Ana Maria Gallastegi R.A
Hello young people!
Today I want to share with you my experiences with Jesus in these 50 years of religious life in the Assumption.
Since I was a child I have been a restless person, always looking for something more to fill my life.
We all seek to be happy. For me, the path to happiness was discovered by giving myself to others, seeing my parents who were happy working the land and praying. I felt within myself that I wanted to be a good person by giving myself to others.
Little by little I got to know Jesus better, His attitudes, what He did and lived enthused me, and seeing that His person filled my heart completely, I decided to follow Him as a missionary in the Assumption.
I fulfilled this desire in several countries in Africa:
This is how I lived with our brothers and sisters in Rwanda, situated in the heart of Africa, is a small and beautiful country with wonderful people, a country of a thousand hills, where God wanders around the world during the day and returns to Rwanda to sleep at night. So the Rwandans say.
With the pygmies in the jungle of Cameroon, with those who know how to live with little, on a daily basis, with what Mother Nature offers them, where they celebrate the events of life through their dances...
In Togo, a semi-arid country with a great variety of languages, religions, situated in the Gulf of Guinea. From there people went to live and work in America.
For me it has been a great richness to live with so many different brothers and sisters of different races, cultures, customs... Their great values have enriched my life. I have received more than I have given.
I tell you all this from my hometown, Donostia, Spain, from where so many missionaries came. There I met the Assumption, which, with its internationality, has allowed me to have all these experiences.
I also feel like a missionary in my country, with all our brothers and sisters who have come from different places in search of a better future, and who enrich us...
Sharing so many beautiful experiences, with Jesus and with so many brothers and sisters from different places, has widened my heart and I realize that it is possible to love many people gratuitously, to make them happy and, with them, to be happy. As St. Marie-Eugenie says "Love never says it is enough".
I am sharing with you all these lived experiences after this long 50 years’ journey which at times seems so short to me. These experiences were very happy ones, joyful, … others, moments of searching, of confusion….
But, I tell you that all of them have helped me to grow, to overcome my fears, to know myself and to GO BEYOND, TO TRANSCEND. I consider all the events of my life important because they have made me what I am today.
Going beyond...is startling, frightening...it also fills you with joy and strength if you go hand in hand with Jesus in the company of your brothers and sisters. You get to have experiences and to do things that you would never have been able to do alone.
I remember something a Sister said to me when I was experiencing a moment of setbacks and difficulty in my life: "never say die and move on" and with great confidence, I jumped in and set off again on my journey.
Thanks to these words, so decisive for me at that time, I can tell you today my story of these 50 years of shared experiences with Jesus and with my brothers and sisters.
My message to you young people, is to trust in Jesus for He is the friend who never abandons you. Jesus is the sure way. Open your eyes and hearts to Him, to your surroundings and to the world and you will see that there are many people who are waiting for love, consolation, healing, so as to be happy…
Jesus and the world need you. Be strong, generous, loving and joyful.