Maryknoll Lay Missioners in Brazil recently visited and lived with the Maryknoll Sisters in Joao Pessoa, Brazil as part of their ongoing orientation to the Maryknoll Brazilian Mission Community (MBMC).
While in Joao Pessoa, we visited important Northeast Brazil cultural sites, Olinda, Recife, and the local beaches. We also visited several different ministries including a social NGO that serves local youth in Joao Pessoa. The NGO serves as a gathering and teaching location for young adults without much opportunity. One of the most important skills they teach is photography. The most important aspect of this NGO is that it is led by a man who was inspired and learned from the MBMC in Joao Pessoa many years ago.
We also visited the Maryknoll Sisters’ ministry. The Maryknoll Sisters founded and run a natural healing center for woman called AFYA. (AFYA is Tanzanian for Health.) http://afya.org.br/ AFYA offers somatic censoring, therapeutic massage, mud bath treatments, family counseling, and natural foods for disadvantaged women in the local area. The center also employs over 20 women, through a cooperative, who learn natural healing methods in the process.
But the most important part of the visit was witnessing the beautiful hospitality and love that the Maryknoll Sisters bestowed on us. We swam together, cooked together, sang together, and prayed together. It was a very special time for us living with the sisters and highlighted to me why the Maryknoll Brazilian Mission Community is so close.