AMERICA/VENEZUELA - Bearing witness to Jesus Christ on a daily basis: the experience of a "family on mission" in the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Ayacucho

Saturday, 26 November 2022 pontifical mission societies   evangelization   family   missionary animation  

Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - Learning to distinguish between mañoco and yucuta, and know what manaca is and what seje is; knead the food with his own hands, to enjoy it with the brothers of the indigenous communities of Parhueña. This has been daily life for Yagnora and Martin, a married Venezuelan couple, since moving with their teenage daughter Flor to the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Ayacucho, located in the Venezuelan Amazon in 2021.
"Leading one's own life with that of other men, women and children in a context far from one's own original condition, trying to be useful every day by providing material support and above all human closeness: asking to be able to confess faith in Christ in the little things of every day, by listening to the sufferings, the difficulties, the expectations and the hopes of the people whom he meets while following his own singular missionary vocation. This is Yagnora and Martin's experience.
Yagnora, attracted by the mission from a young age, thanks also to various experiences shared with the local Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), got married and, with her husband and her two children, Flora and Martin, lived a family dimension that has always been a missionary. When the children grew up, the couple decided to live the experience of a missionary family and went to live in Parhueña, in a context marked by poverty, a shortage of means of transport that often makes travel difficult, sometimes impossible, and where there is often an atmosphere of tension due to internal conflicts.
Among the daily activities to which they devote themselves is study assistance. When the right conditions are lacking, reading and mathematics are often transmitted through games invented by Flor herself, who followed her parents in their missionary experience (her brother stayed home for study reasons). Yagnora teaches sewing to women and Martin introduces men to agriculture. All three are responsible for various pastoral services as missionaries of the Word and of the Eucharist.
There are many episodes that Yagnora and Martin can tell to describe the warp of their missionary daily life: from helping the elderly man with a badly infected wound, to helping the couple desperate for their daughter barely a year old, dehydrated and with a high fever due to the lack of adequate medication. Every day they share a question, which is at the same time a prayer: "It causes us a lot of pain when sometimes we cannot take care of them as we would like. That is when we ask God to help us every day, so that we can share more and more of their experiences, their difficulties". Asking Jesus to let the light of his consolation and the gift of his salvation shine in the midst of everyday problems. (EG) (Agenzia Fides, 26/11/2022)