December 2021 newsletter
Kathy Bond and Flávio Rocha, Brazil
Warm greetings from João Pessoa, where the tropical sun greets us at 5 a.m. every morning. As 2021 comes to an end, it seems appropriate that we will facilitate our last retreat of the year at AFYA Holistic Center on the theme of gratitude. Despite the pain of a broken world, exacerbated in many ways by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still so much to be thankful for as we celebrate hope and anticipation in the Advent season.
I am thankful for the opportunity to study and expand my ministries over the past year. One highlight was taking a 30-hour online course focusing on Accessible Yoga. Movement, conscious breathing and meditation brings so many health benefits, both physical and emotional, to our lives. My niche is opening up spaces for Yoga to be more accessible to all people independent of their age, flexibility level, economic resources and/or ability.
A wonderful part of my week is teaching bilingual Chair Yoga at AFYA Holistic Center in-person and online. Using a chair in the class provides a stability that can be an asset for the elderly and/or people who have experienced trauma.
Yoga can be practiced anywhere, and I focus on giving classes in neighborhoods that do not have many offerings and outdoors in historical landmarks. One of my favorite places for a sunset class overlooking a river is a nearby abandoned fort that is now administered by an NGO (see top photo).
2021 was not an easy year. The pandemic affected so many of us economically and emotionally. Being a Family Constellation therapist, I did many sessions with people online during the months in isolation. Slowly I am going back to in-person ministries with Theater of the Oppressed, but some of the projects are still closed due to COVID-19. I facilitated anti-racism workshops in November, which is Black Consciousness Month here in Brazil.
Kathy and I also have been giving monthly retreats on different themes connecting our daily lives and spirituality. We both really enjoy giving these day-long retreats, especially at this time when so many people are searching for ways to connect and reconnect.
Maya is finishing her junior year in December. She is hoping to go to college in the States in 2023, so next year will be full of activities in preparation for her big transition.
In closing, we would like to share this wind-swept video of us in front of our home in João Pessoa: tinyurl.com/kathy-flavio.
Christmas blessings for one and all!
Thank you for your friendship and support,
Flavio, Kathy and Maya
We are so grateful for your continuing support of our ministry. During this season of giving, we would like to urge you to consider making a special gift to Maryknoll Lay Missioners’ “Walk With Us” campaign. This new campaign raises money for the recruitment, training and ongoing support of all of us lay missioners. We can only “walk with” the people here because you are “walking with” us.
A group of donors has already pledged to match the dollars raised by this campaign 2-to-1. That means that every $100 given to the campaign in effect becomes $150. This campaign will ensure that Maryknoll Lay Missioners will be able to continue to send and to support missioners like me in the years to come. Please pray for the success of this campaign and if you can, please donate at the “Walk With Us” button below.
Happy Holidays, everyone! Thanks for supporting Maryknoll Lay Missioners.
In California, social life is very limited due to covid. Cases are on the rise. Allison and I are healthy. Enjoy a blessed Christmas. John K