19 Mar 2020 Easter Letter from sr Laura
Dear friends of the Adwa mission,
Our usual Easter letter is more appropriate for our times than ever: Lent, the time of the Passion, of Gethsemane. These are the steps leading to the Resurrection, the celebration of Life, of the Victory of our God over death.
This may not be so easy to say for those of us who have lost a loved one, for those who are going through hard times financially because they have lost their jobs or had to close their business. It seems that everything we took for granted is gone.
Fear of contagion, questions about the future, the consequences that we are seeing and will see in the future certainly force us to think, and perhaps to rebel, to “blame” somebody or something, maybe even God.
Those who are optimistic, and can afford to be, see this as an opportunity to reconsider many aspects of life – even if the opportunity has been forced on us. Things like our relationships and the way we use our time, learning once again to appreciate the little things, taking care to rest, enjoying the silence, reading, talking, spending time with our children as a family, enjoying a good book. Even our churches are closed, but we can still attempt to live as good Christians, and not as “people without hope”, spending the time we would normally spend in church on Sunday reading the Word of God.
I am certainly in no position to “preach”: I too am going through a long convalescence, following two major surgeries, and like you, I cannot work; I am worried about my community, my people, my children and yours.
The pandemic has come to Ethiopia, too, but the government chose to ignore it until recently, for economic reasons: China is Ethiopia’s most important trade partner, and there has been no interruption in trade or in the coming and going of people. The local medical system is not even capable of identifying coronavirus, and the local hospitals are infected by definition. There is no hope for those who get sick, and nature will choose: the strongest will survive, while the weakest will succumb.
You have always helped us to assist some of these weaker people, the children and mothers the mission manages to reach. Our hospital, now drawing near completion, has been built with great effort for these people, the humblest, the ones who cannot make it alone. The drama, when the pandemic comes to the mission – as it inevitably will, unless a true miracle takes place – will be finding beds, medicines, and medical workers.
We will be here with the people, whatever happens, and we will go through this terrible new trial with them. Just as we did during the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
It will be the same this time: we will be here, to protect and help, to take care of our children, who are real and present to us, for you who are far away.
We ask them to pray for their “faraway parents”, for you who help to offer them a future.
We have a message of hope for every one of you, or rather, a message of certainty: WE WILL MAKE IT! Life is stronger than death, and Christ defeated death. We will be with Him: He who suffered the Passion, who was whipped, isolated and abandoned.
There will be Resurrection for us, too, and then we will once again wish one another a HAPPY EASTER!
I embrace you with all my affection and gratitude. You can count on us.
From Sister Laura and all of us at the mission.