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.
It is a beautiful mystery that our Lord so sought solidarity with man that He left his heavenly realm to be a man. This time in Costa Rica and these three families have helped us begin to understand this beautiful mystery of God’s love for us, a love so great that He lived and continues to live in solidarity with man.
This is Madam Eliana. She has been a dear friend of the FMC missionaries in L’Asile, Haiti for years now, and is just as eager to spend time with us new missionaries as she is to share stories about those from three years ago. On our visits to her humble Haitian home, we sit on the front porch, the place she often chooses to sleep because she prefers the cool air and solid ground to the bed inside the dark front room.
Olivia and the other missionaries serving with her visited this pueblo and faced such great resistance and indifference from the people. She would often describe it as a “heavy” place. We later discovered that a very famous witchdoctor lived and worked there. People came from all over to be cured by her or to receive a spell. No wonder the place feels like such a heavy stronghold of the Enemy.
During our missionary training, when referring to the way missionaries are called to bring God into ordinary life, someone jokingly coined the phrase “gettin’ awkward for Jesus.” This describes the missionary attitude: sharing the love of Jesus whenever, wherever, and with whomever – even at the expense of one’s social standing.
I know by accepting His call to become a missionary, I gave the Lord permission to push and pull and stretch me beyond my deepest imaginings, and there’s no way I could escape from that unscathed. I had to allow myself to recognize my faults, to see where I lacked knowledge and wisdom in things I had never dealt with.
When I joined FMC in 2013, my biggest struggle was the first-year “no dating” commitment. I had just ended a five-year relationship with the man I planned to marry. When the Lord called me to become a missionary, He asked me to abandon what I had planned for myself, to follow His plans. I said yes and let go.
“In Christ Jesus you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” – Ephesians 2:22 I’m a huge fan of the show Fixer Upper: the sweetness of the Gaines couple, the beauty of the re-creations they make, and the immediate gratification when all their work is easily summed up in 45 simple minutes! So,…
When my husband Rich embraced Jesus’ invitation to serve as FMC’s Director of Development, we knew that would inevitably result in our being stationed stateside at Big Woods Mission. What we didn’t know were the particular ways in which God would draw us deeper as missionaries here on home turf, or should I say, within our very own home itself?
Every year during Benedictine College’s mission trip to the Philippines, FMC hosts a medical clinic for inmates at the Malaybalay City Jail. On Benedictine’s most recent trip, we were separated into teams: checking vitals, diagnosing, giving medicine, and praying over the inmates. I was on the prayer team.
“Wan fu Maliya…” I tried my best to follow along with the rosary, but the prayers in this foreign Asian language were twisting and tangling in my mouth. Moving the beads in my hands, I looked at the faces of the people following us with their eyes. Our group was not something seen in this big Asian city every day: priests,…