Monday, August 8, 2011

The best victory is won in the company of our creator!

Before we start with the last blog please look at the picture above, I would like to present to you the second best group of singing and dancing primary students in Kenya.  This students made 2nd place in the nation, they are from Don Bosco Makuyu primary school.  I had the joy to accompany them in their trip to the National Music Festival where they won such distinction.   

Now lets go to the blog!

All you who are thirsty,
come to the water. Why spend your money for what is not bread;
your wages for what fails to satisfy?
Is 55
For the last 2 months and a half I have been in Makuyu Kenya doing an accompaniment experience mostly with the technical school students.  Everything has been making change from the moment I left home.  First of all, I had never left home to go abroad to any place.  Secondly, I had never been in a plane and I have a little vertigo.  Thirdly, the language spoken here is neither Spanish nor English, so the first few weeks were tough to assimilate the language.  Then, every time I attended a different workshop it was a change as well from knowing how to do something to starting from the beggining at the new workshop.  When I attended the general fitting I was filing and cutting most of the time and many times I felt like giving up; however, I saw the students and their desire to learn that trait and travel to the capital Nairobi and get a good job.  Then, I realized although it was not my dream to get a job doing general fitting, I had to learn something from general fitting.  After struggling for a few days I finally managed to get something done and I was proud of my achievement.  Then I went to the welding workshop and the same thing happened, I found welding not fitting me.  I would say to myself, “This is not for me, I am not meant to do welding, I am not meant to know how to weld,” once more at the end of the two weeks I spent there I managed to join two metal pieces together.  The last workshop I attended was carpentry, and the same thing happened.  Anxiety was present the first few days and a strong desire to give up.  You might be asking yourself why is he saying all of this?  Many times in life we face different anxieties and changes although they are blessings all the time, we do not like to suffer anymore and therefore label them as bad things in our lives.  We labeled them as anxieties and stressors, and then we do not see them as blessings anymore because we have formed a label for them already.  In my case, the changes I was able to assimilate and the times of stressed overcome were not because of my own strength.  I am not trying to let you know I am very strong and can assimilate any problem or change.  It has being God who has given me the strength to keep going every day and learn something good from everything I have experienced.  The times we label our circumstances as stressors and bad things it is because we are not looking at the circumstance with an objective eye, but, with the American way of looking at things, “stop suffering,” which lead us to be selfish and avoid any kind of discomforting situation.  People here have to adapt to their circumstance, but, also try to better their lives.  At the same time they are being examples for others.  I know one person who has composed over 300 songs, another one who has published a couple of books, I am sure it has not being easy for them, but they do their best.  We should ask the lord through daily prayer the virtue of patience and wisdom to understand everything that happens to us and also do as St. Ignatius Loyola once said “Pray as if everything depended upon God, then act as if everything depended on you.”

Thanks to all of you who contributed with your gifts and prayers!

My Love and Prayers are with you,

Lorenzo Cano

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Growing to the side and not straight

This past Thursday I went with father Kevin to the Local Prison. We went there to celebrate mass for them and I noticed how all of them attended mass even though not all of them were catholic.  The reason is because the prison is so far and they do not see new faces every day.  It made me think of how, at times we are free in the world but we take this freedom to do as we wish without caring about our bodies and our souls.  Society has adjusted the norms and morals, now it is okay to do what we want with our bodies and even with the bodies of others that do not belong to us.  We are imprisoned in a world of liberalism and libertinism and we do not realize it.  The people there in the prison cannot do anything because to hire a lawyer is too expensive here, the prisoners can only wait for their term to be over then they can be set free.  But, we people who live outside and take liberty for granted. Are we really free? Do we appreciate our gift from God to be free or do we waste our time doing things that enslave us? God wants us to be happy being ourselves and sharing with others the best of us.  Let’s not wait until we are old and imprisoned to our deficiencies, let’s give God the best of us now. It is so easy to follow our natural instinct, and as we grow older like this tree its harder to change bad habits, it’s harder to grow straight.  Ask God for the grace and look for it attending daily mass.  Don't grow like this tree which is confused and has grown sideways.  It is by doing what is in front of us that we are really free and keep ourselves healthy, busy and serving others. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Where does the treasure lie?

 We spend our lifes looking for this treasure that will make us happy.  Unfortunately, many times we take the meaning of this treasure literally and fall into materialism, because we want to keep ourselves up to date.  But, instead of filling that gap we make it wider and now we look for something else in the attempt to fill the gap that is bigger.  Others might try to paint the hair, buy such dress or jeans to meet the expectations of our friends.  In some cases we even try drugs because our "friends" tell us that we should try them at least once.  We fill so empty even when we have a college degree and do not find a job, the purpose of life is lost, we are confused by all the things we try and the places we look for happiness. We the young and the adults alike live the life so fast without thinking about what we do. By this point we have forgotten that our bodies are the field where the treasure is found.  What is that treasure? The treasure is being ourselves, without the influence of others.  Wearing what we like to wear as long as we feel comfortable, accepting what we are regardless of what others might say.  Whenever we have accepted that we are mere images of God, and we stop comparing ourselves to others appearance, success, economic status, etc then we will reach happiness.  God mades us and we are perfect and when we do not accept ourselves like we are physically, academically, economically, then we will not reach happiness.  If we are confident and believe in ourselves then others will believe in us.  Lets stop selling ourselves to the expectations of others, lets stop looking for happiness in the wrong places, because the more we do that the farther we are from being ourselves.  The more we sell to this superficial appearances and looks the more we are abused by the social expectations.  Lets sell all this superficial things and get the treasure.  Lets dig within ourselves and find the treasure that lies in there like in the Parable of Todays Gospel.

"the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
--Mt 13

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Welcoming Kenya to anybody who comes in!

Some visitors came some days ago and the Sister welcomed them as if they knew them.  The second picture has the visitors from Italy who have come to visit the mission. This community of salesians really have a spirit of accompaniment with everybody that they meet.  The priests welcomed me with a heart of brothers and sisters.  As I reach the end of my mission I realized that we are supposed to treat people without making differences or favoritisms.  Everybody that comes in to the Salesians of Don Bosco in Makuyu realizes that home is not far because of all the love received here.  I thank all the people that have made this mission possible.  Father Jayme Mathias and Sister MaryGloria have been an special blessing to me.  I Thank God for meeting people like them.  I send my greetings and prayers to all the community of Cristo Rey Parish specially Michelle and all the people that came with me to mission.  You all have come with me to Mission and I appreciate it very much.  This has definitely being a life transforming experience that I will never forget.  I have been filled with blessings from everybody here and I do not find words to thank them all.  God bless you all in the states as well, nothing would have been possible without your support. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Forcing our destiny

 Many times we follow certain things, we struggle to do something that although it may be good it is not God's will at the moment.  We fight against all odds to accomplish what we desire regardless of who, what, "gets in our way". It is necessary to stop for a moment and think, reflect what it is that God really wants for us at that particular moment.  God makes us humble by showing us that even when we are qualified or overqualified it is still not our time.  One time I was playing football and played on the striking position and even when we won the games I was disappointed because I did not score.  After a while I understood that I was not the player who scored the goals, but rather the one who helped to score them.  One day without  wishing or thinking about it I scored and that day I understood that whether I could score or not I should just enjoy the game and forget about being the star.  Forcing circumstances in some cases instead of having some positive outcome make us depressed and disappointed with ourselves.  It is better to let things happen naturally and not force them to happen according to our will, but let God take the steering wheel of our lives. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Don Bosco Technical School in Makuyu, Kenya

I never thought the students at this school were trained like this until I got to this workshop.  If you look at the picture above, it reflects the truth work that is done at this workshop. The second picture shows my work of three days (right square) and their work at the equivalent number of days (left).  I worked for three days to get a piece of metal to be 4 cm square.  Cutting the metal and then filing the metal to be exactly 4 centimenters square.  I almost forgot to mention the name of this workshop, is the General Fitting.  Although I am only spending 2 weeks in each I feel that I have learned lessons for life.   Everything we have we should learn to appreciate and not take it for granted.  Although things seem very simple they take a lot of work and dedication to get them to be perfect.  The second time I tried to do something the picture below reflects the effort of 2 days.   I thank all those people who have contributed to make this mission possible.  God blesses us everyday with the gift of life and some many others things that we get and we do not appreciate. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Accompaniment Futbol Style

Today in the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity the technical school of Don Bosco played a soccer match against a local Teachers College team.  Without realizing it I found myself playing with them and encouraging them.  There is a player in our team that is very fast; however, the last 3 matches he missed many opportunities to score a goal.  I had a chance to approach him one of this past days and I talk to him and today he scored two goals.  We all have talents, its just that we need to find them and that somebody tells us that we can do it.  When we approach somebody else, lets do it with Love, because it is Love that can touch other hearts to listen.  We got a victory of 4-0 today and I laughed with them, and we all enjoyed it.  We are invited to wept with those that wept and to be glad with those that are glad.  Without thinking about it consciously Jesus acts in us when we let him live in our hearts.