There is no Thanksgiving holiday in Venezuela!  Our two young volunteers have asked about that, but the focus here is to gear up for Christmas and especially New Year’s when they pull out all the stops and have a special family meal.  Everyone dresses up in their very best to usher in the New Year.

I have been busy with family visits, weddings and school visits which have been very hopeful!  They are mostly public schools but depending on the director they seem to really welcome and ask for our presence to help orient the youth, who are subject to such violence and absence of values in their streets and surroundings, to good values.  Our own parish youth program has been blessed with some young adult leadership to start up an intense few months of formation with the hopes of equipping teens with more tools and identity in Christ. This should grow their numbers and help them engage deeper in the parish (in addition to our monthly study of the saints and pilgrimage to World Youth Day that we pray may happen in ’16).

Young Adult

The country continues to limp along in its battle to move forward with distribution of such rich resources.  With some of the most beautiful landscapes, resilient people, rich mining and oil reserves it is so hard to understand how people can go hungry and abandoned and stand in line for hours for the simplest food and household items.  It seems to me the rampant recourse to witchcraft, drugs and alcohol, the majority of folks in our area who live together with no concrete marital vows and the very young girls having children all adds up. Pray for us!

We continue to put all our hope in God and thank you for your prayers,

Pdr JA (the turtle below is real common in the homes…and a delicacy to eat in Holy Week!)

Turtle in Venezuela