Climbing the Mountain of Hope by Celia Ortega

‘Climbing the Mountain of Hope’ provided me with an opportunity to visit Lacub a second time. And I enjoyed the second visit as much as the first! In your book you not only climb the mountain yourself, you are at the same time a perfect guide.

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In fact I often felt taken by the hand and being shown so many things that I would not have seen or discovered on my own! You made this common climbing very interesting by your keen observation of the “ordinary” things. I had the feeling that you have a passion for the beauty of the ordinary! And everything seems to be speaking to you.

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In fact, I thought, maybe your physical disability to hear makes you attentive to the “sheer sound of silence” (Martin Buber’s translation of 1 Kings 19,12). Thus you discover not only beauty, but also wisdom – of your people, of your culture. And you share your deep insights unobtrusively,sometimes almost in passing! Something else struck me: your interest and your appreciation of people.

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Your book is an illustration of the famous saying of the same Martin Buber, the Jewish philosopher and theologian: “All true life is an encounter”…You seem to see your life as a beautiful carpet woven out of the colorful threads of so many people. Among them also the Divine Word Missionaries! Yes, your book is a great tribute to many of your confreres who have brought Christianity to the mountains, but at the same time who have brought out of you what is best in you, your people and your culture….”

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