Moments that go beyond suffering and burdens

S prijatelji na večerji
Friends dining at our house

Earlier this week the Ark community had a visit of our friends Katarina and Matjaž with their son Simon.

They were accommodated right inside the Ark community in a separate guest house ‘Il Chicco’, where external visitors too can stay at a very affordable price. They were spending the most part of the day in the center of Rome, once they dined with us as well.

Living in the community is not all sunshine

One evening, when we were sitting together in the dining room, we talked about how many people, who do not have an actual experience with Ark-like community, can acquire a too ideal perception of life with the affected persons.

I remember when I was remarked by one of the assistants here, after reading our article (content is also available in English), that it is written very well, but too beautiful.

Two sides of the coin

Of course I knew what he had in mind. Have you ever read a book by Henri Nouwen, a priest who has spent much time in the Ark community and underwent significant mind breakthroughs?

Although the content of his book is very valuable and has helped many people, including us, in many ways, the truth is that the book did not cover all aspects of living in such a community.

A drop of colour

Kaplica barve v vodi

When I was thinking about what is the essence for me, when I look back at my experience at the Ark, it is the small moments of grace, rare, yet as strong as a single drop of colour that can dye the whole mug of water.

Some of you know this feeling

Isn’t this like a parent-child relationship? The work is exhausting, often hidden, no refund, no payment, no reward other than those few, tiny, yet powerful moments, when you actually feel blessed and connected with little loved one, for no particular reason.

The path of growth through humility and surrender

skupnost barka
Maria, Daniele, Danilo and Andrea, the assistant (on right)

Working as assistant at the Ark is tough, because you have to eventually accept that things can not be substantially altered.

Progress of persons with disability is slow, sometimes even impossible. Which means that often one can feel helpless and frustrated, even useless.

At the same time, it is of course a great lesson of humility. Very quickly you are forced to change your way of thinking, when ‘be there’ becomes more important than ‘do something’. When you have ‘surrendered’ and understand this fact:

There is a savior and it’s not you!

And most importantly, you have to learn to accept the person as such, something that is lacking nowadays in our society.

Rare but precious little moments of grace

I can fully understand a father, who has responded to people’s Facebook comments some time ago about how gracious, precious and joyful life with disabled children can be. He was sincere when he said that he does not share this view. The work is demanding, the burden is big so that sometimes you think that you will not able to bear.

And yet … those moments. I am convinced that this father is also experiencing them. A drop of color, which dyes a container full of bitter, mundane everyday.

Soon to Cottolengo hospital

A few days ago, we were informed by the Cottollengo hospital, that June 13 was the only time when they still have enough vacancies for two new volunteers. This means, that we are leaving the Ark sooner than envisaged.

14 more days and we will report from Torino.

Your donations mean a lot!

donation fund
Your donations help us grow

We’re very grateful for your financial gifts that are dedicated to the Operando. Every Euro comes in handy!

This shows us that you do care about the people whom we work with, and additionally this shows us your confidence and confirmation on our actions so that we are rest assured to stay on the right track.

Let me invite you also to join us in our prayers to Nina, the daughter of our regular reader. Prayer can be read here.

Lets stay in touch! Operando.


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