[Province of the Near East] “If the love of God is a fire, zeal is its flame.” St Vincent de Paul
What would Jesus do in my place? This is the question the Missionary of Charity Team (EMC) has posed to itself since its foundation 3 years ago. And we never stop asking this question every day to respond faithfully to the call of Christ who, like Him, want to be witnesses to his mercy towards our brothers and sisters the poor.
With the celebration of the 400 years of the Vincentian Charism we looked for a way to be closer to those who are poor, “our Lords and Masters,” according to how St. Vincent reminds us. This is the objective of our year!
If St. Vincent were here today, what would he do? He certainly would not remain indifferent to the masses of poor people who exist. He would have been shocked and, like Christ, felt pity at the site of the crowds, the exploited children, families living on the street or under bridges, refugees from war and living in inhumane conditions, elderly persons rummaging through garbage cans to find something to eat…
What would Jesus do, what would Vincent de Paul do in my place? Following them we try to give of ourselves, to show the face of the love of God, to meet the poorest persons. Nourished by the Word Of God we try to bring that message by Word and Service.
One night a week, through a project called “Light up the Night”, the EMC goes out to meet homeless people, provide them with food, clothing, to care for them. We seek, with them, the issues that enable them to live in a more dignified way. And, more importantly, meet them as brothers and sisters and make them feel that they are respected and loved.
We also go to refugees in Lebanon from Syria, and especially in a camp where families have lived for three years. We support them materially with provisions, with clothing, with help for the women (hygiene, safety), with any needed psychological support and with activities for the children.
Other Lebanese families also constitute a field of service for us. We visit them regularly to help and support them in collaboration with other organizations or communities, according to their needs.
The mission in the street takes a large place since through it we can meet those who beg on the street, get to know them and, if they accept, work with them in the long term.
Each year, the EMC ensures a 15-day mission in Upper Egypt to serve children, young people and women living in spiritual and material poverty.
On December 24, 2016, we wanted to know what it really means for us to celebrate Christmas – God with us. That’s why the EMC invited homeless people to join the community of the Daughters of Charity in St Charles. They dressed with dignity to share, for a day, the joy of the feast. Similarly, about 100 people who live in the Syrian refugee camp came to share our meal, to receive gifts and to forget the difficult realities of everyday life.
What would Jesus do, what would St. Vincent do? This is a question we do not want to stop asking, so as to go beyond, to meet and serve Jesus Christ in our brothers and sisters the poor beyond barriers of religion, race or age…
For the Missionary of Charity Team – EMC
Sr Diala Kassably DC