My name is Erwin,Iím29,I was born in El Salvador and when I was about one a French family adopted me. Iím still alive thanks to the love of a mother and father who wished, welcomed and loved me . When I was little I had everything but when my sister was born I became jealous and I was afraid to be put aside, since she was not adopted. I was afraid to be abandoned. At school I managed to be different from the other kids. I really got lost at the high school where ,like the others, I tried to look for my personality in music, fashion, friends, sportÖ.The first emotional disillusionments made me lose confidence and it was really hard for me to get on with other people :I spoke little and I retired into myself; I was unable to share the burdens I bore inside .Together with my family we tried to find solutions ,but with no success. I started to be aggressive and everybody feared me and suffered a lot. After a very hard row with my father they took me to a mental hospital where I became addicted like many other youth there. I quitted drugs many times but I always started again because I didnít really want to change. In my heart I felt the desire to live for something deep and true but it was impossible for me to reach it. I always felt the presence of someone and something great inside me, but I refused to call this God. Then I had no choice : I felt defeated because everything was crumbling to pieces. The voice of my conscience was crying inside and I could not shut it up. When my father took me to Medugorje he hugged me and said: ĒI love you ,my son and I will commit you to Our Lady.Ē
That day I could not understand ,but now Iím sure that Mary guided my walk.
At the beginning I felt lost and sad, but thanks to my ďGuardian AngelĒ ,the boy who helped me to move my first steps, I started to look inside myself realizing I really needed help. To me it seemed impossible to become like those boys around me who worked and smiled. One day, early in the morning we went up the Podbrdo , the apparitions hill, and at the end of the Rosary we started to sing ďSalve ReginaĒ; in that very moment I started to cry a lot, I didnít know why and I tried to hide from the others. Today I understand that Mary made my heart rid of a lot of sadness and made me feel there was hope of a new life for me too.
Thanks to the light that prayer brought me and to true friendship little by little I became confident in myself and the others. In the Community I have learnt to work, pray, suffer and fight day by day. Iím also learning to know myself thanks to the true words of the brothers who live with me, they are the mirror of my conscience. The daily prayer gives me the strength to start again, always committing my life to God. Iím learning to accept my poverties, to fight against my pride and to make my temper better as far as I can. I stayed in the Community because I see the fruit of what I live and do. Today Iím happy and I feel alive.
Iím sure that without my familyís prayers I wouldnít have stayed.
As time went by I felt I wanted to donate myself to the others more ,I wanted to turn my life into something useful and beautiful for the future of the Community. Iím aware that many wounds still have to be healed , so day by day Iím learning to commit myself more and more to Jesus, the only one able to perform this miracle. He is giving me the courage to fight to became a new man and every day I realize I need Him more and more to feel well.
I thank Mother Elvira and all the brothers who have helped me so far: looking at my life I can really say loud that God, through the Community, performs miracles!