Every year many young people decide to get involved with the journey of Giovani e Missione, which is a two-year path that includes a short experience in the mission. More than a trip abroad, it is an itinerary to discover oneself and know what truly matters in life, an opportunity to be questioned by the beautiful and important questions that lead to the search for the meaning of life.
Some of the young people who left on mission this year wanted to share with us what changed their outlook towards acceptance, love, joy, poverty, sacrifice, vocation… and much more. In this article we publish their sharing on the words “poverty”, “injustice” and “sacrifice”.
Laura Ripamonti – Bangladesh
Poverty is in the eyes of those who want so much but do nothing. Poverty is lamenting about everything and for everything. Poverty is not just not having money, food or health. Because you can have everything, but be poor. Poor in what? After spending a month among the truly poor, I understood that they are actually the truly rich. Rich in joy, serenity, friendly smiles, rich in small things, small gestures and small satisfactions.
We Westerners often have everything, in fact too much, always too much. I realized this once again in Bangladesh, giving children things that were useless to me, but they made me rich… While they gave me something even more precious: a smile.
Roberta – Thailand
Among the many things that the mission has taught me, I believe that there is certainly the fact of becoming a little more aware of what POVERTY is or, rather, what it is not.
Who is rich and who is poor? I believe that he who opens a small house is richer than the one who closes the doors of a large house, he who shares the little than he who keeps a lot for himself.
WELCOMING others and being close to them brings the type of wealth, which does not fill your pockets, but that which really matters, your HEART! Moreover, I feel that this mission has made me very rich.
Elisa Mazzotti – India
India, in particular Mumbai, the city where there are those who live with nothing and those who survive on billions.
Mine is not a misprint, but a look at life and poverty that has changed me a lot, thanks to the mission.
Mumbai is the place where poverty emerges and invades into the day without asking permission and like a needle, penetrates the flesh. Here I had the opportunity to meet the realities of extreme poverty. If earlier I felt that poverty was sterile and a condition that chains, almost totally limits the freedom to live as a human being, I return home convinced that poverty is the only condition of the heart that gives the possibility to be friendly, welcoming and giving with an open heart.
Here are two different forms of poverty that Mumbai presented to me clearly: an economic poverty that leaves space to an immense wealth of the heart; an economic wealth that chains the heart and closes on possession, yearning with every effort to acquire always more. It impoverishes the heart gradually of the unique love, which only the encounter and the disinterested gift can give to the other.
The video that I attach is not of high quality, but for me it makes this concept explicit because it is that of the celebration on my birthday, where there was no shortage of gifts, welcome and lots of love.
Tommaso Albanese, Chad
Milan is full of poverty. The number of poor people on the streets has increased in recent years. Thanks to my work with children and adolescents, and in families, I have seen a lot of human poverty due to a lack of listening, love and care, which generates loneliness and sadness. Inner poverty and external wealth. In the mission, the village was almost primitive, the children always had the same clothes, large or small, torn or mismatched. If we gave them something to eat, they devoured it. Yet I have never seen them sad. Inner wealth and external poverty. Now, after my mission experience, I am more careful about what I receive, the goods I have, I am more attentive to others; I also feel more aware of my poverty and my riches (both internal and external) and I believe that, deep down in our hearts, feel ourselves all like beggars
Sara Giacobbo and Stella Giani – Manaus, Brazil
At home Sara and I knew realities and systems that revealed injustice in a more hidden and discreet way. Here in Brazil, however, it is there for all to see, just change the neighborhood and you go from a city with skyscrapers and stalls on the river to an invasion where there is no water, electricity and food.
We were very much struck by how the indigenous people who welcomed us into the invasion were not angry about this but rather interested in leaving part of their history to us because they feel that their culture is disappearing.
Sara Goglio – India, Vijayawada
I was in the mission in India, more precisely in the Vijayawada area, for a month. I came to know a sister who was managing a home for girls with HIV (an enormous educational and practical responsibility, added to the ‘duties’ of religious life).
I saw that she joyfully participated in every prayer, in catechism, even to the detriment of her own rest. When I asked her how she did it, she replied: “As long as I have the strength to give, I do it. God has given me so much, and if He were to take me back tomorrow, I would be happy, because my heart is full.”
And so, something given by the awareness of spending for a just cause, which I had always seen as a burden, perhaps necessary but certainly not pleasant, turns into an effort to be experienced with joy and enthusiasm. From sacrifice, I saw the birth of most beautiful shoots of love. Thanks, India!