At the “Poverello” in Brussels, I find myself in the midst of the “poor” of all kinds and from all over the world.
These people need to eat, but also need attention and friendship. I often have the opportunity to speak Arabic. I am very happy; I go there once a week. The Poverello is an association in the area of the North Station in Brussels. At noon we serve hot meals to needy people, street people … We serve from 100 to 150 meals a day. This takes place in a very good atmosphere.
I visit people living alone, disabled or elderly who need certain services:
For a year I took communion to Gaby, a former prostitute who now elderly, does not “work” anymore. She has always lived in this neighborhood. Thus I was able to dip into this milieu–a very rewarding discovery. This woman of faith challenged me: “Prostitutes will precede you into my kingdom!”
There is also Didi who lives alone with her two cats and struggles just to move about. I help her with shopping or to accompany her to the doctor. Her God is Bouda and she prays to him for me. Recently she told me that she thought my God Jesus was the best! Happily, our God is found there in all this!
Are these not the “peripheries” which Pope Francis speaks to us about?
Of course there are also services that I give to my community: welcoming, shopping, meals, but also as far as possible I try to be available for service to our sisters who are in the homes.
You see that even back in Belgium, I am happy and I try above all to bear witness about all that I received from my Muslim brothers and sisters in Tunisia and Algeria. It is a debt I owe them.
I take this opportunity to greet all the sisters with whom I journeyed and I do not forget them.
Sister Simone Dislaire. Belgium