New Life at Sixty
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.
Sacraments, Concrete Floors, and Lives Changed
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.
Movie Review: Silence
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.
Change of Heart
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!”
A Missed Opportunity and a New Friend
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.
A Lesson on Mercy
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.
Celebrating 25 Years of Mission
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.
Long-Lasting Fruits of the Mission
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.
The Sweet Sound of the Good News
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.”
Do Not Say, “I Am Only a Child”
I love St. Patrick’s Day. He really inspires me. I am always awed by his story: to be kidnapped and enslaved, then escape, become a priest, and return as a missionary. He must have had some PTSD from his capture during which he endured many lonely years, probably abuse, and hardships of many other kinds.
A Bike Track in a Cow Pasture
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.
More Than Just a Handout
In an effort to assist the poor in a sustainable way, several missionaries have helped those in need to build their own sources of income. Starting a business can be a slow and patient process, but it’s also fairly straightforward and common in many of the countries in which we serve. People simply need some starting cash, perhaps a little training and guidance, and a good dose of encouragement.
When God Plans the Party
Our friend Eliomar had prepared a reflection which included two gifts—one wrapped like garbage and scribbled on, and the other wrapped beautifully with glittery ribbon. He asked two kid volunteers which one they wanted, and they both chose the beautiful one. He gave them the gifts and asked them to open them. Inside the beautiful one were nasty old fruit peels and garbage. Inside the scribbled package were chocolate and candy.
Hospitality: The School of Encounter
In one of our local tribal languages, Kichwa, the word for a stranger is “chikan” meaning “separated.” The meaning becomes especially relevant when we consider that the Church is asking all of us missionary-disciples to build “bridges that foster a culture of encounter.”
Celebrating the One Who Brings Hope
Each family that we visited had a uniquely devastating story. There is a man named Marco who for decades supported his family as a woodworker. In 2021, everything came to a grinding halt when Marco suffered a debilitating stroke.
Jesus Is Born: A Coopevega Christmas
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.