The essence of our mission at Fuenlabrada (Spain), a suburb of Madrid could be defined as being an education of the experience of redemption. If, in general, discourses help very little, maybe, here, it is even more evident, seeing the great variety of people who come into contact with us in order to ask for help or entrust their difficulties to us. Many of the people who come to us find themselves in serious situations of difficulty at home and at work .
In these past years we have started a project called St. Anthony’s home: three apartments which welcome people who are living difficult life situations.
A few days ago we were at a supper at the mens’ apartments together with a few friends who desired to learn more about this experience. During the middle of the meal the guests living in the apartment began to recount the weekly food collection that happens every Thursday at the exit of many of the supermarkets in Fuenlabrada. The evening was very moving: we saw people of fifty years of age who have left their families, and now they find themselves as foreigners, without a job, living as guests in a welcoming house, and not despite all of this dedicate many hours of their days asking for food for the assistance of the Charitable food banks.
The conclusion, which they unanimously came to: “we have to help those who have nothing”. We were all left jaw dropped seeing their simplicity and their joy. We thought to ourselves: have these men forgotten that they are the first people who do not have anything? How is it that they, who do not have anything, live this gratuity with respect to others who are unknown to them? Their answer reminded us of the experience of the first Christians: “We have been treated in this way and now we do not know of another way to treat people”. The personal experience of being loved and saved by Jesus Christ expands in a natural manner, flowing out of the presence of the Fraternity of St. Charles in this periphery neighborhood so filled with gratuity.