We gave love and we received love

Ivana: I have been living this COVID-19 as one of the most beautiful experiences in my life. I normally work at a Centre for vulnerable people, however this centre had to close its doors when the pandemic reached Malta. I know our service users well and felt I could not abandon them so I volunteered to work from home. Food stuff and meals needed to be supplied and delivered to many families.

I immediately found the support of a number of NGOs offering the supplies that were mostly needed. Volunteers were also needed to distribute this food stuff all over the island. Friends of the Focolare and others offered their services. With Jesus in the midst, we found all the help I needed and everything worked like clockwork.

I was later approached by a well-known confectioner, who wanted to give packs of party food on Easter Sunday to 200 individuals. Again, because I believe that God works in His own ways, I knew I would find help and soon had nine volunteers willing to distribute this food.  This included my husband and my daughter, and some Focolare friends who formed part of an amazing group and truly delivered their love through each box and Easter egg that was given to every child.

Steph: When the Covid-19 Pandemic broke out, a number of members from my parish Community quickly got together to organize the help needed to distribute food to the elderly. I volunteered but I was never called as groceries started being delivered by the shopkeepers themselves. So when I got to know through Ivana that volunteers were needed to distribute food to people in need, I was glad to accept.  I felt I had to put my neighbour before everything else and go out of my comfort zone, my home.  I also wanted to live this special time of Lent joyfully and to the full. Thankfully, all went well on the day.  The people were so happy to receive their provisions.  I was then asked to distribute food again on Easter Sunday. The bags of food also had a prayer included giving thanks to God for all His goodness.  There were also big Easter eggs for the children.

All the necessary precautions were taken: distance was kept and hands were sanitised!  Once more I could see Christ in the eyes of the people we visited. The joy I experienced during this Sunday was really special.

When I returned home I found that my husband and my daughter prepared a marvellous Easter lunch, while my daughter’s boyfriend made sure that our garden looked all set for the occasion. I felt truly loved. I experienced the words of the Gospel:  “Give and it shall be given unto you”.

Julia: When I was asked if I could help to distribute food on Easter Sunday I  accepted straight away even though there were family relations who were slightly worried about me going to people’s homes in this pandemic.

On Easter Sunday, we went to in Valletta to put the food packs in our car. But  when we were ready to start our visits,  our car would not start. My first thought went to the families waiting for the food in their homes. I immediately entrusted everything to Him and together with my mother who was helping with the distribution, looked for a solution.  We phoned my father, who immediately left everything he was doing to come over to help.

Being Easter Sunday it was not easy to find a towing service. However, Dad is very creative in demonstrating His love. In fact a few minutes later a tow truck arrived and parked nearby. When we asked him for help, he offered to start the car.  In the mean time my Mum and I left to distribute the food, so as not to be late and we left dad with the broken down car.  It only took the tow truck driver a couple of minutes to restart the car and he did not want any kind of payment. It was a blessing for us to be receivers of his love

When we arrived home after our visits to the families, my father was already home.

This was a very special Easter Sunday.  I felt so good talking to the people we visited even though we had to keep a certain distance away from them.  I really felt great joy!

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