Dad sported an epic beard before it was cool. He could whistle like a boss. He could identify tiny birds by a flash of a wing, play guitar and sing beautifully, and in a world of quickly tied neck ties, Dad only used a double Windsor knot! If Dad was interested in titles and honors, he could have put over a dozen letters behind his name from all of the degrees he had accumulated!
Now that my Papa has passed on, I think of all of the tiny little legacies that you leave for your loved ones when you’re gone. Here are some of the legacies I’ll remember when I think of him. My Papa wore checkered shirts and guayaberas. He kept a handkerchief in his shirt pocket and would wipe his grandkids’ faces when we were little.
On July 22nd, the mission trip of six adults left after being with us for nearly two weeks. The time we spent with them was very busy as well as very blessed. On the third day of the trip, Mallory, my dad, and I left with the mission trip and some of our host family to travel to a small village about 4 hours of mixed travel (plane and bus rides) away. Life there was simple but beautiful.
Even though Sarai found what many would consider a prestigious job as a high-end chef at a five-star hotel, she is only making 1200 colones per hour—which is equivalent to about $2.00 an hour.
Each week Ramon and Kring Leaño and their family host a children’s ministry event and feeding program. Recently they made a delicious and nutritious chicken porridge. Porridge, a simple meal that is easy to serve and eat, is very nourishing for the body.
We started dreaming up a plan to build a fitness center and a school of faith and art to inspire local kids to live better. Many of the local youth only get one or two meals a day, and these are often just rice, noodles, plantains, or yuca.
We urgently went to talk to the local parish priest about Johel’s situation, and he agreed to baptize him after we gave him the necessary baptismal preparation talks. Karen and I started going through the materials with Johel right away.
The mission trip participants, full-time missionaries, and local volunteers labored together to lay concrete floors in two homes and to beautify a chapel with a new coat of paint. They held prayer services in two pueblos, and did many home visits, talking with the locals and praying with them for their needs and intentions.
A few weekends ago, my husband noticed the movie Silence while browsing Amazon Prime. I remembered hearing about this 2016 film telling the story of Jesuit missionaries in Japan. It is directed by Martin Scorsese and listed a promising cast, so we decided to spend a Sunday afternoon watching it.
We were in the middle of praying the rosary when we heard a voice behind us call out, “Can you please talk to my daughter? I don’t want her to have an abortion!”
I was so sad I didn’t get any information about Telmita. I’d been praying that God would send me a friend during this transition, and I felt I had missed this opportunity.
I was angry and resentful, counting the ways this man “duped” us. It was another lesson of mercy. If I think about it, how many times do I call on God just to get what I want? And he still loves me just like Chris loves this guy.
God has worked powerfully through the Summers family and the missionaries who have served during these first 25 years of FMC! We pray for His blessing over the next 25.
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.
Raul, was a local butcher, who helped Genie when she came to the store to buy their family’s meat. Genie constantly invited him to come to their weekly prayer meetings, but Raul couldn’t be bothered. He worked hard to provide for his family, but he was not what you’d call a family man.
It was a wonderful affirmation to me of how important it is to reach out to the children in places like Taiwan who, by virtue of their age, tend to have more “fertile ears” and are more open to receiving the message. It was a beautiful day in so many ways. The kids even tried to help teach us how to play their instruments!
As a little girl, I could always tell when my mom had stubbed her toe. We would hear a crash from the other room followed by, “Praise you, Jesus!” Then, “I’m okay.” When I was learning the Ten Commandments, I asked her if that wasn’t using God’s name in vain? “No,” she answered decidedly. “I am choosing to praise God in my suffering. I really mean it.”