• August 16, 2010

Stories from “Porvenir Bajo”

Hilda, Valparaiso - Chile 2010

By Nathan, French vol­un­teer in Valparaiso

I would like to tell you a little bit about señora Hilda. She is a wife, a mother, a grand­mother and a great grand­mother of 95 years old and she lives a few hun­dred feet away from our house. Each time we are vis­iting her, she is telling us in tears how much she would like to be able to walk to our house and join us for the Rosary. Unfortunately her legs don’t allow her to do so. She is a woman who is thirsting for a true pres­ence. The most impor­tant when we are with her is not to speak but to be with her and to listen to her. Her body is aging more and more but her memory remains intact and she shares with us about her life and her family. She also likes to sing the Chilean national anthem and teaches it to us so that we can sing it together. She is so grateful for the times she shares with us and we always need to make sure we come back soon.

Let me now intro­duce you to Chalia. She knows the def­i­ni­tion of family as she has 15 brothers and sis­ters and most of them live in the neigh­bor­hood or the sur­rounding neigh­bor­hood. She has two chil­dren but she also takes care of one of her nieces and one of her nephews because their mother is not able to do so. When we go and visit her in her apart­ment, we are con­sid­ered as honorary guests. Nothing is more impor­tant for her than talking to us. During our visits, she tells us a lot about her dif­fi­cul­ties and how she is con­cerned for the needs of her brothers and sis­ters and tries to help them. She is very open and true with us. She asks us to pray for her and her brothers and sis­ters as well as for her respon­si­bil­i­ties edu­cating the chil­dren. She always offers us tea or coffee with some cake. She has little to offer but offers it with gen­erosity.

What is our mis­sion all about? I would say it is about encoun­ters that are trans­formed with time into friend­ships. These friend­ships with the chil­dren as well as with the elderly require our time, our per­se­ver­ance and our faith­ful­ness in order to grow more an more. "God wants above all my efforts, and nothing that is made out of love will be lost", Saint Alberto Hurtado.


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