We recently experienced profound tragedy in the Kore garbage dump in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I had to ask myself, “How God can possibly bring good from this?” We are taught that God draws all things to Himself for good. But it is simply impossible to understand how the poorest people on the earth should have to grapple with such a tragic ending to young and innocent lives.
Blessed Charles de Foucauld once wrote, “Let us concern ourselves with those who lack everything, those of whom no one thinks. Let us be the friends of those who have no friends.”
International Samaritan did have concerns for those who died in the dump. We knew them. They were our friends; we knew them personally. They are representative of the thousands we serve in similar circumstances around the world.
The mysterious presence of Jesus Christ in these poor people creates a hunger in the soul that grows with each encounter. This tragedy is a hidden gift of the sacred mystery of God’s personal presence.
Our faith tells us that these innocent people are now with God, and their deaths can bring, and have brought, a deepening of spiritual life to those who come closer to God as a result of this tragedy.
Let us trust God’s wisdom and providence as we continue to serve the least of His people, and be served by them.
Yours in Christ,
Father Don Vettese, S.J.