Hello! Praised be Jesus Christ! It’s late and I cannot sleep, that’s why I started writing . . . I’ve been tossing around in the bed praying the Rosary. The noise of the bombs are getting closer and more frequent. Not that I’m afraid, not at all! Only that I cannot stop thinking about the poor people who are suffering. Parents, poor mothers desperate to protect their babies, young soldiers who are away from their families and do not know if they will survive the night. Anyway . . . I only have to entrust them to Our Heavenly Mother that she may intercede before God and have mercy on us all. On the other hand I cannot stop thanking God for all he gives us every day, even in the midst of so much confusion.
As you all know, it’s been over a year and a half since the unrest began in the country, and to this day no one knows what will happen. It all started with some manifestations in different parts of the country, then the opposition was organized and took some major cities and now there is talk of civil war. The situation is becoming chaotic. Now we have more and more power cuts and the same goes for water. In some popular neighborhoods, they spend up to 10 hours a day without power and as it’s summer, temperatures reach 116°F degrees during the day and at night 104°F. There is shortage of fuel, and so work is stopped. Gas is expensive . . . Until a few months ago a cylinder of gas cost 300LS, now it costs 3,500LS. To give you an idea, the salary of an employee is about 8,000LS a month and now nearly half the salary is spent for a gas cylinder. So also food, meat, fruit and even bread are very expensive. People are very scared and sad without hope. Many Christians have left the country and the few that remain are also looking for ways to leave.
And we are still here, just being present and helping however we can. The other day someone asked me if it made sense to continue this mission in such a situation; I thought about it and asked the same question to God. It did not take long for Him to answer. After a while a woman came; she was crying and very concerned, asking only to be heard and with our little Arab to give her some advice and a small word of comfort. Afterwards, the youth of the Church asked us if they could come to stay at our house a few days to do something different. We told them they could, and we had a three-day youth camp. Although it may not seem too much, a lot can be done with our mere presence; people value it and it is an example for them. These same young people have asked if they could take the Spiritual Exercises. So we would like to organize the exercises, so as to help them discover the truth. Ultimately, to discover Christ, who alone deserves to be served, for whose sake it is worth losing everything!
I’m doing well, I’m doing very well! I have peace of mind and peace in my soul. I feel the same happiness I felt the day I made my vows, the day I decided to give my life to God forever. And that is why I think I am doing so well, because it is now that He is asking me to give proof of my true love. The only thing I was worried about was the condition of my parents, especially of my mom and her poor health. I’ve often thought about leaving the mission in order to not make them suffer, in order not to worsen the health of my mother. Yet the other day when I talked to her and told her the truth about what we are going through, she said, “Daughter, stay calm; I’m fine. I do not want you to leave anything for my sake and do not forget that the most important thing is charity towards others. Do not ever hesitate to give a plate of food to the one who needs it, even if that means foregoing your own meal. Take care and be prudent. God cares for all of you and He will not let anything happen to you.” Actually, my mother’s words filled my heart and gave me more encouragement to keep going, to give everything (as she told me and had taught me always!). I felt proud to be her daughter. That is also why I cannot stop thanking God for the parents He gave me. The world might think: what kind of mother is she who prefers to have her daughter away in a country at war, knowing that at any moment something could happen? It is the true love of a mother, a selfless love, which gives everything without expecting anything in return! I’m pretty sure right now she is dying to have me at her side, but she understands my mission, knows that it is God who has put me in this place and that He has done so for a reason. She knows know that we are not made for this world, that here we are only passing through. And the most important of all this is that she also knows that there is a reward that we will both get if we are faithful to the will of God . . . So I have no doubt that we are passing through now will redound to a very large good. I know that her prayers, pain and suffering are a cause of why I am fine here where I am . And I also know that my prayers and sacrifices maker her strong and well, in spite of her illness. God never leaves us! No less merit is all that my father does. Although he is silent does not express it in words, he suffers the same but he also supports me. May God reward them with Heaven — I know that both of them have merited it!!!
I cannot stop giving thanks for my other family, my religious family. The support that the superiors give us and the concern that they have for us are very important. And also my fellow missionaries edify me with their example and with their desire to continue here despite everything that is happening.
Well, I am saying goodbye. But first I want to ask two things: 1 – Do not stop praying for us, for our mission, for so many people who are suffering, for peace not only in Syria but throughout the world.
2-That we should be grateful to God for all that he gives us. Do not confine yourselves to the trifles and the nonsense of the world, to the material, to what does not fill the soul. When you have some problem or difficulty know there is another with greater suffering, there are people who suffer much more. Offer everything daily for those who need it most. Take care of the soul, because everything else passes . . . As St. Augustine said so beautifully: “You made us Lord for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you”
Know that I love you and miss you all a lot, but I’m closely united to you through prayer.
“Meanwhile my family, because we split up, take me in your heart, in my heart that I take.”
May God bless you and may Mary protect you always…
A big hug unto eternity!