MASBATE PASTORAL EXPERIENCE IN FAZENDA DA ESPERANÇA
Masbate, an island in Bicol region, is at a crossroad of two Major Island in the Philippines – Luzon and Visayas. Its capital city is Masbate, but it is not in the city where we had our 17-day Immersion Experience.
It was in the place called Fazenda da Esperança, a name in Spanish meaning “Farm of Hope”, located in the town of Milagros, where we did our immersion experience.
Communication with those with whom we were living was difficult as there were people from different parts of the Philippines, but Tagalog was the common language used and became the middle ground for our communication.
Fazenda da Esperanca (Farm of Hope) is a place helping in the rehabilitation of people with various addictions like drugs, gambling, alcohol and even video games. Recovery is based upon three pillars:
- COMMUNITY: where love and unity are lived as a family;
- WORK: where each member of the community works for the food they eat daily as a way of making the project self-sustainable and
- SPIRITUALITY: which gives meaning and direction to their lives and helps them to discover that God is the one who journeys with them, who loves them and who provides them with the strength to make the journey toward recovery.
These three pillars are the foundation which we experienced during our Immersion Experience in Fazenda da Esperanca. We lived, worked and prayed as they do. Seeing these things and experiencing life in their community helped us to grow more in our formation and brought us closer to the reality of life.
By representative of student community – Cebu
(from the SOA Newsletter – January 2020)