved with the Work out there, my participation in the humanitarian missions that the Humanitarian Fraternity (FIHF) carried out during the great fires in Chile, in February of 2017, defined my return to the Light-Communities. In this way, in March of the same year, I came to live in the Figueira Light-Community,” he tells us.
Juan explains that his task with the Kingdoms of Nature emerged from an inner need to deepen his practice in selfless service and compassionate love. “Service to animals offers us the possibility of experiencing a unity with all of Creation. I perceive that by means of this work, our being manages to take steps toward true love, a love that has the capacity to heal anything in ourselves and in others.”
He also highlighted that the Figueira Light-Community is a place that gives impulse to young people’s development in many dimensions. “I have lived here only for a few years, but I feel that the opportunities for an inner maturing and the experiences this place have already provided me with are equal to a positive background of life after life.”
Music for the upliftment of consciousness
Hadson Huan, 27 years old, of Anápolis, Goiás, Brazil, has been in the Figueira Light-Community for nine months. As teacher of music, he teaches classes for the children and young people who live in the place, and participates in other activities promoted by the Songs Sector. “In the Light-Community, the task with music represents a path of inner discovery. It is effectively a vehicle for us entering into contact with God and for hearing the message He has for each of us,” he says.
“I learned about Figueira through a friend, who experienced many lovely things here. After hearing her testimony, I decided to spend ten days in the Light-Community. During that period, I had spiritual experiences that woke up my consciousness at a deeper level. A strong and clear inner call was heard, showing me that it was time to live a new stage, focused on a deeper level of faith, of prayer, of surrender and of service.”
Hadson said that being in the Light-Community keeps him connected with the real need of these times. “Here the lessons are vast and dynamic, but in short, I have learned to deepen my union with God and to feel His Presence and His love in each instant, in the simplicity of the life. Besides that, I am having the opportunity to discover gifts that I didn’t know about before, and placing them in service to the all.”
The strength of union
Having lived for two and a half years in Figueira, Florencia, 29 years old, of La Punta, San Luis, Argentina, is part of the coordinating committee of one of the group life nuclei, taking care of the organization and distribution of daily tasks, supervision of the common areas and monitoring the collective rhythm. She provides support for other sectors, such as that of Supplies, of Communication, and of Emergencies, in which she is active in the Fire Brigade.
“When I found out about the Figueira Light-Community, I felt I was coming home. I returned to Argentina with the intention of graduating in my studies in psychology, giving up my work, and come to definitely live here. I perceived there was nothing out there that could compare to the meaning and value that this Work brought into my life,” she revealed.
“What most drew me to the Light-Community was the intention of living for a greater purpose, based on love and on service to fellow beings. I observed that when a group of persons is gathered together with that attitude and with that inner availability, it can manifest incredible things, both spiritually and materially.”
Florencia pointed out other aspects of the awakening and the spiritual deepening provided by the Light-Community: “Here we are assisted in walking a path of self-knowledge and to develop an inner contact that allows us constant refinement and transformation. I feel that this is a school of life in which I am being prepared, on several levels, to serve when and where necessary,” she concludes.
Assisting the families of the region
“Here we do everything with others and for others, always seeking a more fraternal listening and attitude. This generates a greater maturity. After a time, we hear behind things and no longer recognize ourselves,” highlights Fernanda, 28 years old, of Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Trained in psychology, Fernanda has lived in Figueira for four years. At this time, she coordinates the Healing Unit of the Casa Luz da Colina (Lighted House on the Hill), where she also does remote calls, and is dedicated to the monitoring of the elderly that live in the area.
Another of her tasks is to be the focus of the Service Network, a project that provides help in the region. “Before the pandemic, we used to do home visits to families in a socially vulnerable position in Carmo da Cachoeira and neighboring cities. Besides the support and the care that personally meeting with others provides, with an attentive and loving listening, we took care of the demands and sought to take care of them or finding an answer to them. Our activities included the distribution of food and clothing, the loan of hospital supplies, care in our Healing Unit, support in the care of domestic animals, as well as carrying out group tasks in medical, therapeutic and psychological care. With the pandemic, we continue to be active, but in a way adapted to the health protocols,” she explained.
Fernanda says that from very early on, she was interested in social work and questioned the structure of society. “After I was educated, there came an unease about what way to follow within the profession. I wanted to experience spirituality as the foundation of that way. In search of an answer, I got to know about spiritual communities, to do retreats… Until I got to know the Figueira Light-Community. Coming here changed everything, activated me in a very intense way. I knew it was my place, that I had found my path.”
Besides her spiritual experience, the young woman highlighted the practical lessons the Light-Community provides. “They are experiences that have incredible reach and richness. Here I could not only go deeper in my work as a psychologist, I could also do courses and have practical contact with various other areas, besides experiencing the growing of my own food, acting in emergencies, caring for animals. … Another fantastic aspect of life in the Light-Community is the possibility of living with a large family, with people of the most diverse origins and cultures. What joy, gratitude and learning!”
The Figueira Light-Community tells the story of some young volunteers, their paths in their search for spirituality, service for the common good, and care of the environment.