I believe it is important to celebrate International Days because they help us to be aware of interesting topics related to human rights, health or sustainable development. Besides, during these days, more or less noticeable in world calendar, the mass media take care of us to see that there are still problems not solved. And all of this, according to UN, is done with a doble purpose: that the governments may take necessary steps, and that the citizen may know better the problems and request actions from their representatives.
On July 30 we celebrated the World Day against Trafficking in Persons and I don’t dispone of enough data to confirm if its goals were achieved at world level. What I can say is that, at least in religious Province of which I am a member, the level of sensibilization went up some grades, and I even can affirm that the level of commitment of some sisters is bigger now.
I confess that until two years ago, this day, which makes us aware of a horrible fact that more than 40 millions of persons in the world live under any kind of abuse, was passing for me without being noticed. But something changed since the day when in our Province one person appeared: a person who doesn’t doubt to give it all in the mission to rescue and sustain the children, victims of sexual exploitation. I could say that with arrival of sister Marcela Macagno to Spain, the real inner revolution, in many ways, began.
In more than one occasion I have said that she is a blessing for those more than eight thousand saved children. But also for the whole CMT family, and in a special way for me.
That she is a blessing for those children, is more than clear: they passed from darkness into light, from slavery to freedom, from the hell into a new home, from the death into Life.
That she is a blessing for CMT family, is also more than clear, especially for some of us. You can see it reading different testimonies and video published in the web page of our Institution in previous days, and that also are present in social media.
That she is a blessing for me, I will tell you about it right now.
To be near Marcela is like having a light enkindled to help you see more clearly what is the priority, what is essential, what is connected to the cause of the Gospel, and this cause is also linked with the persons who suffer, who need liberation. Sometimes in religious life we waste our time in causes related to our institutional well-being, to being well attended until the end, to this effort to be the best so that our service will be attractive. And we forget that there outside, in the stormy see of life, many people are drowning. Yes, everything is important, but in the light of what I have lived during this time, I’ve also realized that it is urgent to give priority to the project that taste more like the Gospel, even if others things will suffer.
To be near to Marcela made me see that it is really possible to live “like a body” in common mission, even thought apparently only some few members are totally committed. I’ve learned what it means to contribute from vanguard or from the back. Everything is fine and God knows to whom he places in what place and in what moment. There is no doubt that in my Province we handle apostolates very significant in schools, homes for aged, centers for youth, parishes, solidarity, etc. And because of this service we do day by day, I can touch and see that we are a multidisciplinary family called to common mission of loving and serving the Church. But this cause of liberation, I believe, opened for us the possibility, maybe a little misused, of our heart beating the same rhythm and committing together as one heart and this mission so deeply charismatic.
In this year and a half, I have experienced that it is important to assume the role that you have to play in every moment, and trust in the persons that Lord put in the front, without space for hidden or manifested desires of protagonism, or legitimate antipathy that sometimes person in charge may provoke in us. In contrary we could get confused and instead of fighting with common enemy, we would dedicate ourselves to fight inner battles that make us weaker and impotent.
At the back – and all of us we can be there in different moments – we can play a very important role, too. It is true that to be in the second line in any battle, we need a big dosis of humility. Of course, those in second line may have there doubts; I had mine in many moments. It is also true that to make an option for this cause means that you cannot dedicate so much time for other initiatives, or you will have to do it in a different way. Those in the second line may be tempted and may desire to know more, to dispone of some information about what is happening in battle field, but it can’t be given to them always, because the success of operation may be in danger. But, at the end, what I confirmed is that if there is something that may unite us in this struggle against merciless people, is to put in the center of our gaze the true heroes of it, that is the VICTIMS, in this case, thousands of children and teenagers.
I can tell you that during these months in different occasions I was asked to pray for concrete children who were rescued; some of them died after. I can only assure you that, mysteriously, in some complicated moments that I have passed through in different circumstances, to live connected to these children who experienced horror and suffering in their own flesh, has saved me. To think of Marcela and the cause that she initiated has raised me up, given me wings to continue committed, day after day, in the service that Congregation has entrusted to me. Because of this, when sometimes we say that we are collaborating in the cause of liberation, I ask myself if, in reality, they are the ones who is saving and liberating us.
On July 30 was the World Day against Trafficking in persons, but it is also today, and it will be tomorrow, and the other day… Something tells me that we will continue fighting against the power of evil until the end of times. Without any doubt, this struggle is a part of our palautian DNA.
Yes, I feel blessed and animated to collaborate in this fight against trafficking in persons, supporting, praying, and, why not? also opening my eyes and ears because maybe somewhere, closer than we think, there is someone trapped in this nets of death.
One thing left, and it is to give thanks to Marcela, to sister Ma. Jose gay and the sisters of the General Team of Animation and Government; thank you, sisters Olga Olano and Ma. Isabel Obregon; thank you, sisters of Provincial Government and to all the sisters and lay persons who wanted to unite themselves in this cause, like one heart. But, above all, thanks to the CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS who brought salvation to our house.
Madrid, 1st of August 2020
Sister Mª del Rosario Pérez Payá