Family Member: “Charisma has changed my life”

Farmers of Hope International Faithful Association celebrates 20 years this Sunday, 17; charisma attracts young people willing to live and preach hope

Family Member: “Charisma has changed my life”

Two decades. This is what completes the Family of Hope, the International Faithful Association of Hope Farm. Approved by the Pontifical Council for the Laity of the Catholic Church, the association had its first recognition signed at 1999 by the Archbishop of Aparecida (SP), Mons. Aloísio Lorscheider. Since then, the lay members of the association have assumed missionary status and strive to make communities and works true centers of spirituality and evangelization.

The Family of Hope is founded by Friar Hans, Nelson Giovanelli, Luci Rosendo and Iraci Leite. According to documents, the founders simply wanted to live the commandment to love one's neighbor as oneself through two charisms: unity and Franciscan.

Second Father Hans, it is through the members of the Family of Hope that young people recovering on the Farm of Hope find an environment where they can make a new life choice, where they can rediscover their origin and discover that they were born to love. “Here you can learn to love. They live a year together, we teach, practice the Gospel, love, forgiveness. How many and how many can forgive those who have done them harm and can start their lives again. This is very important for everyone, their families and society, ”he said.

Farm of Hope currently houses approximately 3.500 young people in recovery, in 144 mission houses spread across 23 countries. In Guaratinguetá alone, home of the therapeutic community, more than 140 young people receive care from members of the Family of Hope.

For Father Christian, rector of the Farm of Hope headquarters and a member of the Family of Hope, the celebration suggests a moment of reflection: "We are trying to understand what God's plans are for our community." At 2021, Hope Farm will have its first home in Thailand, Pope Francis' next destination. “Next year we will start our activities in Thailand. A country where Christians are a minority. Looking at these achievements, I can only say that it is God who made and does all this. Our desire is to be faithful and expect everything from God. We have the joy of celebrating this festival and we are aware that everything is God's work, ”he concluded.

From Farm to Family

Lucas Machado and the teacher, Maria Lúcia / Photo: Personal Archive - Lucas

Telemarketing operator Lucas Machado was one of the young people who remained in recovery for a year at Fazenda da Esperança. Addicted to drugs, Lucas was homeless for 9 years and had the help of a former teacher, Maria Lucia, to receive help from the therapeutic community. According to the telemarketer, Farm of Hope helped restore his life and taught him to believe in God's mercy.

In addition to nurturing his faith, Lucas believes that his time in the therapeutic community brought his family together and encouraged him to rescue his professional life. After the end of his recovery, the young man reveals that he is attracted to live the charism of hope through the Family of Hope, and today he is undergoing a process of vocational discernment: “I feel this desire to spread this hope, because I am fruit of hope ”.

Lucas in front of the Sanctuary of Hope, on the Farm of Hope / Photo: Personal Archive - Lucas

"The Farm of Hope was the link that brought me closer to God," says Luke.

Like Lucas, Guilherme Cruz Cardoso also turned to Fazenda da Esperança to recover from drug addiction. The young man says that in his childhood he was sexually abused and that during his adolescence had crises about his sexual orientation and tried the drugs. William comments that he even prostituted himself and became addicted to cocaine.

A great-aunt was the one who introduced the young man to the Farm of Hope. At the time, Guilherme got in touch and went to recover. “When I arrived to recover I was destroyed, I had a lot of pain, I had a lot of heartache, I didn't talk to my family, my brothers, I just talked to my mother. It was very difficult, ”he reported. During his stay at Fazenda da Esperança, his great-aunt who had sent him to the place died. During the mourning period, the young man claimed to have received all emotional support from members of the therapeutic community: "I felt so loved."

“The period of prostitution is dirtier and harder than drug use, because you shower and still feel rotten, dirty. It was a very difficult time, ”recalled Guilherme.

Guilherme Cruz and the founder of the Farm and Family of Hope, Frei Hans / Photo: Personal Archive - Guilherme

With two months of recovery at Fazenda da Esperança, Guilherme reveals that she already knew that she would stay on the job and that she would help her in some way. Upon completion of the recovery period, the young man remained in the therapeutic community for 2 years as a volunteer and then lived for a year with his family. “I was invited back to the farm as a communications advisor for the Sanctuary of Hope. During this period I saw that there is a Family of Hope Farm that is one of these people who recovered, from volunteers. ” Currently, besides being a communications advisor for the Sanctuary of Hope, the young man is a bachelor of the Hope Family.

“The Farm of Hope is the body and the Family of Hope is the soul,” says Mauricio Bovo, a member of the Family of Hope and general responsible for the Esperança Viva Groups (GEV) who are the support groups for those who have recovered. at the Farm of Hope. Like Lucas and Guilherme, Mauricio also went through the therapeutic community after a youth of drug addiction. "The farm rescued me," he said.

"Today I am part of this family. I am a former recovering member of this community. This charism, which is the charism of hope, has changed my life," said Guilherme.

Maurício Bovo, Family of Hope missionary / Photo: Personal Archive - Mauritius

Bovo says he discovered during the recovery time that some pains and feelings he had inside him, and that could not cope, were determining factors for living the addiction. "Living love set me free to the point where I could talk about my pains."

"The farm was giving me hope, rescued me from that life and showed me the way to a new life," said Mauricio.

For the Family of Hope member, what struck him during recovery was the desire to be healed by doing good for people. After his time at the farm, Mauricio felt a vocation to support everyone passing through the farm and his family through the GEV. "It was the way I chose to start giving myself to this charism."

After discernment and the decision to belong to the Family of Hope, Bovo says that whatever he lost in his time on drugs, God gave him double. “I formed my family with my children and was given the mission of bringing hope. It was a natural way to participate in the Family of Hope, it is a way of recognizing all that God has done for me. ”

Source: By Julia Beck - New Song

Credit: Family of Hope Members during 2016 event / Photo: Wesley Almeida - New Song Archive

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