4 Important Lessons We Learned Along the Way

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We said goodbye to Cottolengo and to people who were with us in the past fortnight; the elderly, volunteers, assistants and cottolengini.

V Rimu

For the next two weeks, we are back to Rome because we were suppose to start working with refugees in one of the refugee centers in Palermo. We have not received a response from the local community, so we decided that on 11th July we head on to France.

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We made an agreement with Rome Ark community to return, if the occasion arise to travel our way to the south of Italy again. So we’re sailing on an Ark with boys and girls in the community. They were happy to see us return and so were we. Just like we would come back to our home. What a feeling!

This time we have less obligation in the house and can dedicate more time to make travel arrangements, as well as to maintain our relationship. In recent times, there wasn’t sufficient time for the deepening and strengthening the ties between us.

Not long ago we talked with Silva about the lessons that we learned in the last three months of traveling. Interesting conversation! We decided to share some of those with you.

  1. Spiritual draft is essential for personal growth

The term ‘spiritual draft’ is written in our dictionary since the time we felt a kind of indifference, lack of sense and discomfort when thinking about our old age and looking back at our lives. We were to realize that we didn’t share with a world everything that God has given to us.

Spiritual draft occurs when you accept a decision which can change the whole flow of your life. Our decision, according to many, was radical, but for us it was necessary precisely this way.

There was a draft, when we left the familiar and safe, and embarked on a unknown journey. So we were forced to trust God, trust each other and, ultimately, trust the people we meet along the way.

Lesson: Spiritual draft is essential for personal growth. There is no need for radical steps, but it is needed to step away from safety to feel a new wind.

  1. Every person has something to share and something that he needs

Cottlengo Torino

When we think of a person in need, of course, first of all we are looking for solutions on how to help him. Rightly so. But this is only one side of the coin. You see the other side when you approach to that person, get closer and open up to him. Only then you realize that this person also has a gift that he wishes to share with you. But sometimes you may recognize such gift much later.

Lesson: Help is always, always a two-sided road! We often feel to receive much more than we give away by helping others.

Perhaps this is one of the answers to that enigmatic question of why God allows suffering. Through suffering it is the easiest way to connect with each other, open to one another and recognize how much we all need help. The true spiritual growth begins with humility!

  1. Getting to know each other in a new light

Nace in Silva

Silva and me came to the conclusion that such work reveals our qualities (as well as weaknesses), which previously we weren’t aware of with each other.

Silva keeps amazing me with her sensitivity and warmth for the people in need. She can create new friendships in a snap. I am amazed how people immediately accept her and make her their own. Obviously she has that certain something that people can feel before even really knowing her. For me, she has become even more attractive. 🙂

Lesson: If you are married or intend to get married, charitable work and direct contact with people in need can be a great way of getting to know each other.

  1. One can communicate without words

Skupnost Barka

Often we are asked how can we communicate with people who cannot speak or hear. And we could never explain that precisely. If anyone has a similar experience and knows how to put that into words, please share…

All we can say is that it simply ‘flows’. When you are close to such a person, you are looking into his face and eyes, observe his body movements, gestures and facial expressions and often you just know the meaning of it all.

When you open up and get even closer, in emotional and spiritual sense, you understand his language, even without external signs. You could even say that communicating with these people is sometimes easier than with those with speaking ability – more pure, more sincere and unambiguous.

Lesson: Words are often just an obstacle. When you really feel the other, they are no longer necessary!

This will do for now. There are plenty more lessons to come and we hope to be able to share some more.

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Perhaps you are in the charity works you also learned something important. Describe your experience in the comments below, we can always learn from each other!

Do not overlook Silva’s weekly prayer: Praying for Greater Openness >>

We’ll publish our next post from Paris. Excited already!

Nace

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We are not paid for the work we do; the money is not our motivation and doesn’t drive us in our endeavours working with (and for) the poor from the edges of our society. But of course, without financial resources, we could not implement our goals and activities.

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We are not paid for the work we do; the money is not our motivation and doesn't drive us in our endeavours working with (and for) the poor from the edges of our society. But of course, without financial resources, we could not implement our goals and activities.

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