PARAGUAY, Ani Souberlich, director of Mother of Tupãrenda House •
On 30 June, the Mother of Tupãrenda House was once again festively decorated in celebration for a participant’s graduation from the 9-month project. One more young man has shown us that he only needed the opportunity to have another option for life. He needed someone who would show him the right road, to learn the road, and to choose the best for himself and his family. Relatives of the graduate, Fr. Pedro Kühlcke, and Lourdes Marín, representing Fundaprova (Foundation for the Promotion of Values and the Prevention of Violence) participated in the graduation.
“Someone who is stronger than evil exists in our midst”
The celebration began with lunch at Mother of Tupãrenda House, and then we went to the Tupãrenda Shrine, where Fr. Pedro celebrated the Holy Mass in thanksgiving for the gift of a young man who could see his mistakes, recognize them, ask for and accept help, and on a daily basis, to freely renew his desire to change for a better life for himself and his family. As it always happens in the Masses that are celebrated weekly with the youths from Mother of Tupãrenda House, everyone wants to be an altar boy so they can dress in white, be close to the altar, Fr. Pedro, and Jesus, although it is surely Jesus who desires this closeness, since he came to save the wounded, the abandoned, those hungry for bread, love and a life of dignity. Therefore the youths feel that “There is Someone who is stronger than evil, stronger than the mafia, than the obscure conspiracies of those who profit at the expense of desperate people, than those who crush others with distain…Someone who has always listened to the cry of Abel’s blood from the earth.” As Pope Francis said in the General Audience before Sebas’ celebration, on 28 June 2017.
Sebas’ mother could not contain her tears when she saw her son “so different” on the outside in his manner of dress and speaking, but above all because she saw the real change in her son, who had caused her great worry and concern for so long. Now Sebas, who is only 17 years old, can already begin his internship at a supermarket bakery, and thus help his family, and support them economically.
The vicious cycle of poverty, abandonment and crime can be broken
Recalling how he arrived at Mother of Tupãrenda House nine months ago and now seeing him dressed in a suit, proud of having reached his goal is a joy and an immense satisfaction for everyone who works at Mother of Tupãrenda House, but most of all, it encourages us to continue gambling on this project, which in its ten months has already given the fruits of four graduates who have finished their nine month project. Although in reality, there are actually five, since after he had finished four months at Mother of Tupãrenda House, Juan Ramón told us he already felt prepared to go to work and that is what he did. He has worked in a large vegetable garden for a country estate. Mother of Tupãrenda House has already given five fruits that are standing, working honestly to earn their daily bread, and are supporting their families.
First garage sale to raise funds
Mother of Tupãrenda House is a house of hope and miracles of transformation, where the Blessed Mother is Owner and Lady, and she has established her dwelling in this place. Even though we receive great support from the Ministry of Justice and thanks to God, some private donations, there are so many needs, and we do not have enough to cover all them. So in June, we organized a garage sale to raise funds. The results were very good considering it was the first time. The fundraising served in buying products for the bakery and that allowed us to continue with our small production of selling at the Shrine on Sundays. What follows will be in preparing cookies and pastries; we are broadening the offerings.
They need comprehensive assistance
Much is said about the poor, the windshield cleaners, the drug addicts, the motorbike thieves, etc… but what can we expect if “no one sees them”, if they do not exist?” IT IS NOT ONLY ABOUT giving them work if we do not form and train them for it. We must give them comprehensive assistance; it is like first having to mold the clay of their lives by helping them to recognize to see what took them to where they are. This implies opening profound inner wounds, wounds that sometimes they cannot see because it means remembering and suffering the abandonment of their parents once again, or the death of one of them, or the exploitation of having to bring money home daily to avoid physical abuse with a wire. Since they were small, they have had to learn to “survive” on the streets and surviving is the hardest thing, like in the “law of the jungle.”
Then they must be led through being treated kindly, trusting, learning basic norms of courtesy and then preparing them for work, where they learn to be punctual, to respect hierarchies and instructions for work. If they do not receive all of this before working, they will not last in any job. They are only alive by a miracle, and for all of us who have faith and believe in God’s guidance, we can say that Mother of Tupãrenda House offers this comprehensive assistance that is needed so they can be good men and keep a job.
We cannot do it alone, Mother of Tupãrenda House has the capacity for twenty participants, and at this time we have twenty-three and a short waiting list. At times “it scares us” to not be able to cover the expenses, but on the other hand, we firmly believe that the Blessed Mother, as Owner and Lady of her house, will awaken many generous hearts who will help us carry more youths forward, who are on the street without direction. Thank you for believing in us and supporting us with your donations and prayers.
We are what we are thanks to where we are
It takes patience, trust and a lot of resilience to work with the youths at Mother of Tupãrenda House, but there are moments when it is clearly shown that these youths are Jesus’ favorites, and those who help them (a heart, and money and a future…)
When Ulises writes on his Facebook profile:
We are what we are thanks to where we are – Thank you God the Father.
Or when Sebas returns to Mother of Tupãrenda House, radiant with joy, and therefore, he appears in every Schoenstatt Boys’ Youth gathering photo.
Yes, it is possible to break the vicious cycle of poverty, abandonment, and crime. It is possible to begin a new cycle of confidence, dignified work, self-esteem, and love.
It is possible.
Sebas hugged me on the last day and he told me: “I am going to miss Mother of Tupãrenda House and all of you. Thank Mrs. Ani for everything you did for me.”
What an honor and joy it is to be a part of this miracle! To be a part of what Jesus does today in our midst.
Fundaprova, Account N°.: 102792992, Sudameris Bank SAECA, BIC/SWIFT BSUDPYPXXXX, RUC80079669-1
Schönstatt-Patres International e. V., IBAN: DE91 4006 0265 0003 1616 26, BIC/SWIFT GENODEM1DKM, Intended use: P. Pedro Kühlcke, Casa Madre de Tupãrenda
Original: Spanish. 23 July 2017. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA