AMERICA/BOLIVIA - Missionary among young alcoholics in the Amazon rainforest

Monday, 5 September 2016 missionaries   poverty  


La Paz (Agenzia Fides) - Giovanni Forasacco was 54 years old when he left Italy to be a missionary in Bolivia. He had joined the Pope John XXIII Community, founded by Don Oreste Benzi, and here matured the decision to go and live in the Amazon forest, in the region of Alto Beni, together with a group of alcoholics to accompany them in their recovery.
As the note sent to Fides informs, we are talking about people without hope, whose only chance of survival is to isolate themselves in the jungle. Together with them he begins to grow bananas, coffee, rice, and proclaims the word of Jesus translating for them "Daily Bread", the bi-monthly with the word of God and the meditations of Don Benzi. But above all, listens to them, supports them, and even more understands their miseries.
The living conditions in the forest are extremely difficult: damp heat, insects that torment you all day, extreme poverty. No other missionary managed to stay there long, while Giovanni gives all his energy to those men destroyed by alcohol and a life of hardship. With the help of donations from Italy and European Union projects, he builds a new building where the small group could live more decently. In May this year he returned to Italy to still raise funds to continue this work, but died suddenly on August 29, while he was working his beloved land, at 63 years of age. He had left word that he wanted to be buried in front of the chapel in the small community of people injured, alongside a young guest who died a few years ago. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 05/09/2016)