The story of Armando, a Venezuelan who emigrated with his family to Peru: lives the Ideal of unity in the Focolare community, shares his needs and experiences the power of communion that attracts God’s providence.
Three years ago because of the difficult situation in Venezuela with my wife and our two children we decided to emigrate to Peru. We used to attend the meetings of the focolare in our country and there, in Peru, the Focolare community welcomed us with a temporary home , until I found a job so as to be able to pay the rent of a house.
A person from the Focolare community, without knowing us, offered us his apartment for a month while he was away visiting his son who lived in another city.
As soon as we got settled in, they asked us to make a list of the things we needed to share it with everyone. So coats, pots, pans, plates, cutlery, food began to arrive, but I was missing a pair of shoes that I needed urgently…
At the end of the month, since I didn’t have a job yet, we moved to another temporary accommodation. We went to thank those who, without knowing us , had lent us their house. After getting to know each other better, the gentleman said: “If there’s anything else I can help you with, tell me”. We told him that we had made a list and that the only thing missing was the shoes. “Yes, I saw the WhatsApp chat ad,” he said, “unfortunately I take a size 38 …; try them on anyway (he took his shoes off) and if they fit, they are yours”. I tried them on and they were perfect. He added, “But in the ad you said you needed sports shoes”. He went to his room and brought out a pair of sports shoes: “Take these too”. That’s how the shoes I keep wearing came from providence.
One evening in a meeting with some people with whom we shared Chiara Lubich’s Ideal of unity, I was able to experience once again the strength of communion, to share the successes, the failures, the joys, the needs, taking as an example the first Christian communities that “put everything in common and there was no one in need” (Acts 4: 32-36).
It was a special moment: one of the participants said that two of his children had broken a computer during an argument. His first reaction was to punish them both. I felt sorry because now those kids didn’t have the computer they were using for homework.
After going through the initial phase of anger, the father of the two boys called the technician to repair the computer. However, there was no way to fix it. So he called his two sons and apologized for his initial angry reaction, so that peace was restored in that family.
When he finished sharing what he experienced, one of those present said he had a computer that he didn’t use: “You can have it, we’ll see how to get it to you”.
For me it was yet another confirmation of the strength of communion. I asked myself: “And if the first person did not share his concern, how could the other offer a solution?”
Sometimes we don’t know how to solve a problem on our own and we get stuck in our own pain; but if we take the step of sharing it in communion with others without any hidden interest, God can find the solution precisely through those around us.
A.M. Lima, Peru (collected by Gustavo E. Clariá)