Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Filling the Void

“In search of something with which to fill my empty heart, I find in my path people like you that manage to occupy a great part of the vacuum. I will arrive to Santiago with something to give. Thank you for being here today and for being who you are. You are doing an incredible job.”

These were the words of one young pilgrim woman that were written in the guestbook of the Pilgrim House. She, like many others, have been surprised and touched after their stay at the house. Last week there were a total of 37 pilgrims from 15 different countries who stayed at the refuge. 

Some of them arrived with real burdens in their hearts, as was the case for a Japanese man who was able to share his heart and find comfort after talking with Mariano, one of the work team members. That same man asked to speak at dinner to give thanks for the help that so many people from different countries gave to his country after the earthquake that they suffered in 2010. He highlighted the work that the Christians did to help them.

Stories like this man´s story make an impact. And there´s the story of another young woman who asked with great curiosity if the work team members were very religious. After our fellow staff explained how she could have a relationship with God she wanted them to tell her more about how to read and understand the Bible and grow in her faith.

As you can see, the pilgrim house continues to be a place of refuge and a place where people´s stories can change thanks to Him who called Himself the Way, the Truth and the Light.

Last week´s work team included Mariano Pineda and Fanny Benitez as team leaders, Don and Joana Heck, Taylor O´Neal and three more volunteers. According to Mariano and Fanny, it was a special treat to have Taylor O´Neal with them. Taylor is the oldest child of John and Carrie O´Neal, the founders of the Fuente del Peregrino pilgrim house. From what we´ve been told, the neighbors of the house were amazed when they saw her and overwhelmed as they remembered her parents and the work that they started some twelve years ago to make the opening of this refuge possible.

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