The request for an article on the MVA in Oran found me as I was preparing a meeting at the library. What is close to my heart and what I would like to invite others to do with me is to continue to develop our commitment to a more humane world in harmony with nature. For this purpose, I asked a Malian student Félicienne Diarra, who had just finished her studies at the University of Oran in a “specialty” and defended her Master in Environmental Process Engineering. She told us about the production of biogas through the treatment of organic waste (vegetable peelings, sludge from treatment plants, etc.).
She chose this theme because according to her the world is facing a challenge that threatens its existence. The waste is piling up (and in the streets of Oran for several days of the garbage collectors’ strike it has become drastic and depressing for many people). Furthermore, the demand for energy is growing.
This industrial but also artisanal (domestic) process of renewable energy is an opportunity to be seized. Its goal is to reach as many people as possible so that people feel concerned by this challenge of the potentialities which are being created and which can be used with wisdom and inventiveness. Doing so does not require signing petitions or relying on our leaders but each of us can contribute through our daily actions to reducing or even not producing waste. She made us realize that we have the power in our hands to produce the energy we need by recycling our domestic and industrial waste. This conference also contributed to openness and exchanges between North and South Africans.
Proclaim the Good News to the sick.
For several years I have been very struck in the Gospel by Jesus who announces the Good News by healing the sick. The recommendations of Jesus to go and heal the sick are an integral part of the proclamation of the Good News. Jesus recommends that we lay our hands on the sick and promise that they will be well. “They will lay hands on the sick and they will be healed” (Mk 16:18).
I have been learning about natural care for a few years now and I am amazed to see their effectiveness in many cases. But laying hands on the sick…? Yes, I started doing it. First, she was a little neighbor born with a serious pathology. At the age of 2 years hospitalized in intensive care, the doctors gave her the life expectancy of 48 hours. When her dad shared this doctor’s word with me, I was surprised at the words that came out of my mouth: “Your daughter will not die.” I accompanied him to the hospital to see the little one. I couldn’t touch her, but seeing her hooked up to all kinds of devices, I was struck by this little body that was breathing vigorously. Many of us prayed for her. For several weeks she remained between life and death… but this child is alive, and today after another operation she is in good health.
Currently in my entourage I find several single, elderly and sick people. When I can, I visit them. They tell me about the sisters and our vocation; to be close to people, to have a heart for others, to give value to people who are diminishing. These are intense moments of listening and exchanges and for me of questioning.
Recently a friend, the husband of a compatriot had a severe form of cancer. I asked him if he accepted that with his wife, we would pray over him. He wanted it. Then each time when I went to visit him, he asked me to lay hands on him. The last weeks of his life his head was burning. He felt a great relief to feel the coolness of my hands resting on his head. I prayed to Jesus. Each time I did it I heard in my heart the words of Jesus: “Heal the sick by laying your hands on them”. He left in peace.
More and more I discover that I can proclaim the Good News while living among Muslims without any proselytism. Wherever I meet people who aspire to a relationship with God, I can testify freely, talk about what I live, about what the Word of God is doing in me. I also get testimonies from others. All of this is a path that brings us all closer to God. Last weekend Valérie came from Algiers to support the couple who have been friends of our community for years. The husband was hospitalized in emergency and his condition has deteriorated seriously in recent days. A few people saw us in the hospital and shared it with others. One wrote to me: “They informed me that even the sisters came to visit the patient. They were very touched. Thank you for this Christian testimony.”
Today I just had a message from a French woman who came to Oran in 2003 as part of her university research in sociology. At the time it was not very recommended that a young woman stay alone in a hotel, so as a community we agreed to welcome her. We put her in touch with several women entrepreneurs in Oran so that she could carry out her study. Thanks to these meetings, she was able to make her mission fruitful. Our contact was cut off for years, but she found me through Facebook. She writes to me today, January 27, 2022: “Hello dear Sister Danuta. I hope you are well. I wonder what your activities are today. Do you still live in the same place in Oran? Do you pray a lot, for everyone, in relation to the pandemic that affects us? I’m glad to know you and, even if it’s been a long time, I remember my stay with you like it was yesterday. How lucky I was, and how good and precious those moments were.”
She was a young woman who never had any contact either with the Church or with the sisters… and I see that even today she is counting on our prayers and she remembers those days.
The Spirit really blows where it wills! I don’t know where it is going! But I would like to go there!
Sr. Danuta Kmieciak, Oran community, Algeria
Source: Partage Trentaprile Sharing pg.22-24.