• April 20, 2018

Living without a friend

by Gabriel M., on mis­sion in Argentina

     About one month ago, God put a new friend into our lives: Gustavo. Gustavo arrived at our door one day in really poor con­di­tion and asked if he could come in and talk. We hap­pily invited him in and sat down at the table, and he pro­ceeded to tell us part of his life story. He had much trouble drinking, breathing, and walking, and he was clearly in a lot of pain. He told us that he was in an acci­dent two years ago where he fell three sto­ries off of a building and that he has been suf­fering with his health ever since. The people of the Villa rec­om­mended Heart’s Home to Gustavo if he needed assis­tance. He did not know us and we did not know him, but he said that the people of the Villa have great trust in us and that he was in need of assis­tance. After chat­ting for a while, we decided that we would go to the hos­pital with him in a few days in order to diag­nose and begin fixing his health issues. He told us that he was having prob­lems with his memory, so Victor (my brother in com­mu­nity) and I told him that we would go to his house a few days later, Wednesday night, and remind him of our hos­pital trip on Thursday morning. Wednesday night, Victor and I went to his “house” and were both very touched by the expe­ri­ence. He lived in a tiny, filthy, little con­crete room without even a door. His few belong­ings were piled on the floor, cov­ered in cock­roaches and mosquitos. Gustavo invited us into his room and we began to talk. He told us that his life is very dif­fi­cult because he has no money, no work, and many health prob­lems. Right after explaining his poverty and health prob­lems, he said that all of that is nothing com­pared without the hardest part of his life: he is alone. Living without friends or family is much harder for him than any poverty or health prob­lems. I was really touched by his humility and sim­plicity. He told us that he did not want to go to the hos­pital the fol­lowing morning, and would rather spend time with us drinking mate in the morning. Victor and I tried to push the neces­sity of the hos­pital as well, but he insisted that he just wanted to talk. All he wants in life is com­pan­ions. He wanted us to stay and talk all night because he was so happy to have friends to spend time with. It is really hard to under­stand and fathom a lone­li­ness like this. He is only 46 years old and lit­er­ally has nobody in his life. At the end of the visit, he said, “I really hope and believe that we will become good friends.” Victor and I walked back to our house that night in silence, reflecting on the beau­tiful expe­ri­ence, and praying for our new friend Gustavo. I was very moved by Gustavo´s humility to rec­og­nize the impor­tance and neces­sity of a friend, as well as the courage to simply ask two much younger men. That is cer­tainly not an easy thing to do.

Back to top