It is not only in Baños—or any foreign city—that God calls people to holy encounters. There are amigos in the Holy Spirit awaiting us wherever we are. As we approach the great celebration of Pentecost, let us ask the Holy Spirit if there is someone one our path He might be calling us to befriend this week. Who might be needing a word of encouragement and prayers, or just someone to remind them that they are seen?
Jonathan and his boys scouting troop – “Caballeros de San Jose” or “Knights of St. Joseph” – leave the jungle and enjoy a fun day in a big city. “With a population at around 45,000, it would be the largest city the majority of them had ever visited. What I experienced on that day I will never forget and I suspect neither will the boys.”
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.
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!
Sometimes I ask myself why we are still here. Yesterday I was praying my rosary and asking God what He was doing. Our time here in Ecuador has been far from easy. I have rarely encountered so many obstacles in such a small span of time. Every step forward is hard and slow. People (including our pastor) do not fully understand why we are here.