I knew he was just trying to manipulate us again. I had to protect my heart. I couldn’t possibly endure that pain and hurt again. My husband thought he deserved a second chance. I didn’t.
We first heard about Juanes Antiego through a friend who came by the house asking for food for a man whose “foot was bad.” Grabbing the last of the rice we had and my Combat Medical Kit, I hopped on my moto and drove the long ride to his house.
Lex is one of the boys that befriended us over seven months ago, the first week we were here. He loves to play with Gabriel and he looks up to Julianna as a big sister. We seldom see Lex with shoes on. He is always walking around barefoot, except when he goes to school. Here in Shimbillo, the students are under a strict dress code. They are to wear a school uniform which includes a tie and dress shoes.
On July 6, 2018, we received a call from the FMC missions coordinator informing us that the Summer School of Missionary Evangelism, which was to be held from July 12 to August 6 in Haiti, needed to be moved to a new location (if not canceled altogether) because of violent riots prevalent in that country. She asked if we would be willing to host the group.
Not long after we moved into Coopevega, I encountered the local pack of drunk men who were always wandering the streets. Daniel seemed to be the ring leader.
Last week, Jason and Jonathan went up to visit one of the farthest communities from us in Chonta Punta: Mango Playa, which means Mango Beach. They went up early in the morning with Fr. Freddy and two seminarians. It was a 15 min drive from Chonta Punta, then a 10 minute ride in a motor canoe. After that a 6 kilometer march through the jungle, up mountain sides and in the mud. They arrived bringing catechesis and songs to the community before Mass, while Father Fredy confessed people. After Mass the community blessed the five of them with – a monkey and blood stew!
It is a gift to be able to serve together and watch our girls growing into very sweet and generous little girls who are learning to love Jesus and each other.
Her mother was shot and killed in front of her when she was only six years old. Her father tried his best to raise her… …I will never forget the look on her face as she lifted up her sleeve to show me her pain that she has been dealing with in silence. Daniela began to pour her heart out and started explaining how she is just wanting to be loved and each time she tries she just gets hurt even more. She asked me how I was able to overcome the silence of cutting. She was so eager to know how Christ was able to love me more than any human on this earth could ever.
The answer is Jesus. Jesus knew this would happen and we trust in his providence. I won’t waste the precious time I have worrying. Instead, I choose to place all my hope on Jesus. I choose not to Google lymphoma. I choose to live for today. Who knows what tomorrow holds for anyone? But we have today. It is a present.
Best of all, we made memories together and heard the voice of God calling us to leave our riches and to comfort and serve his poor.
Recently I have gotten news of many sad, disturbing and devastating things happening in the lives of people who I have been privileged to know on this journey seeking after the Lord. Some really hard news, some really heartbreaking news…news that makes me question: where is God in all of this?
“STOP pushing the desk! How many times have I told you the SAME thing! Sit up straight and don’t lean against the table!” The plump, untidy little six-year-old gave me a shame-faced grin as she did every single time I corrected her which was probably every other minute of the thirty minutes I sat with her.
I found myself becoming a bit frustrated because, due to the insufficiency of my Spanish, I could not fully communicate what I wanted about the faith or Jesus or many of the topics we discussed. The Lord Jesus was forcing me to find simplicity in my words.
In our Pueblo, there is a group of middle aged/older women who are always blessing us with gifts and taking care of us—Miguel and I call them our “moms.” As they were coming in to the room, I quickly covered myself with a sheet (I had close to nothing on as I was burning up with fever). They took their turns reprimanding me for…
As I proceeded to describe why we have a prayer station at our clinic I said, “Jesús le importa sobre nuestras vidas y quiere ayudar.” Which means, “Jesus cares about our lives and he wants to help.” I could tell something flashed in her eyes, like a small little flicker of hope rose up for a moment.
As the week began, I wondered: is my faith deep enough to live the life of a missionary? Do I love the poor enough? Do I love Jesus enough to lay it all down: my career, house, activities, stuff for Him? Would I be willing to answer the door whenever someone knocks? Can I take having dirty feet all the time? Can I learn another language well enough to give people comfort and hope? Can I tolerate cold missionary showers… forever?!
María de Jesús introduced us to Cipriano, the ninety-something man who was taken in from an early age by the family across the street. They had hired him as their farm-hand and he apparently did that for the rest of his life. I was somewhat disturbed by how disproportionately large his hands were in relation to his body, as well as his unkempt, thick, inch-long fingernails.