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Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Trujillo, Peru, Christmas 2006Dear friends,
Once again, Christmas season brings to me the opportunity of being in contact with all of you. My first greeting and desire is of peace, “May the peace of our Lord Jesus be in your hearts and with your families. May all of you have peace and be builders of peace”...
I write you from Alto Trujillo, a human settlement of around fifty thousand people, built on a sandy area of the Cabras Mountain slope. From this place you can see the city of Trujillo. Most of people of this settlement are immigrants from the so called “Sierra Liberteña” and from other Peruvian provinces. Every day, four or five new families arrive here. They start building a humble shanty and when they get the official permit for settlement, they build a fence surrounding the 120 square meters offered by the municipality to each family. The first months in the city use to be hard for them because they have nothing and are jobless. The general situation of the settlement is hard: Only 50% of the families enjoy water installation in their houses and water is given only one or two hours every two days; drainage doesn’t exist; the fine sand on which the settlement is built invades all; garbage is a real problem because the collecting truck comes once a week; due to the lack of hygiene, breathing problems and infant mortality rate is the highest in the city; many people are jobless, but they get many ways to survive; the area is considered a “red zone” due to the level of delinquency, that’s why many taxi drivers do not dare to come here or demand an extra fare.
Despite the previous description, I’m living in Alto Trujillo one of the happiest moments of my life. I feel that my life is worthy here and that people I’m working with have a strong desire of improving their present situation. My work in Alto Trujillo is of evangelization and social promotion. Like in the Philippines, most of our work here is organized and done around the scholarship program of our NGO “Círculo Solidario”. This school year—from March to December—we had 90 scholars and the same number of non-scholar students from high school and college. The systematic and serious formation we give to them is giving its fruits. Those in college level must be involved in a weekly solidarity action. Through their action we reached an average of 350 children along the whole year every week. This number will be multiplied by six this coming feast of Christmas. We have also three schools for parents in Alto Trujillo. Through them and their children we project our influence in the whole area and even in the city of Trujillo. As samples of our actions, last month, our people campaigned an worked for a cleaner Alto Trujillo, performed a show in the main square of the city on the International day of SIDA demanding tolerance and care for those affected, and demonstrated along the streets of alto Trujillo on the International Day of Non-Violence against Women.
But, actions and demonstrations aside, the youth are the first beneficiaries of the Scholarship Program. As you know, my whole life has been dedicated to the education of children and youth because I believe that the future of a country depends on the educational level of its citizens. This is the reason why I want to empower our present Program of Scholarship, so more poor students will be able to continue their studies. I dream to double the present number of our sholars and beneficiaries along the school year 2007.
I know that most of you are persons of faith, that’s why I request from all of you to pray to the Child Jesus during this Christmas season that He may move the heart of many people who are in a comfortable economical situation to share their money with us so we can help more people. At the same time, beg you to make present in your prayers a very special intention: Ask to the Lord to send us many and saints vocations so we can multiply our evangelization and our actions of solidarity to other areas and countries. You are rich in faith and you can share your faith with us. Your prayers may reach the hearts of many people and make Jesus to be born in their lives.
My imagination brings me again to my beloved Philippines during this Christmas season. You know, since Christmas 2005 I introduced here in Alto Trujillo the Philippine tradition of the “Christmas novena”, but at night time, and we finish our daily novena with the “Kasadya ning takaa” song in Spanish version. My dear friends, all of you are in my heart. This letter will reach to those I have their e-mail address, but I request you to forward it of to read it to many other people you know I love and have no their e-mail.
To all of you I wish a very, very MALIPAYONG PASKO and a HAPPY NEW YEAR 2007 filled with the best gifts of God for you and your families.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
‘if your heart is true and your intentions are pure, the Lord will send you something or someone to guide you or inspire you to go where He is, and when you find Him you will be overwhelmed with joy!’
jan. 7, 2005
‘the Spirit of God is love, God commands us to love one another, love is forgiveness. those that oppose love, those who do not forgive, do not belong to God.’
jan. 11, 2005
‘being a child of God, being a follower of Christ, does not make one exempted from sufferings, rather, that even with sufferings God is there present loving and sharing one’s sufferings. we cannot be exempted from suffering, because Christ Himself even faced and endured suffering for us, indeed His is the greatest love of all.’ no servant can be greater than his master. why should I complain. I will face and accept suffering for my love for You. just give me the strength and courage to go on. thank You.
jan. 12, 2005
‘the Lord heals both body and the soul. the Lord cares and is concerned also of the physical well-being of His people. but more than that, He cares more of the soul, the main reason for His coming. He prayed, He found time to pray, alone. He proclaimed the good news to other areas and healed the people. as His followers, by His example we also have a mission to follow what He did.’
jan. 14, 2005
‘the faith of the people in Jesus was so great that it moved Him, a strong faith in Him is His weakness. I can see also how much those four people loved the paralytic that they did all they could to bring him to Jesus, they were very concerned, it shows how love for one another can facilitate healing of the sick, of hopeless cases. sensitivity to the needs of others coupled with love can make way for miracles to happen. and this can only come from God, only if we listen to the stirring in our hearts the inspiration of Jesus to be concerned and to love one another.’
jan. 18, 2005
“man was not made for the law, rather the law was made for man.”
jan. 19, 2005
what’s most important is not your biological family, but your spiritual family which God is the Father and Jesus the brother, Mother Mary the mother. ‘family is not always biological’. “you are a priest forever in the line of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 7:1-3 & 15-17. I belong to the family of God, I belong to the family of His creation. I have theobligation to care and love others, though strangers they might be.
jan. 20, 2005
the situation that the people crowded Jesus, to the point that He was concerned about them crushing Him, because they wanted to touch Him, reached out to Him, wanted Him to heal them, is a striking resemblance to the devotion of the people on the Sto. Niño, particularly during the procession. people waited for Him, waved to Him, followed Him, wanted to touch Him, asked Him, pleaded with Him, for healing, for blessings, for many desires and needs. the seed of faith can grow anywhere in the world and continues to flourish in the hearts of people near or far. every part of the world is holy, every person is a holy temple of God, let them not be profaned nor violated. <>
jan. 21, 2005
the Lord’s covenant with the people would mean less if the people do not keep it or turn their back from it yet the Lord has and will always be faithful.
jan. 22, 2005
people close to you tend to understand less of your action or mission, especially if its not the usual thing done or extraordinary or if other people are not saying the desirable comments. I learn that it is important not to judge a loved one, not to be overprotective, it is not important what other people say but what is in the heart and mind and what one does.
jan. 24, 2005
sin against the Holy Spirit --- the refusal to believe the saving power of God through Jesus Christ, the refusal to believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. A strong faith in God, the Lord Jesus Christ, satan cannot destroy. Lord keep us always safe and strong against the evil one. Be our protection Lord. Holy Guardian Angels be with us always and pray for us. Thank you very much Lord and dear Guardian Angels.
jan. 25, 2005
sometimes or oftentimes the Lord’s choices are different from the humans. He chooses the least expected. He has His own criteria which shock people, choosing the persecutor Paul as one of His apostles, not punishing the ‘adulterous’ woman, revealing to her first and foremost His resurrection, anointing David, choosing the blessed Mother—a simple and humble woman, Peter as the head of the Church, the apostles—ordinary people, fishermen. His ways are not our ways. help us Lord not to be judgmental and biased. help us to treat others especially the ‘lowly’ with compassion and respect.
no matter how bad or ugly our behavior might have been, God does not give up on us, He is still waiting for us, willing to entrust us greater responsibility in witnessing and spreading the Good news.
Jan. 31, 2005
Man is more important, more valuable than pigs. how the Lord loves us is our testimony to others, we are living witnesses. we have a mission from God, each of us, to be a witness to His love and mercy, to tell others about it.
feb. 2, 05
Luke 2, 22-40
Anna, there is something about her worth emulating. her dedication to God, fasting, praying, never leaving the temple. she never left her greatest Love, God. Mother Mary, her heart was destined to suffer?
feb. 3, 2005
Mark 6, 6-13
to do the mission that the Lord wants us, we must have no attachment. detachment from material things, it gives strength, makes us trust in God alone, makes us hope for the kindness of others.
aug. 16, 05
‘faithfulness from the ground…’ this is what comes to mind --- to be faithful to Him, to remain faithful to Him alone, this is what I must have in my heart, this is what I need because He is all I need….to be committed to Him, to dedicate everything to Him, to do things for Him alone. to offer the life that He gave back to Him. to do His will. to embrace Him, to hold His hand so tightly. to love Him most of all. to think constantly of Him. He is everything to me. forgive me Lord. pardon me for my sins. Thank you Lord. be with me. never leave me. You are my life. I resolve to remind myself always that You are always my companion, anywhere, everywhere. You have always been my companion and partner since the beginning, though I often overlook that TRUTH. Let me not forget YOUR FAITHFUL AND COMMITTED PRESENCE in my life.
aug. 17, 2005
God is fair and generous to all, whether one has been called since birth, or mid-life or late in life, what He gives to one, He gives to all, regardless of status or rank or seniority. His love and generosity is beyond human expectation and understanding. The Gospel today is an affirmation and reassurance of God’s love and generosity to us all.