The Catholic Church, through the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity, is attempting to raise awareness about the dire situation currently facing people in Venezuela.
Two religious, accompanied by two famous athletes, will run the San Silvestre 2017 road race in order to shed light on the humanitarian crisis of Venezuela.
The priests, Fr Bernardo Telo Rasquilha and Fr Daniel dos Santos, missionaries from the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity, will run the San Silvestre Vallecana road race on the 31st of December, 2017, to call attention to the humanitarian crisis that Venezuela is suffering. They will also be accompanied by the former world champion athlete, Carla Sacramento and the former Spanish marathon champion, Ricardo Castaño Ripoll.
“We will run to denounce the abandonment that the Venezuelan people suffer in the areas of health and food shortages, but also in order to collaborate with them and give them back their hope,” Fr Bernardo Telo Rasquilha said.
The initiative #CorremosPorVenezuela, (which means “We run for Venezuela”), was started by Verbum Dei, and intends to help the Venezuelan people directly.
The presence of Verbum Dei in Venezuela
The Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity has been present in Venezuela for more than 40 years. Fifteen male, female and married couple missionaries carry out their pastoral activity there in the cities of Caracas, Acarigua, Barquisimeto, Rubio and San Cristobal. “The different communities are living a difficult situation in both the political and social aspects but are approaching it as an opportunity to carry out their mission… ‘we are perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken… so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God’” is the message from Verbum Dei.
And the situation in Venezuela is worse with every new day.
The missionary Aranza, who just arrived in Spain after a trip to Venezuela, shares, “I only lived there for a short time to say anything definitive but I do think I had enough time to see the desperate shortages that the population suffers in the area of food, health and authorities to turn to in order to defend themselves from so many arbitrary situations. In addition, in the area of health, there is no medicine available, there aren`t even the basics and in the hospitals, there is no sterilisation, which means that one can easily catch an infection there.”
“We must pray to God for Venezuela and for the Venezuelans: pray that they don’t give up, that they keep their hope alive that this situation can be overcome, and that in their everyday life they can maintain their hope in the creativity, to find new ways to unite forces, so that the flame of life might not be snuffed out by the tactics of death, of conquering the people through fear and despair.”
Verbum Dei has also launched a fundraising campaign with the intention of sending help directly, principally medicine and food, to the communities in this Latin American country.
With thanks to Verbum Dei.