"Faith and Light" community in Mukachevo

1 135x101 images stories kepek-2012 01 hf-3Everybody, even the most disabled also have been invited to be a source of joy and peace for the community, for the Church and all humanity. The "Faith and Light" - an international movement of Christian communities, which brings together the handicapped people, their parents and their supporters. In such communities the mentally handicapped get the opportunity to love and to be loved, to share the richness of their hearts, their directness, simplicity, and their loyalty.

The parents get support and friendship, they can open their children's inner beauty and gifts. The young helpers can learn about the different values of life through the friendship with the disabled people, they can discover the true meaning of life, and they can learn to see the world through the eyes of love. So in the community we call the handicapped "our friends".

The "Faith and Light" community in Mukachevo started two years ago, now 9 families and 5 helpers belongs to us. Usually we have meetings once a month where we celebrate, pray, read the Bible together, share our joys and difficulties, we support each other growing in friendship, in faith and in love. Sometimes, we invite priests to the meetings to spend the time here and to talk together. Their presence is important for all the members of the community, he is a supporter for the parents as well as for the helpers. We have many happy moments together. Milochka, one friend of ours, for example, calls the priests "our father". Our friends are always waiting the meetings with great enthusiasm. Livia, another member of our community always asks our helper: "When are we going to Eva's school again?" (Eva is one of the helpers). There have been big changes in the life of our friends since the start of our community, our friends have become more open, they laugh more often , and Livia, who was once afraid of everyone and we never heard her to speak, now often laughs and speaks.

The community of Mukachevo attended two summer camps in Antalivci (Uzhhorod district) and in Bushtino (Thyachiv district), where we met the members of Faith and Light communities from Thyachiv, from Khust, from Uzhgorod and from Lviv. In 2010 we took part in the national Faith and Light meeting, which was held in the monastery of Kochavino (Lviv county). More than 30 Ukrainian communities were present at this meeting.

We took part in more retreats, which were organized for the helpers and for the parents and friends . These retreats were valuable for all of us, because we met and got acquainted with other Ukrainian communities, gained experience, we got richer with spiritual food, and we can even better understand the essence of the Faith and Light community.

In the summer of 2011 we traveled to Hungary, where we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Hungarian Faith and Light community. A family traveled to Poland, where Polish and Ukrainian communities took part in the ceremony of celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Faith and Light community in the world.

There is a meeting in our community called "fourth time", the purpose of which is to meet each other outside of regural meetings. It means that during this time we go out for a coffee together, celebrate birthdays, we participate in Holy Mass, we have dance events, where we organize competitions, in the Len time we can walk together the way of Christ . Our friends especially enjoy the festivities, they can really teach us how to be truly happy and have a good time. The helpers are usually coming to Faith and Light community with the aim of doing something good, and to help their friends, but in fact we are those, who get joy, freedom, beauty, simplicity and faith in friendship.

Dear youth! If someone is interested in the Faith and Light community, if you want to be volunteers or helpers, or want to help our brothers and sisters in any other way, please, call the following telephone number: +380972891919.

Kornelia Deak, helper of the Faith and Light community from Mukachevo

My daughter is 29 years old, she has Down syndrome. As usually all parents, who are raising disabled children, I also experienced indifference from the side of the state and society to the problems of the families, where there are disabled children. Two years ago, my daughter and I received an invitation to the newly created "Faith and Light" community. We were among the first members of this family. What has happened during this time? We, the parents realized that we are not unhappy at all, our children are actually harbingers of joy and love, their pure and sinless soul strengthens our faith in God. Christ is always with us, He loves us, and the most important: He teaches us how to love. The community is like a real family, we talk to our friends, helpers and leaders of communities from other regions. My daughter is always eagerly waiting the time to go to "school" (she calls the community in this way). And the trip to Poland, the Holy Mass in the church of Chestohowa - it was a miracle itself! ... We hope that there will soon open a workshop in Mukachevo too, where children will be able to do something useful, to pray, to be in a community, and parents will be able to solve family problems.

Halina, Mukachevo