Justice and Solidarity
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Christmas with the displaced
"To participate with others in the Holy Spirit's mission of love in our world, we must hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, which are inseparably linked, and make them our own.” Acts of Chapter 2021
With other religious men and women and lay people, to live Christmas with our brothers and sisters, the internally displaced, victims of terrorism, "understanding little by little that it is all the samething ; to live in communion with God and in solidarity with our brothers and sisters”. Art 4, RV
On Wednesday 22nd December, the Conference of Major Superiors of Burkina Faso organised a day of sharing and celebrating Christmas with the internally displaced in two camps in the town of Kaya, more than 100 km from Ouagadougou. We all put our gifts together: each religious family brought what they had, clothes, kitchen utensils, food, soap, pharmaceutical products, toys for the children. Some of the rice was cooked for distribution with various drinks of bissap, ginger juice.
After a time of prayer in the cathedral parish of Kaya we went, with the agreement of the mayor and the governor, to the places where the displaced people are. The police escorted us and helped us a lot to organise our displaced brothers and sisters into groups. It was very touching to see more than 2,500 displaced people, mostly women and children in precarious tents... We saw sad, suffering faces, still filled with fear. One of the women told me: "Hummm my sister, it's difficult, my children saw their father's throat cut. At night they still don't sleep. With my children, we are on our third displacement because in the other places, we were threatened. Help us with a medicine against fear.” At these words, another nun with whom we were touring the camp looked at me and we remained silent around this woman and her children! Another woman told us: "I gave my 15-year-old son my women's clothes to wear so that he could be saved.”
Our united forces were able to provide some support to our brothers and sisters. Personally, I asked myself this question: "When will there be peace and stability in our beloved country? What will the future hold for people who have suffered such traumaIf Marie Balavenne -our founder, with her companions- were here, what would she have done, said? “
"It's Christmas every time you wipe a tear from a child's eye!
It is Christmas every time we lay down our arms, every time we get along!
It is Christmas every time our hearts, forgetting offenses, are truly brotherly!
It is Christmas every time we force misery to retreat further" (Odette Vercruysse)
To You Jesus, Prince of Peace, all humanity cries out, your children cry out.
You our Hope, You our Confidence, we join our hearts, our hands to call you to our aid. You who have always been with us, do not abandon us.
With you, evil does not have the last word! Come down quickly to our rescue!
Many, many thanks to all those who support us, think and implore God for us!
ROAMBA Silvie, FSE - Ouagadougou. BURKINA FASO. Published on 24th December 2021