When I sat down next to one of the men somebody sneered, “Don’t give him any money. He’ll just use it for drugs!” My heart sank. All these people were just in church professing their love for Jesus, who of course loves the poor. All these people call themselves Christians, and claim to follow Christ…and yet….
I thank God for moving in the hearts of our team members who rejected the lie that during this time of quarantine they can’t do anything to help others. I thank God for inspiring us to coordinate the Christmas Rosary Giveaway event and also for our amazing missionary friends who were willing to help make this day such a success.
The Holy Spirit inspired us to give away crucifixes as tangible expressions of Jesus’ love for us. We searched and searched, and eventually found a little shop in a faraway town that sells religious items.
“Oh, there are many suffering. Where do we begin?” After discussing several options we agreed to start with a nearby orphanage where a small group of nuns care for 81 kids who were born HIV+.
Karen Carmody tells the story of her family putting on a retreat for young people in their diocese in Kenya. Lots of photos and videos!
Karen Carmody recounts a trip through the slums of Nairobi and into an orphanage run by nuns. A story told in words, pictures, and videos.
Fr. Bernard began in English but quickly switched to Kimeru, the tribal language of Meru, so that everyone could understand – everyone except for us, that is. I haven’t a clue what Father said, but I assume it was beautiful because the people’s eyes twinkled in a very special way.
By carefully assessing our capacities and making calculated decisions based on our available resources, we leave God zero room to reveal His majesty.
A teacher at the high school predicted widespread influence if Kennedy actually changes. “He’s a leader,” she explained, “other kids want to do what he’s doing. If you can get him to stop using and selling drugs it would change our whole school.”
As of a few years ago the folks in our town could only receive Jesus when a missionary priest was visiting. Historically, some pueblos in our region have been blessed to see a priest several times a year, while others have had to wait years between visits. In addition to the shortage of priests, there were neither missionaries nor qualified laity able to distribute communion.
Jose and Fernando stole from us every chance they got. They constantly climbed all over our van, played inside and left the lights on, which drained our battery. They would tell us that they were hungry and then throw the food we gave them on the ground. Although we felt sorry for these kids, our desire to help them was skewed by the irritation that welled within us when they came around.
Despite the assortment of hardships, there is one thing that remains consistent: WE NEVER GIVE ANYONE MONEY. When someone needs a new steel roof panel, we go to the hardware store and buy it with them. When a kid needs crayons and pencils for school, we head to another shop in town. So far, this probably all sounds pretty straight forward, and it is… until the Holy Spirit asks us to break the rules.
On a Saturday afternoon, we received a phone call from our friend Andy, a fellow FMC missionary here in Peru. He’d just been informed of Karina’s biopsy results, which indicated her recently diagnosed and untreated cancer was so advanced that she had only two weeks to live, at best.
I was completely overwhelmed with emotion and could do nothing more than remain kneeling with my head buried in my hands. “What is wrong?” I kept asking myself. As I left the church my mind raced as I sobbed and sobbed.
I realized that sometimes I just can’t handle it: the frequency of death, the abusive relationships, the prostitution and drug abuse, the neglected and abandoned kids.
In the book of Romans, St. Paul says, “Afflictions produce endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.”