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For several years, Jorge Falisek SVD has been Mission Animation Secretary in Argentina (ARS). At the end of his second term, he organized a summer mission with some young people from the city of Esperanza, in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina. Nor can you imagine what was their missionary destiny.

The mission destination was challenging: the Amazon (Brazil)!  But this Ad Gentes experience was effective and formative for the youth. In spite of different languages, the exchange was very enriching for the young people of both countries.

Jorge Falisek shares the experience of the group: "The picturesque Bacabal area, with few houses built along the muddy and red country road, has a meeting point: the local School that provides education to more than 300 children from five small Amazonian villages of the area.
In Bacabal, there is no electricity; and children do not have WiFi neither. The light comes through the solar panels only for a couple of hours every night. It is a place where night darkness is perfect. Moreover there is a lot of life around the school. There is a sport club there with a huge soccer field. The chapel of the community is about 500 meters away.
In Bacabal, there is no post office. The nearest Post office is in the city of Alenquer, about 60 kms away. The Director of the School says that no one in the area knows the postal code of the place, or the exact address of their home.
In spite of all this, one day the mail arrived at this place. And many letters came!! They came from afar away! And soon they found their recipients. More than 50 children were surprised by letters from far away. The letters came from Argentina, more precisely, from the School of San José of the City of Esperanza (Santa Fe, Argentina).
The photos showed the joy of receiving these very special gifts. The messages were understood, because they contained not only words, but also drawings. The children promised to keep the letters in their school folders. At the same time, my blue folder was filled with letters again. I sent a message to Esperanza's students. The Amazon correspondence with our responses was already under way. Soon they would get in Argentina, several letter in Portuguese.
Boys from Argentina and Brazil together in the same family: Thanks, Lord for allowing me to be the postman of such a blessed exchange!! Thanks, my Lord!
During the holidays, the children do not attend the meetings of catechesis organized by the Communities of the Parish San Antonio de Alenquer. However, the Summer Colony of Bacabal, organized by Br. Luis Kaut SVD (born in Belgium) brought together almost 90 children for a great meeting of several days? Almost all the topics were related to Ecology, the main theme of the 2017 Campaign of Fraternity, celebrated near Easter all over Brazil.
The children were spontaneous and creative in representing the Gospel in the form of theater and to create choreography for the songs. Playing is the best way to learn! And we, the eldest, we can learn a lot with the little ones. Oh, and one more thing: when we pray and share faith, the language barrier almost disappears. The Holy Spirit is present as at Pentecost!!
On the roads of the Amazon
Life here is different from all the places I have visited before. It turns out that in the last two weeks, for moving from one place to another, we had been taking a boat or canoe. Cars are not always useful because of the mud. Moreover, rivers are a kind of freeway all the year and connect many localities in a faster and effective way. This cannot be said about the roads.
One of the pictures was taken yesterday in the vicinity of the city of Oriximiná. We came across the wood-loaded truck that stayed in the mud. The strength of our hands (more than ten people) could not with the weight of the truck. It was necessary a professional help. But people are used to this in the rainy season.
Lord, I thank you for everything we learn during the mission of the Amazon!!!

Jorge Falisek SVD

Posted in FB-Panamzone page- Feb. 2017