A Testimonial from Ecuador
“The beauty of a true, committed and faithful friendship is maybe the most moving incarnation of that ideal we are striving for.”
Antony lives across the street and a few houses down from ours. He has been a friend of Heart’s Home since he was little. When his parents were divorcing and his dad left he was the kid who would behave badly and then stay outside screaming and throwing rocks at our house when he got punished. For a couple of years he just stopped coming. Just a few months ago, his mom became gravely ill and we started visiting her every day. A few weeks later she passed away. Now Antony (who turned 15 last month) lives with his 20-year-old brother Michael. But through the death of Antony’s mother I started to learn the depth of the friendship that he had with Heart’s Home, the impression that the older missionaries made on him and the strong ties that remain even though Antony did not personally know anyone in the current community.
He came to us for help leading the rosary for his mom’s novena, he went on a weekend trip with the boys to the countryside, and now asks if he can come over to watch movies or he just pops in during the middle of the day to say hi. But what impacted me the most was what he said at the one month anniversary of his mom’s death. He organized to have a Mass said for her and invited people to his house afterward for food. We went over toward the end for a little while and when his aunts and his own father had left the house he turned to us with a sigh and a smile and said, “Now we are in family.”
Deep down he knows that even if as a child he threw insults at the missionaries and rocks at the house, they were still there for him. We are still his friends.