Our Mission trip has drawn to a close. All these people that came together to fulfill a mission, to complete the promises that they made to themselves and the team have become scattered to different parishes, different homes, and different areas of the city. We were all anxious to get back home, but carried the memories of a job well done. When asked this morning at church to describe our mission, no words can explain it. I tried to convey some of the inspiration I felt from other members of the team, from the Guatemalan people, from our priest and deacons, but how do you sum up in words the emotions that we experienced. We had a roller coaster ride from the highs of the laughter, singing and playing of the school children to the home visits that touched our hearts and brought tears, to the hospital visit to the patients with so many disabilities. Our songs that I tried so hard to learn have played over and over in my head today. Go Make a Difference. You Can Make a Difference. Go Make a Difference in the World. I don’t know if the difference is an overwhelming difference in Guatemala, but this mission trip did make a difference to me and my view of the world. At the beginning we started this journey as a Mission Team with little knowledge of each other, but we ended the mission as a family, a family that shared a dream and came together to fulfill it. Notes from Ann
In today’s homily, the priest spoke about love and mercy. The message I take for this mission is that love and mercy are more important than the law.
In the name of the 2013 mission trip team, thank you very much for your support and especially your prayers!
En la misa de hoy el padre hablo del amor y la misericordia. El mensaje que me llevo de esta misión es que el amor y la misericordia son más importantes que la ley.
En nombre de todo el equipo de la misión del 2013, muchísimas gracias por todo su apoyo y especialmente sus oraciones. :0)
– God Bless,
Wednesday was an awesome day, we visited a new school and did home visits. The kids were very affectionate and playful. Our bonding moment was when we played sports. The pavilion (blacktop) was crowded with kids, missionaries and teachers playing jump rope, basketball, soccer and jacks. We were both surprised and excited when one of the teachers played English music and when he played “Señor Sol” over and over and over and over again (seriously! He put the song on repeat!) :0) Once again we had the opportunity to do home visits; my group was humbled when the elderly woman we were hoping to share the Holy Eucharist, the prayer blanket and other supplies with her, blessed US! She was so grateful and blessed us from her heart and soul. Her action and words were so moving that most, if not all of us were brought to tears.
El miércoles fue un día hermoso. Visitamos una nueva escuela y una vez más, visitamos a unos enfermos. Los niños fueron tan cariñosos y juguetones. El momento más especial fue cuando el pabellón estaba a reventar con niños, misioneros y maestros jugando baloncesto, futbol, brinca cuerda y discos volador, ¡todo a la misma vez! Después hicimos visitas a domicilio, visitamos con una señora enferma. El diacono Pedro le dio la Santa Comunión y también se le entrego una cobijita y unos víveres. ¡Lo más conmovedor fue cuando ella nos dio una bendición a nosotros! Ella estaba tan agradecida y nos bendijo con todo su corazón y espíritu. Su acción fue tal que a muchos nos hizo llorar.
– God Bless,
Before I begin today’s blog, I have to spend just a few sentences on our home visit yesterday. In that visit we all said a prayer in a small enclosed adobe type bedroom for a woman suffering and bedridden with an unknown illness, and her family has no money to seek medical attention. Deacon Bill gave here communion. Leaving her enclosed room, we were all filled with sadness and most of us in tears. Deacon Bill stopped us by a stream and read the 23rd Psalm again and asked us to think about this psalm in this verdant pasture with a rolling stream. Jesus is our pastor even throughout our pain and suffering which we all know is a part of life. We all know that pain and suffering just like joy and laughter are a part of life, and Deacon Bill gave us that feeling of a quiet peace.
Casa Hogar today was a place of peace for the elderly. How do I paint a word picture of this wonderful place- smiles, hugs, laughter were given and received with our songs and dancing. Daisies, asters, coral honeysuckle, I could go on and on just with the flowers tended by the occupants. Missionaries wheeling men and women to church or helping them walk reminded me of Lourdes. So much love was demonstrated by caring touches, blessed prayer blankets, a melodic Mass, and lastly anointing of the sick with the help of the missionaries opening hands and laying on their hands. I really felt we were the hands and feet of Jesus administering to His loving people “”under the yoke of love we will find rest.” We missionaries were then blessed to receive the sacrament also.
Afterwards Marco kept telling us it was time to go- just one more handshake, one more hug, one more wish of “vaya con Dio”, one more moment to feel their love for us! Notes by Ann
Greetings and Salutations fellow missionaries,
A few years ago I was asked to write an entry for the blog and it just so happens that I was asked yet again to do it around the same time when we visit the elderly at the home. One of the most interesting things about visiting the elderly is interacting with the existential reality that we are all going to be in the same place soon. There will be a time when we will feel useless and we return to a more primitive stage in our life in which we will not be able to do even the most basic human actions. During the war here in 1996 many of the family members of the elderly died and when the Hogar was established, the chapel has some of the remains of the people built into the walls. This was done so that when they would pray the would be joined by those who had died. The Bishop of this local diocese called Quiche a land of the martyrs and the Mayan people still thirst for God and all who have died in the pursuit of justice. Thank you all for covering us in prayer, please be assured of our prayers for you aswell. Maltiosh amigos!
– Luis Garcia
What a life experience I am on right now! I am missioning with the most awesome team I can ever imagine to be here in Guatemala. We are constantly busy with schools, churches, hospitals, and home visits. Words cannot convey all the emotions I have been experiencing—this is truly the most fulfilling, humbling and loving past few days for me! And we are just halfway through the week. I know that I have seen Jesus in every person I have encountered. Language, for me, makes no difference. The simplest, most loving people here have given so much to each of us; they are so grateful to us and in return make us feel so blessed and special. The beautiful smiles and loving hugs from all the children make me remember we are all children of God and He loves each and every one of us always. Thank each of you for all of your prayers and continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
Many blessings and much love!
El día de hoy fue muy hermoso. No solo porque pasamos un lindo día con los niños de la Aldea de Lemoa, sino que también porque fuimos a visitar a unos enfermos en sus casas. Aunque estaban sufriendo por estar enfermos no dejaban de agradecer nuestra presencia.
– Tania G.
Aunque extrañó mucho a mi mama, estoy aprendiendo mucho y estoy muy bien.
Chairs, chairs, chairs, benches, desks with chairs on heads, in hands, or shoulders quietly being carried by students – the very young up to 6th graders- into the auditorium for our youth rally. The superintendent welcomed us, and a young boy inspired us with a beautiful song. After the first skit, our Jesus was mobbed by children eager for hugs, such a touching scene and Serafin whispered to them about Jesus and how He loved them. Our crafts turned out so cute and the missionaries had such fun interacting with the youngsters. At Mass Deacon Bill spoke of giving your total self and not to run out of “flour and oil” but to keep getting refilled and giving of yourself. Give and God will fill you up. That has been so true on this journey because we are giving but we are receiving so much more. The missionaries, Lisa, Woody, Ebony, Rebecca, Yesenia, Jose, Dylan, Luis Gonzales, Ralph, our driver Marco, and I , we called our bus the “fun bus”. We “pushed” our bus all the way back to the hotel by pushing on the seats with exaggerated gestures when our van had to tackle those steep hills in first gear, so we could make it up the hill. At Nueva Vista, a rehab community, our vibrant excitement was our way of taking Jesus to the people. Visiting their small chapel was so calming, and how appropriate to have the small tabernacle in an stylized ear of corn. With our music and songs we gradually saw smiles on some faces. Raising 4,000 chicken, seeing all those eggs, and picturing the community as self sufficient was mind blowing! Notes from Ann
¡Wow! ¿Qué les puedo decir de la Aldea Chajbal? El recibimiento que nos dieron, el amor que nos demostraron, era como ver y sentir el amor de Jesús. Los niños son tan amorosos, cariños y agradecidos… Al principio los niños tenían pena y no se atrevían a acercarse a nosotros. Ordenadamente entraron al salón con sus sillas y unos comenzaban ha acercarse a saludar y abrasar a los misioneros. Uno de los niños, Marvin, el “sobrino” de Woody nos cantó – realmente nos dejó con la boca abierta por su talento.
– God Bless