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Italy - "I pray that this evening we will save you". Touching testimony of Cameroon migrant

23 April 2019

(ANS - Santeramo in Colle) - A Saturday afternoon, a game of football ... It seems like an ordinary day at the oratory of Santeramo in Colle, not far from Bari. But there is a team of boys never seen before, with a colored uniform they are proud of: they come from Cameroon and have something to share. After the match, organized by the local Polisportiva Giovanile Salesiana – PGS - the Salesian Youth Sports association, and the oratory's missionary group, with the collaboration of the parish of Sacro Cuore, the Cameroon youths donated a piece of their story and history to the whole community.

The youths of Cameroon risked everything they had, left their land "when the sea seemed safer than the earth" and now they are here, open to dialogue. It was not difficult: it took just one ball, a match, a chat. The beauty of hospitality, as one of the boys from Cameroon pointed out, is that it becomes such only when it is two-way: welcoming means opening up to the other and letting the other open up to you.

This is what one of these young men welcomed to Santeramo said, leaving everyone speechless, with his testimony: "It's scary not to have a rock to cling to. I know what it means to cross the sea, crushed on a boat or on a rubber raft, between the tears and children and the screams of mothers. Among the waves that push you into the water with death in your heart knowing that no one is waiting for you and that you cannot go back.

I also know what it means to be saved and welcomed, but not everyone has been lucky like me, like us. And those bodies on the beach, in the sea, I will never be able to tear them from my heart and eyes.

I pray that tonight it is we who save you, because God has given His only son to save all of us, and you, because we are His family. His family is all of us, the whole world without borders, without hatred without rancor and without division. Because Jesus is the love on which we must found our lives, our homes and our families. Thank you."

During the testimony there were people of all ages, completely different from each other, but all animated by curiosity and the certainty that there is something beyond numbers and news. Behind these young people there is really a world to discover and it was nice to have the chance to explore a part of it.

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