20 Dec Happy Christmas 2016 from Sister Laura
…it’s Christmas once again. We must be practical and realistic: it takes Evangelical courage to celebrate the true meaning of this recurring event. What is Christmas?
“…peace on earth and goodwill to all men…
“I bring you good tidings of great joy, for a Saviour has been born to you…”
“…and the shepherds went with haste…”.
Emotions and values that seem increasingly difficult to experience and share today.
We ask ourselves: what peace? Even Pope Francis has said we are in the middle of a third world war being “fought in pieces”.
What joy for a Saviour that is increasingly ignored and seems powerless in the face of one tragedy after another in a world growing ever sicker?
What wonder, if each day we are surprised with new horrors, new catastrophes, torn apart by the uncertainty of our future and the future of our children?
Our Christian faith asks us to have the courage to stay within the furrows of our history, in the complex folds of our society. The memory of the birth of Jesus wishes to grant us renewed innocence that says humanity is made of earth but emanates Heaven. We need Evangelical courage to face the daily suffering of our hearts and minds, and ever-deepening social divides.
Today, Christmas means bearing witness to “hoping against all hope” (St. Paul), because Jesus is still with us and walks along our streets.
Today, Christmas means creating an “extra-large” fraternity as an antidote for the violence, the racism, the hidden solitude, the existential outskirts that fill our cities.
Christmas means being the bridge that overcomes every social divide, being travel companions as Jesus was to the disciples of Emmaus. If we can open the eyes of our heart, we will realise that He, no longer a Baby in a manger but an Adult like us, shares our journey and our story.
And now let’s talk about your children of Adwa at the mission where, thanks to you, Christmas is nearly a daily reality. It may seem like an exaggeration but having bread every day, medicine if they are sick, a bed to rest in, a ball to play with, regularly attending school, feeling loved is the MOST PRECIOUS CHRISTMAS GIFT YOU GIVE YOUR ADOPTED CHILDREN EVERY DAY.
Enrolment at the school has doubled, all the way through high school. The academic scores are excellent, officially recognised by scholastic authorities. The construction of the hospital is continuing, despite massive struggles due to the financial crisis that makes no distinction between first, second and third world. We are currently in a state of EMERGENCY DECLARED BY THE GOVERNMENT due to the violence and clashes in various parts of Ethiopia. We hope and pray that a new, this time civil, war does not break out from one moment to the next. External interests in the country fuel the unrest, in the context of “global illness” we spoke of earlier. But with you, despite everything, we refuse to give up. On the contrary, building the conditions for a decent life worthy of human beings here in this country is a responsibility we take very seriously. This is the true, single solution to the desperate refugees fleeing to our shores and invading our cities. Allowing them to stay where they were born: this is their dream; ours is to give them the appropriate means. Instead of wasting billions on useless projects that often do nothing but fatten the wallets of smugglers and mafias, help us – we missionaries along with the desperate souls who wish to flee – to build the conditions for them to stay and have a future. Our school is bursting with children who will never flee. Nor do our employees think of emigrating. The hospital is another facility that will offer health and the prospect of life to thousands of people. Teams of Italian doctors have been active for years now, responding to the emergencies of our people. Thousands of lives will be saved when the healthcare facility is completed. Keep helping us as you have been all this time.
Every life saved enriches yours, helps true humanity growing and gives everyone new hope.
A big hug and a Christmas wish for peace, joy, and hope to you all.
Sister Laura, the children, nuns, non-religious collaborators and the whole mission