My first visit to Guatemala in February 2018 was in answer to a call made through Fr. Anton Grech a Maltese missionary in Guatemala. Dedicated to the needs of his flock he asked for assistance to help address the issue of teenage mothers and sexuality and relationship education.
I left Malta to come back to Guatemala on the 10th of February 2019 to arrive in Isabal Tuesday 12th February. Coming back was different,I felt like coming home. A warm welcome from all, this is where I meant to be. Joy filled my soul while contemplating what God was doing. I want to do that which He is asking of me. Following His call means living in His presence, always attending to what He wants and not what I want. Attentive to His word, His life style, His choices, His mission, all this was and is a great inspiration to help me overcome fears, false ideas about age and to leave the comfort zones. Jesus as Messiah Servant is a continuous inspiration. He is always at the service of all especially the poor.
A call is always a visitation. Another important aspect which I have learnt to follow is to be attentive to what is going around me, in my heart and to the real needs.
We concluded that the best way forward was to invite Kathya Junieth , who is english speaking, to come to Malta and participate in the programme carried out in both church and state secondary schools .Once agreed we started with the preparations, trying to fund raise money and to find the best dates and ways to do this.
The bishop of Izabal Domingo Buezo Leiva wished that we start with the Spiritual Adoption program. We ordered the posters and the Spiritual Adoption Cards. For this a fund raising activity was organised with the permission of Mons. Carmel Refalo our parish priest. This was held during the Novena in preparation for the feast of The Birth of Mother Mary. We named it Save A Child Spiritual adoption in Guatemala. It was animated by Fr. Mario Curmi now in Guatemala by Fr. Anton. The teens and kids participating were given an envelope which they donated with the collections they made. It was a very rewarding experience as
Fr. Mario presented the life of the poor in Guatemala to the congregation present.
Finally the dates for Carolina Muralles and Kathya Junieth to come to Malta were set: from the 12th of October 2018 to the 10th of January 2019. We admired their dedication, eagerness and altruism to help their people. We exposed them to as many social settings as possible. We are very grateful to all the organizations and schools that gave Kathya and Carolina the opportunity to experience how their organizations and activities are run. In Izabal they have no social infrastructure to which people can refer and they have no educational programmes dealing with sexuality and relationship education , so these visits were of utmost importance.
Back in Guatemala Carolina and Kathya together with Fr. Anton and Fr. Mario started with the preparation to implement the Spiritual Adoption Program and other initiatives.
The bishop Mons. Domingo is very eager to carry out the proposals presented especially those regarding sexuality and relationship education and the value and beauty of life.
We have so far started with a pilot project in a Secondary Catholic School. Teachers were invited for a briefing of the project. A similar presentation was held for the parents of the class following the Spiritual Adoption Program. They all acknowledge the need to talk and discuss such important issues with teens. The class had its first session on Friday 22nd February at Christ the King catholic school.
As this project unfolds in its presentation we will be working on other areas, especially the setting up of social services to those most in need.
The Lord will show us the way.