August 24, 2018

Positivity: Seminarian: Despite devastation, faith has grown in Venezuela

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Maracaibo, Venezuela:

Aug 22, 2018 / 12:23 am (ACI Prensa).- When Juan Pablo Hernandez returns to his home in the Archdiocese of Maracaibo, Venezuela next year, he will face a country suffering from a years-long economic crisis. But the 23-year-old seminarian is not afraid.

“I’m happy to go back home and to be able to help the people,” said Hernandez, who is currently studying in Spain.

“Giving them hope is essential. I want to bring them the joy and hope of Jesus Christ so that they can keep their heads above water,” he told ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish language sister agency.

Venezuela is in the midst of an ongoing economic crisis, as poor economic policies, including strict price controls, coupled with high inflation rates, have resulted in a severe lack of basic necessities such as toilet paper, milk, flour, diapers and medicines.

Added to shortages in food, healthcare supplies, and public services such as water and electricity are problems with personal safety, employment, the circulation and sale of cash, and insufficient public transport.

The city of Maracaibo, where Hernandez is from, has seen power outages lasting nearly three days, leaving food to spoil and the elderly to suffer in the summer heat.

The economic crisis has led 1.2 million refugees to flee Venezuela in the past two years, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

“The Church is suffering from this whole precarious situation right along with the people of Venezuela,” Hernandez said. “The government is asphyxiating us bit-by-bit, they want the people to lose hope and settle for the destitution they are given.”

But despite the devastating situation, “trust in God and in the Church has grown” throughout the country, he said.

Many people who did not formerly attend Mass are now “looking for God in the midst of the precariousness,” he said, and to these people, “the Church always extends a hand.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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