Posted March 31, 2010
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¡Hola mis hermanos!
It is a time to rejoice and be glad for what the Lord has done! I'm back from an awesome week spent at the Family Missions Company (FMC) house in General Cepeda, Mexico. We left campus at 3:10 on Saturday morning and were in Mexico by 12:30pm that day. Three Franciscan alumni who graduated in '08 and '09 are permanent missionaries with FMC now and were at the airport to greet us. It was a delight to see them, and take our first drive through the desert among the numerous mountains! When we arrived at the mission house, our first action was to kiss the ground out of gratitude for the Lord bringing us here. We then entered the house and unloaded, and went out immediately to see the town and play with the children on an enormous double-slide in the middle of the town. Kids were quick to play with us and it was easy to make friends. Work projects began on Monday morning, and included painting houses, building roofs, demolishing walls, evangelization, and bringing food to the poor and homebound.
As important as our work projects were in the morning, the trip culminated in our visits to ranchos in the evening. We broke into two teams of 12, and drove out to small communities an hour or so away from the city. We walked door to door as the sun was setting (my favorite time of day in Mexico), inviting people to come pray with us at the chapel. Then we sang songs, either gave a teaching or had Mass, and offered to pray over the people. So many women expressed a great need for the Lord to bless their families, husbands, and children. There is so much need, and yet so much faith in the people of Mexico. Thank you, Jesus!
Early on in the trip, I resolved to walk with the Lord as a child, realizing I might take myself too seriously on mission. As the week went on, I was met with opportunity after opportunity to serve the Lord or myself. And one thing I learned is how a community of prayerful people with a common goal can do so much to help you forget yourself and serve the Lord. So many of my team-members set a high example for me, and each member brought his or her unique gifts. Some translated homilies and testimonies; others jumped to pray over people whenever they got the chance; others gave teachings on love and on the Holy Spirit; others still played music, alternately in Spanish and English.
On this trip I learned that the Holy Spirit wills to work through our weaknesses. When we realize our weaknesses, we ought not stay there, but trust in the strength of the Lord. This is joy. What is there to say about our time there, but that we were filled with joy! Love for the people drove missionaries to reach out of themselves again and again. Love creates courage, stretching easily over doubts and fears.
Mexico Mission 2010 is done! How is that even possible? Its been so long in the coming, that its hard to believe its behind us now. The most difficult part is that I left part of my heart there. But its time to return and give my all to my studies for the next month and a half. Lord, may the missionary heart and peace I found in Mexico stay on fire back here! There is so much to be done, the harvest is so plentiful!
Thank you, Jesus, for my time in Mexico. You are an incredible God.
I love this time, nearing the end of Lent, when the whole Church is yearning for Holy Week. My friends, I pray your final preparations for Easter are fruitful!