Experiments · Jesuit life

Notre Pere…

Can you please pray with this sick man? O yes in French please…

Last week I visited sick people together with two JRS nurses. For my three months experiment I’m living in Johannesburg and helping with JRS here. One of the great things of working for JRS is that you meet many people. In the room of a Congolese family I met the sick father of the family.

While everyone was busy talking in French and Zulu about medical details and I was just listening and trying not to look to stupid, they turned to me and asked me if I could pray for them …. in  French…

Though I’m following French lessons in preparation for further studies in Paris, this was a bit difficult, but what can you do? I was quite touched by the request.  So I stammered a few French phrases and start praying the Our Father in French. So I happily the others dropped in with the Notre Pere, because I knew only the first lines. But it was beautiful to pray with them, even in another language.


The work with JRS offers an insight in the lives and the many, many difficulties of refugees in South Africa. The courage of people to continue their struggle of building up a life in a new country without giving up hope is impressive. Sometimes you hear heartbreaking, shocking stories and other times heartwarming stories. One of the examples in which JRS could help was with the family of Succes.

SuccBastiaan with Succeses is the name of a lovely baby. He is the youngest of a family we visited recently. The family is assisted by JRS. A donor is paying for their rent and JRS helped the mother to set up a small business. It was good to be received by such a nice and hospitable family. And than to think that this family of more than six people till recently was sleeping in the streets
So Johannesburg and the work with JRS is very good and I’m quite happy that the French lessons are already useful!


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