I went to 2 WYDs: Rio and Kraków. As a Venezuelan, due to the socio-political reality of the country, going to WYD is quite a journey, almost an impossible mission. However, God does not let himself be outdone in generosity. In Kraków, I lived an experience that left a before and an after in my life. After all the difficulties of the world to be able to arrive, I began to feel homesick because my young people, for whom I live and devote my life, could not be there. I felt guilty for being on "a trip" while my people die of hunger. At the beginning of WYD, this conflict arose in me.
But Kraków, a land of saints, managed to give me a lesson that I keep in my heart. A country devastated by World War II, destroyed by Nazi hatred, rose and now is a land of grace. A land of great saints and martyrs, a land of lovers of Jesus, land of a people who, in God, rose up to build the Civilization of Love.
It was in the people, in so many young people who invaded Poland, in the bishops who catechized, in the host families, in all those who, on seeing me with the Venezuelan flag, offered me a hug of solidarity and love, filling me with hope, allowing me to feel the sweet love of my God who cried out: you are not alone; the world prays for you! I discovered that in the desert, one experiences the breeze of God, that in difficult times the best saints shine. WYD in Kraków filled me with the purest hope of returning to my country and working to give Jesus to a desperate people, of carrying that fire that ignites other fires. Today I am on a vocational journey with the Society of Jesus to give myself radically to God's work for my country, dying to give life, a vocation that began thanks to World Youth Day.
Andersson Mavares, Venezuela