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Hope in the midst of hopelessness

Hope in the midst of hopelessness

The smallest amount can help a lot!

The smallest amount can help a lot!

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Nobody's Children

 

A real home means relationships.  Loving relationships, something we only experience in fragments until we reach our true home with the Heavenly Father. It is for this heavenly home that we were created for. We only begin to understand it after we, miserable human beings enter the presence of God, already here on Earth. When we understand, also with our hearts how much love and acceptance our Creator has for us, we burst with the desire to share it also with others, especially those who actually are beggars in this earthly home. People that no one cared, worried, cried or mourned for.

We call them nobody’s children. Individuals belonging really to no one, people without a family to  give them shelter. To lead these people to God and to offer them to His provision, that is our vocation. 

They do not know how to love, as they have not yet experienced love themselves. The world expects them to live in a healthy and normal way while they are incapable of doing so. Their hearts bleed from open wounds, the pain of which they try to sedate with drugs, liquor and temporary unhealthy relationships. Wounded, they commit sins from which more wounds are born. 

In our little day centre we ask for God’s mercy every day, to soften our evil hearts, so that we can strive to love our starving guests more. In reality, while we are trying to provide food, clothing, shelter and work for them we try to love them. We cannot do anything else as love is the only thing that makes sense in the end.   1)

We are open every work day, so that our beggars living in shelters or on the streets or in poor unheated flats, can visit us, feel at home and tell us the things that happened to them or just cry themselves out. 

We opened our doors seven years ago and since then many thousand people have honoured us with their life stories, often talking for hours, being happy to have found someone at last,  willing to listen. There were days when four hundred people came to us, other times one hundred visitors came. Nonetheless we try to treat everyone individually, speaking to the one person in front of us who, at that moment is more important than anyone else.  

Kati, for instance was abandoned to state care, when she was only an infant.  At the age of twelve  she found herself with foster parents who prostituted her to be able to feed their own smaller children. Today she is in her twenties, has lost most of her teeth and is a drug addicted prostitute.

 1)   “On coming into the world, man is not equipped with everything he needs for developing his bodily and spiritual life. He needs others. Differences appear tied to age, physical abilities, intellectual or moral aptitudes, the benefits derived from social commerce, and the distribution of wealth. The "talents" are not distributed equally.” 

      “These differences belong to God's plan, who wills that each receive what he needs from others, and that those endowed with particular "talents" share the benefits with those who need them. These differences encourage and often oblige persons to practice generosity, kindness, and sharing of goods; they foster the mutual enrichment of cultures…” 

( from the Cathecism of the Catholic Church, 1937-1938) 


Jenő lost his job after his eyesight deteriorated from work and was fired after being in the   middle-management of the institution he worked for. At fifty-something, alone, having lost his parents, and not having a family on his own, this intelligent man with a university degree has tried everything in his desperation. His former employer wasn’t even willing to give him a job as a warehouse worker. Slowly the lack of income began to show both on him and on his small apartment. As he waits to reach retirement age he does the jobs offered within the public works program.  With declining health he now cleans up after dogs in parks. No one could tell any longer who this man was, once upon a time.

No one knows why Jancsi was given into state care by his parents at the age of two. The family he was placed with made him live with the animals in the barn. When Christian villagers finally saved him at the age of six he was still unable to talk. As his adoptive family is unable to care for him any longer they have entrusted Jancsi to us. He is autistic, mentally handicapped and is now sixty years old. For seven years now, he has had his own place at a table, where he repairs radios with a soldering iron. In the evening he goes “home” to his usual shelter, where they keep a bed for him.

Marcsi was abandoned to state care by her mother at the age of a month and a half, along with her six other siblings. That might have been the last time in her life, when she was given a loving hug by someone. Their mother never visited them, all the siblings, including her twin sister, were placed in different orphanages, as was the custom at that time. The caregivers were taught not to pick up the crying babies as they might become attached to them. Marcsi is now a woman of over fifty. She is frightening to look at, and is an outcast even among the homeless. She became an odd  looking, lonely wolf.

Upon arriving home from school, eight year old Miklós found his whole family in a pool of blood. For some unknown reason his father, a military officer, killed his mother, his younger brother and then himself. In shock Miklós hid in the forest nearby for weeks until finally he got discovered. He is still unable to find himself and at the age of forty he is still without a home.

These are the people that are our everyday guests.  We believe that God knows the horrific depths and the suffering they have been through. We believe that also they have been redeemed and are loved, even if to the human eye they seem unlovable because of their looks and behaviour. 

Just as we have been brought out of our own sins and our own depths and misery, we believe, that through our testimony God also wants to deliver them.

There are times when we see the success of our ministry. For instance when a man, once aggressive and frightening, turns into a meek and kind person before our eyes, working now daily with us as a volunteer. Or when a drug addicted Gipsy man turns into an irreplaceable colleague, returning every weekend to his poverty-stricken birthplace, in Ózd to give witness about the endless love of God. 

We also know a young orphan of twenty, who arrived the day we opened and who had already been in prison three times for burglary. As he had no home to return to after prison he came to our day centre. There he said yes to the invitation of God and that changed his life. He has been working for five years now, he rents an apartment and is not  homeless anymore, as with us he found a family.

There are times when we cannot see the immediate fruits of our labour. These times our sole task is to be together with our guests. We try to show them some part of the merciful love of God, until they arrive at their true home, the one prepared for all of us and where we all strive to arrive once.

Now we see only reflections in a mirror, mere riddles, but then we shall be seeing face to face. Now I can know only imperfectly; but then I shall know just as fully as I am myself known. As it is, these remain: faith, hope and love, the three of them; and the greatest of them is love." 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 (NJB) 


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