A Missionary Family
By Donald Romero
My wife Cheryl and I are the parents of FMC missionary Samuel Romero. He and his wife Lindsey and their three children joined FMC in 2011.
We met the Summers family (founders of FMC) about twenty-five years ago here in Abbeville, LA when they were home on leave as lay missionaries from some foreign country. After renewing their ties with family and friends, they discerned God’s call to Mexico. That was when we really got to know them because they extended an invitation to anyone who wanted to visit them and we accepted.
We traveled to General Cepeda and stayed with them for a week. During that week we learned what a foreign missionary really was. They lived a simple life among the people they served, they ate simple food, they traveled in an old truck, they spoke Spanish, their children went to the local Mexican school, and they lived as the people they were evangelizing. That week changed my family forever. The Summers family and the Romero family have grown very close over the years. Their children and our children were in the same age groups and each time they came in from their mission post our friendship continued to grow.
In 2010 Sammy got his Masters degree from UL Lafayette and got a job as a counselor at the university. Lindsey was teaching there, too, and they were starting a family. They had worked hard and were well prepared to achieve the American dream.
Cheryl and I were caught off guard because never in our wildest dreams did we ever think our son would become a missionary. Despite our long-term friendship with the Summers family, we still believed – like most Catholics – that missions was for priests and nuns. I remember the day Sammy and Lindsey announced their decision to become missionaries – it was like a scene from a movie where the camera zoomed in and took a still shot! We had reservations like safety, health care, the children’s education, finances, etc. We wondered if they were wasting all the money they had invested in getting their education. However, we watched in wonderment as they answered God’s call by selling all their possessions in a garage sale in our front yard. Then, they faithfully attended the three-month “Intake” training at Big Woods Mission. After prayerful discernment by FMC leadership, they were assigned to a small town in the Philippine Islands. Before long, we had warmed up to the fact that our son and his family were going to be missionaries. Now we have three little “Mishomary” (Evie’s pronunciation) grandchildren: Evie (4), Anders (2), and Maggie Joy (8 months), and we are so proud of them!
For those of you who have children or family members who made the same decision as our children and you have reservations, please know that their call to missions by God will turn into wonderful miracles. The first miracle will be the smile of happiness on their faces (and yours!) that can come only from God!