Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Dear friends: I left Portugal on March 6, 2019 and arrived in Ethiopia on March 6, 2011. I am now younger. Thanks to everyone for your expressions of affection and friendship. In my prayers I keep myself in the heart of God, because He, who loves us all and each one of us in particular, knows what is best for each of us. This is why I am in Ethiopia. [...]
Because he, who loves me, knows what is best for me. I do not know for how long. I only know that I am here and each day is a new adventure, a sincere desire to live my mission where he sent me. I am fine! Even better, I am happy!
I am at the provincial house of the MCCJ of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa. This will be my home over the next few months while studying Amharic. Amharic is a difficult language. But, by the grace of God, up to now I have not yet fallen into the temptation of discouragement. I am strengthened by the desire to stay close to people, speak with them, be in communion. And, unless you know Amharic, this is almost impossible or totally impossible.
I love Ethiopia. I know that I will find difficult and hard moments of doubt and despair. But right now I am in love. And I want to live this moment intensely, because it is unique. I live in community with the MCCJ in Addis Ababa and I feel part of it. From the beginning they welcomed me in a wonderful way. Our days begin with the Eucharist and Lauds at 6:30. After breakfast, I go to school, which starts at 8:30 and ends at 12:00 noon. After lunch, I start studying. At 6:45 PM we pray Vespers and, after supper, we usually have some time together. The house is almost always full, since many missionaries traveling in Africa come through here. I was already able to meet some priests and even some bishops. I have already heard some beautiful and frightening stories. How hard is the mission sometimes… But always beautiful. Our lives are in the hands of God.
I already had the opportunity to be in Hawassa for a few days with the CLM stationed there. How nice it was. We even had a cake to celebrate my visit. In formation we learn that we must always have a good reception of the new CLM. And truly, to receive this warm reception and affection is in fact, extraordinary. For this, I am very grateful to the CLM in Ethiopia. In Hawassa, during a bicycle ride, I pinched both tires. It was a good baptism. This weekend I attended a retreat of Comboni Friends. It was very good. Here the celebration of Easter will take place a week after the celebration of Easter in Portugal. Taking advantage of a week’s vacation, I will go visit the mission among the Gumuz, the people with whom, God willing, I will work. I am enthused. Later I will let you know how it went. To all of you and your families I wish a holy Easter and o not forget that God loves us. Let us keep united in the love of God.
Pedro Nascimento, CLM