Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Struggle Goes On

It has been a busy week. Trailers continue arriving from different places in Mexico with supplies for the villages most affected by the recent tropical storm. And trucks from these villages continue arriving to bring these supplies to the needy families in their areas.

Consider the village of Zontecomapa. Below are two photos: one of the school before the storm, and one of the school after the storm.
And, of course, many people lost their homes, their animals, their crops, their whole way of life (and many lost loved ones). Supplies are getting to the villages at the moment, but the question is: what will happen in two months, in four months, in six months? That’s when hunger is really going to strike La Montaña. If there is a line between poverty and misery, this storm undoubtedly forced many families to cross that line.

Of course, with the hunger and malnutrition will come diseases. Some of the villages have (or had) health centers, with at least a nurse or a doctor-in-training offering services on some days of the week. This is what the health center looks like now in Zontecomapa. This is just one of hundreds of villages affected by the storm. 

Tlapa’s bishop, Dagoberto Arriaga Sosa, has been travelling to the villages with his message of solidarity and hope. The people are in dire circumstances, but they still do their best to celebrate the presence of their pastor. In one village where I was accompanying the bishop, the people even found a turkey (no, it wasn’t Thanksgiving; Mexico doesn’t have that celebration) to share with the bishop. Everyone is so grateful that the bishop and the church are “so close” to them during this difficult time in their lives. Bishop Dagoberto has been bishop of the Diocese of Tlapa for only six months. He is a man who truly leads by example.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk with a group of about 25 young people from two towns, Olinala and Atlamajalcingo del Rio, who came together for a weekend of reflection and activities; the weekend was organized by two seminarians, Pedro and Ponciano. The theme of my talk was “The Bible and Justice.” It was heartening to see the concern of these young people for transforming the reality of impoverishment and marginalization in La Montaña.
So the struggle goes on. Thank you, Mission Mexico, for allowing me to be here. Thank you, friends of Mission Mexico, for helping to make a difference in the lives of these beautiful people. God bless all.

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