The community of Benirredrá/Gandía want to let you know that to our great joy we have “neighbors” on our property. In other times that little house that faces the Spiritual Center has been of house of hospitality, welcoming migrant families, but the pandemic left it empty. Again it has become a house of welcome.

Through the interparochial Caritas of Gandía, we signed an agreement to welcome families who “are seeking opportunities for themselves and their families. They dream of a better future, and they want to create the conditions for achieving it” FT 37.

At this time two families are living in it, one from Honduras with a one-year old baby, and another from Colombia with two daughters. Upon arriving in Gandía they rented a room, at a cost that they could ill afford. The first thing that one of the girls said on entering this house was “a bed for each of us!”; the mother together with her two daughters age 9 and 15, had all been sleeping in one 90 cm bed.

We became like neighbors to one another in a merienda in the community. They shared with us those moments of sadness and nostalgia that they experience when they consider what they have left behind, especially when they think about their loved ones. They do not know if they will ever see them again, because they have taken the risk of coming here, abandoning their country and families. Now they face the long process of becoming legal residents in our country and finding work. “The money that people earn by working is not enough to pay their expenses, that’s why people leave their country. When you leave, it is not easy because you don’t know what will happen to you” . I am seeking a better life for my daughters, without fear, and I pray to God: “I know that God loves my daughters even more than I do because he created them. So I ask him to take care of them and watch over them. Help them, give them strength like you give me.”

They feel deeply grateful and they tell us: “God has given us good people, and they are going to take care of us”, “I  very happy because of this opportunity they have offered us. Believe me, having a house to live in is a privilege that not everyone has. God is the one that opens doors and indicates the road for us so that we can follow it.”

We are conscious of the drama of immigration. It saddens us to see how so many of God’s children, our brothers and sisters, live in destitution and vulnerability, and we feel the joy of contributing our little grain of sand. “If I can help at least one person to have a better life, that already justifies the offering of my life “. FT 195

Paqui Oñate, aci