Present in innumerable countries and formed of selfless servers, devotees, those who pray, and peace-bringers, the Light-Network, which is part of the Fraternity – International Humanitarian Federation (FIHF), has remained in intense activity during all of the pandemic.
In spite of everyone having their life impacted in some way with an event that challenges everyone, the Light-Network did not stop thinking of the needs of those most affected that are going through very difficult situations at this time.
The groups revamped themselves so as to continue being active in innumerable tasks. Even those who are restricted, because they belong to at-risk groups, manage with resilience and creativity, to find the means for helping those most in need.
Organized through virtual meetings, the groups manage to raise various resources to bring financial help to institutions, to needy families, and to workers who lost their jobs, as well as providing donations of clothing, footwear, food, masks, diapers, blankets, hygiene products, and even building materials.
Special care is offered to homeless people who have been taken to shelters in some cities. There are also collaborators who offered to be volunteers in a space opened by a ministry, where they provide shelter, offer food, hygiene products, and even provide documentation.
Through virtual meetings, therapeutic support is also being provided for people suffering from anxiety, depression, or fear.
In some places where an increase in the number of abandoned dogs and cats was noticed, there are campaigns for care and spaying being carried out, also with collaborators who contribute by giving the animals shelter in their homes.
Unable to be personally involved in the continuous assistance given to a maternity hospital, the members of one of the groups started to make layettes for newborns and clothes and blankets for other children.
Among the unusual ways of helping is the forming of virtual groups for various courses: for making masks, knitting and crocheting, handicrafts, and for the assembly and maintenance of home vegetable gardens as an incentive to sustainability.
Also done virtually, one of the groups offers a pilgrimage to the Image of Our Lady Aparecida.
With the animals, the work of a group can be highlighted that took on a kennel with forty-five dogs that had been abandoned. Its members went on to take care of the whole structure, the feeding, the cleaning, always following the recommended preventative measures indicated by official agencies.
Special care is also being offered to the elderly, with supermarket shopping, caring for their pets, or even providing routine attention through telephone contacts to ease the loneliness imposed by the isolation.
Prayer, teaching and practice
Prayer, the mainstay that sustains all this work, and which is in and of itself a service, is also a form of help, as people affected by the disease or with sick family members, request guidance and suggestions for establishing a prayerful life, and receive loving attention.
In the teachings that the work groups have received over the years, it is said that “in the inner levels of life we are prepared for giving ourselves fully to service, having prayer, the spiritual search, and true charity as our foundation.”
A teaching that is now being put into practice, with promptness and mastery, in the face of the crisis now occurring, as is so well voiced by the manager of the Light-Network, Mother Maria Cleonice, a nun of the Grace Mercy Order: “This group, which makes up the Planetary Light-Network, is fed by the basic willingness of always responding promptly to planetary and human situations, for it recognizes that it is only when the needs of a fellow being transcend one’s own that one can understand a little of the essence of true love that one came to learn in this world.”
Links to the articles of the actions of the Planetary Light-Network:
With Creativity and Resilience, the São Paulo Light-Network Group Continues to Attend to Street People
The Guarujá Light-Network and Santos Light-Network distribute food and personal hygiene products to street people
The Guarujá Light-Network and the Santos Light-Network donate 90 baskets of the basics to vulnerable families