Yes; it's been months since I have updated this blog… Sorry everyone.
As you know I've been here for six months now, it's not a sufficient time to understand - if it will ever happen - Juba or South Sudan or even Africa. Everything looks different until I realize and accept that it is ME who is different; everything here is normal. (what is normality?).
First things first: GOD! Yes; mission is foremost a deep experience of God and His presence in even in the farthest lands (go to the Whole world…. and I add: You will find me there…). There is hunger here and Death and misery and it's derty and it stinks in many areas and God is here. The Kingdom of God is silent and it grows from within the hearts of His people. We are here for His Kingdom who is Jesus the Son of God. The "feeling" of God here is so natural. People do no question His existence. God IS; therefore live consequently, as easy as that! God is joy, live your joy. I have the fortune to work a lot with the Youth and also with children. Just seeing their smiles in the midst of a land of war and you understand that also happiness comes from within. I wish I could publish some pictures to show you all their smiles but unfortunately if I add picture to this mail (I am posting via mail) then it would not go through; our connection is very bad, we only have some internet boundle on our mobile phones and it is barely sufficient for whatsapp and instagram through which I publish picture on Facebook too - if you wish my instagram contact is "fratefederico" while for facebook "Freddy Gandolfi".
As most of you know I was ordained priest just few days my departure to this mission and therefore my only and little experience as a priest is in this land. I can't say whether it's good or not, yet it has its advantages. First of all the priesthood is not for myself, but it's a service to the people of God. within the priesthood the main actor is God and not the priest and this is what I am really experiencing here. I confess, sometimes for a long time and I do not understand a word of what people say in their tribal Language; then I absolve: Jesus understands and absolve and forgive and is presence through my presence as a minister. I cannot even say a single word from my heart as they would not understand. Nothing of me, only Jesus. It's not easy sometimes but I believe it is a grace which forbids me to possess my priesthood.
sometimes I go anointing the sick… I enter in slut where I do meet Jesus on the Cross; again I have no words to say as they would not understand; but Jesus is there with his healing love. Again nothing of me; only Jesus.
I realize how many times priests put too much of themselves in whatever they do and it is even worse when people go to some Church or anothere because there is a good priest…. In some way it's not totally wrong, we are called to be the presence of Jesus even with our normal activities and servicies which imply talking to people, consoling and being close to them with our person: "you canno love God that you don't see if you don't love your Brother that you can see". It is through our humanity that God is present amongst His people. Yet we should all learn not to possess even the good that God does through each one of us.
Well my friend, soon I will write about more concrete activities we do here; but for now this is not what I had planned to write but it is what has come out….
God bless you, well let's say it in the local Language.
Ti Nun kabulonit lo lin 'borone ta: Monye, Tore, Mulokotyo Loké. Amen