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 “faith”, “joy” and “service”.
Sara Giacobbo and Stella Giani – Manaus, Brazil
We experienced another way of celebrating the word and living the faith. Here we saw women and men being moved as they testified to their life of faith or raising their arms to the sky at every song to thank God.
We saw t-shirts with saints, which, although they seemed very strange at first, we understood that hey serve to evangelize and proudly demonstrate the religion in which one believes.
Valeria Villa – India, Siliguri
I think joy is a very difficult concept to clearly define and is often confused with happiness. In fact, I believe that joy is the explosive and immediate expression of happiness, which is instead a much deeper and more enveloping feeling. An idea not even too defined or formalized, that I had before the mission was that there should always be an unbridled and incessant search for happiness and that joy should arise not necessarily from great things, but as shown by the girls of Mehendipara hostel, with their smiles and looks so spontaneous and genuine, it is that happiness is a choice, as courageous as it is natural, and that joy can actually arise from the small, but also from everyday life, which I naively considered empty or not very stimulating. All that is needed is for this joy to be shared and for there to be a common desire to experience it.
Davide Brioschi – Philippines
I have always agreed with the very famous phrase that says that money does not bring happiness. After the mission experience, however, I can say that I experienced it first-hand. We Italians/Europeans often consider ourselves lucky to have been born in a nation where for better or worse we have everything we need to live with dignity; yet I found much more discomfort and much more fatigue in Italy compared to the Philippines.
Among the very poor slums of Manila every person always seems serene and welcoming, never any complaints or recriminations… The sense of community is very strong: Generally people live on the street and are always in contact with each other, helping each other and sharing different moments of life and the day.
Almost with envy, looking at their lives I thought of our Italy, of our narrow and closed lives inside our homes, which despite being much larger and more comfortable than theirs, they often become like a prison for us or a barrier to contact with other people. To meet, we need a precise place and time, an appointment, while in Manila at any time, on the street, you are always surrounded by other people… It’s life that is already MEETING.
Tommaso Albanese, Chad
Before my experience in Chad I considered service as something external that you do something for. A doing. You can do many things, but without having the spirit of service inside. In the mission, However I understood that service is not like that, but that it arises from an Internal drive. Then I wondered where it came from, specifically. Then I saw it in the eyes of the missionaries and nuns. It was a clear look, full of love, happy, steadfast. Where does it come from? From the encounter with Jesus through the sacraments and relationships. Service is not a doing but a being, a gift that Jesus gives to us. He does it to us if we are, and not if we do. If we are.