With the subject “A Call to Mission,” the 1st World Meeting of Missionary Youths for Peace took place in the Light-Community of Figueira, in Carmo da Cachoeira, Minas Gerais, Brazil, on April 27 and 28 of 2019.

The event had two modalities for participating: present were 100 participants, and by internet, there  were 103 inscribed that were able to follow the live transmissions. In all, 10 countries were represented: Angola, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, Portugal, and Uruguay.

The Spirit of the Missions

On Saturday (the 28th), the presentation “The Spirit of the Humanitarian Missions”, ministered by Friar Luciano, a monk of the Grace Mercy Order, began the meeting and the live transmission. The presentation discussed various issues. Following, we present a brief summary.

Inwardly, every human being feels the need to give of themselves. Meanwhile, a normal life emphasizes too many attitudes such as personal fulfillment and the gaining of material goods, among others. The potential for the giving of self many times becomes hidden or atrophied. In this way, missions offer its participants an opportunity to wake up to charity and the capacities to love, to surpass oneself, and to transcend oneself.

The humanitarian missions are a doorway for contact with the missionary vocation that is in each person. Situations of extreme vulnerability, in which both the human being and the Kingdoms of Nature are exposed, impacts the consciousness of those who are on a mission. To face sick indigenous children, debilitated old people, and traumatized animals, for example, reshape many inner aspects. The tension of the context activates hidden forces, which may go beyond the personal comfort zone. The demands during a mission are so many that a “natural” practice of selflessness occurs.

Testimonies of the Youths

The Missionary Youths for Peace is the service branch of the Youth Campaign for Peace. From the beginning, the journeys of the Missionary Youths for Peace had the  support and encouragement of Fraternidade – International Humanitarian Federation.

In this sense, young missionaries are active both in the journeys of the Missionary Youths for Peace and in the missions lead by Fraternidade itself. After the talk, some young people shared testimonials of their missionary experiences.

Marcela Pardini spoke a little about the Missionary Youths for Peace in Belo Horizonte (BH), which among other activities, has already been active in slums and in assisting the animal kingdom in a rescue shelter for dogs. Sarah Grossi, also of BH, expressed about her experience in the mission in Brumadinho (MG): “In a mission, something in us, who would take two years to perceive, we perceived in two minutes.” Victor Hugo, of Bolivia, says that he felt the suffering of the mountains when at the location of the ore dam break, in Brumadinho.

Daniela Jaramillo, of Ecuador, commented about the Permanent Mission in Carmo da Cachoeira, that tries to provide the needs both of the city and the Light-Community of Figueira. The young Colombian, Jeison Bolivar, participated in the Colombian Mission and stated: “At all times a missionary must be ready to serve.”

Maria do Carmo, a missionary in Roraima, had an experience in the education sector with the shelter children. The schools of the shelters are trilingual, because there are classrooms in Portuguese, Spanish, and in the Warao language, spoken by the Venezuelan indigenous refugees.

Roraima Mission

There was a “live” straight from the Tancredo Neves shelter, in Boa Vista, Roraima. At that moment there was a dance presentation for the refugees. The missionary Clara gladly showed the entrance and the basic structure of the shelter, the tents from the outside and inside the gym and the support container of Fraternidade. Clara invited the young participants of the meeting to go to the Roraima Mission.

In the follow-up, a video was shown on the first shelter set up in Boa Vista, called “Pintolandia”, which currently gives shelter to almost 600 refugees. Some of the scenes on the screen showed the distribution of diapers, the gym, the frames with the hammocks, the children playing, the making of handicrafts, the natives listening to music and looking at television, the tents outside of the gym, and the families cooking their meals.

Poem and walk

At the end of the transmission, Renata da Silva, a young participant in the Roraima Mission, offered a poem, the title of which emanates the essence of the missionary spirit: “To Serve and to Love.”

Closing the day, under a starry sky, all the participants present at the event in the Light-Community of Figueira did a nocturnal walk to the Terras do Sol (Lands of the Sun), a region close to the F2 area. There, an attunement with songs and prayers was done, preparing the young missionaries for a retreat and for the continuation of the meeting on the next day.

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