It is in 2011, during the WYD (WORLD YOUTH DAYS) of Madrid, that I discovered the eudist community and when I began to develop a quite particular link with the eudist province of Venezuela. I made my first journey over there in 2013 on the occasion of the festival eudist which is organized every two years. I returned to Venezuela to participate to a mission of evangelization in summer, 2014. And finally I spent last August there. At first, I had planned to go there this year to participate again in a mission of evangelization because my first experience had marked a lot me. Then, finally, having time, I decided to extend my stay, what allowed me to discover numerous places in which I had never been.
I landed in Caracas where I mainly accommodated in the parish saint John Eudes, but I travelled a lot inside the country. Among all my travels, I was able to visit the eudist parish of Temblador, as well as the sisters of the good shepherd of the Colonia Tovar. The mission of evangelization of this year had to take place in the eudist parish of Mérida, in the West of the country, but this one was cancelled at the beginning of my stay because of the insecurity and of the political instability which reigns for the moment in Venezuela. Indeed, I arrived to Caracas the weekend where the vote for the change of Constitution took place, votes which caused numerous clashes, demonstrations, dams and other violent confrontations in several big cities of the country, paralyzing regularly streets and making any dangerous traffic even impossible.
It was very difficult to us to be held in what we had initially planned because we permanently had to adapt ourselves to the reality of the everyday life. Today, the economic situation is such as the main products or the primary foodstuffs are extremely expensive in town and become very scarce as soon as we go out of urban areas. And, when in it is added cut of water or electricity, it is necessary to know how to manage, adapt itself and show itself imaginative! It is what arrived at us to Colonia Tovar, in mountains, where we were on visit at the sisters of the good minister. Our mission to Mérida having been cancelled, we prepared a short mission of evangelization over there.
In a general way, there is no phone signal in this geographical zone, it is necessary to go in the closest city to receive and emit calls, so that the organization of this journey was some little enlivened. Besides, at night which preceded our arrival, the rain fell so violently that an electric pole fell, depriving of electricity a whole part of the region. We thus landed at the sister's, dashing and motivated, in a house where there was neither hot water, nor electricity, nor internet network, nor phone signal and where, besides, the shower was for a moment broken. We remained 2 days complete to have to live as in 18th century: enlightened thanks to candle with some water warmed in a pan to wash ourselves, be nourishing thanks to the generosity of the inhabitants of the surroundings. The electricity eventually returned, but I can assure you that participate in this kind of mission largely makes you put in perspective on the notion of comfort.
It is on this experience that ended my journey. I expected to live a mission similar to that of the 2014 but no such thing happened. We had nevertheless prevented me by telling me: " You will see Lulu, even if the objective remains the evangelization, every mission is different, unique and particular. ". I didn’t believe it, but finally I saw. The resources run out in Venezuela, the living conditions are difficult, the insecurity and the corruption are always omnipresent, but Venezuelans remain extremely attached to their country. They pray every day so that the situation improves. They are filled with a faith, with an enjoyment, with a hope which seem unwavering and inexhaustible. They are filled with God, that feels, that feels the effects, you can see it. I took the spiritual slap which I expected by going there and it was good.
Pictures: Jormin Fermín Peche (Facebook)