Lord, you know everything; you know i love you. Jn 21,15: 19-XNUMXread more
A work marked by delivery to the most needy also did not yield to the risks inherent in the pandemic of the new Coronavirus (Covid-19).
For this reason, the Farms of Hope across Brazil, imbued with the spirit of solidarity, dressed up in courage, sent the fear away and welcomed more than 700 homeless people. And they, who previously could not obey government instructions to stay at home, ended up leaving the cold and dangerous hell of the streets to live a new life marked by something they had long lacked: hope.
And this whole idea, which has cost the institution's coffers more than R $ 250 a month, came from the heart of Brother Hans Stapel Ofm, founder of the Social Work Nossa Senhora da Glória. When watching the news and seeing the sanitary recommendations for social isolation, especially the famous “stay at home” being broadcast, he felt in his heart the desire to welcome, love and serve as a safe haven for the homeless, who had social, family and human attention as their greatest deficiencies. As a result, he has been experiencing unique moments.
“The large number of homeless people made me feel a lot. First, I had to make a new structure with love, because it comes to the concern that they can bring me the virus, and my age, my health problem, may cause me to die. And here today after so much praying and reflecting, I feel a lot of peace, that it is not death that is new. Why are we all going to die, in one way or another, each one has a limited time.
Then it provoked the deepest desire within me to enjoy this time and love again. And what I am doing with these young people is extraordinary. Listening to their stories, I heard that for many, only one opportunity is missing. I heard that great cry and act of love again. Nobody taught them that after being loved children, they become parents who are capable of loving their children. Many live this cry of wanting to be loved, they are needy. But we now have the possibility to love them and I am very happy with that possibility ”, he highlights.
According to Nelson Giovanelli, founder of Fazenda da Esperança, the welcoming of the homeless took place after he and the friar understood that they could not be carried away by the feeling of fear that paralyzes the human being. For this reason, the institution decided to adopt the protection measures recommended by the Ministry of Health and take advantage of the cancellation of the event entitled “With God there is a way” to open the doors of the mother farm, in Guaratinguetá-SP. There, Giovanelli remembers that, initially, only he and the friar would host and experience the quarantine with the homeless in a separate accommodation, even if this represented a great risk. Since both are old and have serious health problems.
“This decision provoked a chain reaction of many responsible people and volunteers, who, of course, out of love, affection and respect for us, concerned with our health, as we are people from the risk group, in this case Fr. Hans emerging from cancer , having two stenter's; in my case, coming out of a pulmonary embolism, several people made themselves available to stay with these young people. But, anyway, we stayed close to them to be able to accompany them during the first 15 days, and it was an extraordinary experience.
We go back to our origins, being able to accompany a group daily, the development and the opening process in order to know the charism of hope, and we created a relationship from father to son in such a way that we are excited to welcome a second group. And the most interesting thing is that the news spread in a way that other units of the Farm also wanted to open up for this, thus provoking an avalanche of welcomes that, currently, has made us reach more than 700 welcomes ”, celebrates.
However, as already mentioned above, the contract has been financially costly for Fazenda da Esperança. The production of the aloe vera products factory is at a standstill, while the protective masks and the famous diaries remain in stock due to the lack of visitors. Given this, the institution has dealt with this situation as it can and, fortunately, with the help of the population, it has managed to guarantee three daily meals and a dignified, humane and fraternal welcome to those who before even received a sincere smile.
“For me it was a confirmation of that phrase of the gospel that" love casts out fear ". So we experimented and we continue to experience the generous solidarity of the Brazilian people who joined this campaign of ours as soon as we were communicating it in the media, which made it possible for us to receive cash donations and guarantee their maintenance at the Farm ”, celebrates Nelson Giovanelli.
While Brother Hans points out that popular support for the solidarity campaign has also served to combat the virus of selfishness. “The farm has already welcomed more than 700 homeless men. I see that they are privileged. They have no ambitions, they live in simplicity, they help each other, they know how to share what little they have and that is impressive. I pray and I ask that this virus helps us all, so that this country so big, blessed by God, is more fraternal and ends this inequality.
How it hurts to know that some have it all: house on the beach, on the farm, apartments, full fridge; and others have neither water to wash their hands nor a roof over their heads. I am living a moment of profound provocation within me, but also of great peace and certainty that death is not the last season, it is not the last word. There is the resurrection. And those who love, and here I remember so many doctors, nurses and janitors in the hospitals who are giving their lives. They will find that eternity, that joy and that hug in the father who says 'thank you, because you gave your life for me' ”, he concludes.
To get an idea of the impact caused by Fazenda da Esperança on the lives of homeless people, we just need to pay attention to the story of Ítalo Francelino. “It had been a long time since I had three meals a day, let alone five. I have two soaps, you know what two soaps are? I didn't know if I was going to take a shower on the street and today I have two soaps, a shampoo, a deodorant, clean clothes ... Knowing that you are going to sleep well and wake up well, moves us a lot ”, says the sheltered homeless person. between ”, says the sheltered homeless person.
By Sérgio Botêlho Júnior