Saturday, 9 July 2011

South-American Experience Part II

This post is the second of three parts and consists of a reflection I wrote just after a three month stay in the interior of Guyana, South-America.

A great chunk of my work in the village consisted in being available to the local primary school. At times I supplied a teacher who was absent, other days a teacher needed some work done on the computer and every so often I just hung around chatting with the staff and children. The last weeks I was busy with computer classes. Most children had never worked on a computer before. Together we learned how to work a mouse and how to edit a basic text. Vital skills, as most of these kids will end up in Brazilian cities looking for work.

With the parish we organized a four-day Gospel Seminar for people interested in serving the church community. Approximately fifty persons attended, among which there were many young adults. By means of the life of St. Ignatius, the participants were made familiar with various prayer methods that use the bible. A couple of times a day everyone spent some time in personal prayer. Then we returned to small sharing groups where special attention was given to how the Gospel challenges our way of life and above all the way of life of the community. Problems were noticed: drinking, abuse, strife among church leaders; and some concrete suggestions were made to start moving towards a solution. One direct fruit of the seminar was a reconciliation meeting for the church leaders of the village in the subsequent week.

To be continued...

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