ECUADOR, Maria Fischer •
In rubber boots they are walking through ankle-deep mud. From time to time, they have to jump over a torrent of muddy water. But they do not stop. They continue to walk through the streets full of mud, a consequence of the flood that last Monday destroyed large parts of La Comuna, the poorest neighborhood in Quito. They are Fr. Rafael Amaya and some volunteers who are collecting telephone numbers and addresses of the victims, not getting their hands dirty – as Pope Francis always demands – but their feet … Church in the middle of the mud. Church, Schoenstatt, in the midst of the pain of the people. —
“Yesterday there was a flood in the area, thank God it did not affect the Shrine or the school of Niños de María, but it passed twenty meters away. We are organizing ourselves to help the people affected… Tomorrow we will deliver the monthly “charity bags” and surely more families will come…”, commented Father Rafael Amaya. “They are working near the shrine with heavy machinery and there is no way in or out. Thank God that the electricity and water have returned.”
A day later, many of the victims – among them several of those that Fr. Rafael and the volunteers had visited the day before – appeared at the shrine and received bags with food and also that closeness and charity that the people who lost everything need so much.
“Thanks to you”
Wednesday, February 2, 2022, an office in Germany. Two co-workers stand in front of the coffee machine. “I need a coffee,” says a 25-year-old. “I didn’t sleep well tonight.” “Neither did I,” comments his colleague, a collaborator of schoenstatt.org, “Last night I spent a long time with a campaign to raise funds for people in a poor neighborhood in Quito, where a flood destroyed everything and many died; many of their relatives do not even have money to bury their people…I had to think a lot about them.” They both go to their computers. A few hours later, the young man – being his first year in the company and with a very low salary – appears in front of his colleague’s desk and says: “Do you have a link to donate with PayPal? I want to help your people in Ecuador”. Said and done.
Several more people were touched and opened their hearts and wallets.
Many more stood in prayerful solidarity. The Madrugadores, in their rosary, prayed for the victims of the flood in Ecuador. The same thing was done by members of the International Community of Schoenstatt Businessmen and Executives, CIEES.
The leaders of “Niños de Maria” and the victims themselves expressed their heartfelt gratitude to all of them.
While many Schoenstatters continue to walk through the mud to help, they ask all of us to continue to pray and to continue to donate. “Thanks to all of you.”
Collaboration: Giannina Ponce, Fr. Rafael Amaya
Original: Spanish, 05.02.2022. Translation: Maria Fischer @schoenstatt.org