“When we enter into communion with a person who is frail, we have a true experience of God.” Jean Vanier
I am Escarlin Veronica Herrera; I am Hondurian, and here in Colombia, I am now in the second year of my noviciate with the Daughters of Jesus. I would like to share with you what I lived during my two-month placement with a group of girls at the “Light and Life” Foundation.
As part of my vocational training, I had the joy of sharing an experience of closeness and solidarity with the “Light and Life Homes” Foundation. This foundation was born 23 years ago now. It is situated in a poor neighbor-hood in the south-east of Bogota, the capital of Colombia. A way of compassion has led Sister Valeriana to direct and find funding for a shelter, showing in this way her interest in the care of these children. Little by little, with difficulty and by trusting in God, she has been able to respond to their needs.
Today it provides a home for orphaned, and physically and mentally handicapped young people and children. Here we offer them medical, psychological and spiritual help. When I arrived, they were very happy to receive me and I felt that it was a new experience, full of joy, as well as incertitude and difficulties. Here, I have tried by my availability and openness to affirm and confront my life in following Jesus. During the placement I was responsible for a group of handicapped girls.
During Holy Week, we meditated together on the passion and death of our Lord Jesus with faith and hope in the midst of painful realities. For the Way of the Cross we went out on to the streets of the neighbor-hood to express the fact that Jesus speaks by the resurrection of life, even with our handicaps.
Jesus came to meet me and I can confirm that, yes, it is possible to accompany a handicapped brother, a sister whose face reflects her silent suffering, her frustration, who has need of affection, of a hand, of feet, of spirit to survive. I lived the experience of meeting with a young girl who is ill, does not have faith and in spite of that, shows tenderness and lets herself be loved. For me it is a sign of life.
In seeking to humanize, we have been profoundly humanized.”
(Chapter Acts 2010. Daughters of Jesus, Kermaria)