Obed shared that he was ready to change. Unfortunately I didn’t believe him, but I gave him the opportunity to prove himself by inviting him to come to my house the next day and discuss it further.
When I first saw the land, I felt a bit discouraged. It was very overgrown with trees, bushes, tall grass, and brush everywhere. And there were cows and a horse living there. The spot he found for us to build was in a cow pasture! Well…at least the land would be leased to us free of charge, so I thought, let’s give it a try.
When the long-awaited time came to open the presents, I couldn’t help but smile at the loud, enthusiastic sounds of ripping wrapping paper and happy exclamations that filled our packed gazebo. I knew for some of those kids this would be the only Christmas present they received this year—or possibly any year.
Something important was missing. Home after home, I could not find it: not a crucifix, not a cross, not an image of Jesus was to be found. This is something we take for granted, that every Christian home has some holy image on their wall. Not here in Coopevega, Costa Rica. Thus, a ministry was born…
I heard the Lord’s gentle, persistent voice asking me to just let it go and give it back to Him. His ways are not our ways! I am so thankful that the Lord loves me enough to challenge me to remember where my worth and identity are really to be found—in His will!
Bishop Herrera said that the witness of a faith-filled family is the greatest gift missionaries can offer. What a relief and what a joy to hear that coming from the bishop. We are fulfilling our mission here simply by our yes to the Lord and our presence here at our mission post.
As a mother guiding my children as missionaries, I want to help my children claim ministries of their own. We were called as a family into missions, but not every member of my family feels passionate, excited, or gifted to be in foreign missions. For example, we get a lot of knocks at our door; the extroverts excitedly answer, while the introverts are more hesitant.
These past months have not turned out as we had imagined they would. Many of our visitors were unable to come due to borders closing, mission trips were cancelled, ministries were prohibited to continue. Even so, God is at work in our lives and the lives of those around us.
Starting ministry in a new mission post takes time to build relationships, determine where the needs are, and find how our family can best serve. We were just beginning to discover some of this when the stay-at-home order hit, preventing us from meeting anyone else.
We were visiting the States without a home, without a vehicle, and without a lot of money. We were not sure how it was going to work out. A family of seven takes up a lot of space in a home, eats a lot of food, and requires a large vehicle.
Early on into our time in Peru, I heard about this youth receiving her Sacrament of Confirmation, and that youth her Baptism, and yet another who would be receiving all three of the initiation Sacraments. But I never heard about any classes to teach what the Sacraments were. A man who was supposedly the Catechist told me formation was happening every Sunday. Sundays came and went, and I never observed any classes. Four months had passed: it was time to get to the bottom of this Faith Formation mystery.
We have been in Peru for 2 1/2 weeks. We have had a lot to process as life here is very different from our life in Minnesota. Our children want to share some of their perspectives with you!