A new Aldea: Xesic IV

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Today we had the privilege of visiting Xesic IV, one of the mountainside aldeas. “Aldea” is a Spanish word for hamlet or village. Every year, the mission coordinator works with Fr. Gilberto, the pastor of our sister parish, to identity the communities in his charge that are in the greatest need. Once we’ve chosen an aldea, we enter into a 3-year commitment with them. Part of the relationship is that we commit to bringing a group of missionaries every year. This was our first visit to this particular aldea and they were overjoyed to have us. We were humbled by their welcome and touched by their affectionate smiles, hugs and grateful spirit.

At each aldea we visit we start the day with a youth rally. Today there were about 150 kids, grades pre-K – 6. They were so excited to have us and it showed in the way they responded to our praise and worship songs, games and arts and crafts. We couldn’t get enough of their hugs! That was something everyone was really moved by – how affectionate the kids were. There were no walls – they were happy we were there and they were not shy to show us!

The bus driver that brought us to the aldea told us we were lucky to be welcomed into their community. He explained that the indigenous communities that live in these aldeas are incredibly closed. They are protective of their land and their families and one must be invited to visit. The beautiful show of hospitality and welcome is a sign of their love for their Catholic faith and their trust in Fr. Gilberto, their pastor and our connection to them.

After mass, we split into 4 groups and went for pre-planned home visits. Everyone we visited were people who were either in great need or could not come to mass for some reason. There was one diabetic, 2 widows and an elderly women who could no longer travel. These people lived on the mountainside and the only way to get to them was to walk, so that’s what we did! One group walked for nearly one hour each way! Another group walked about 40 minutes. What moved many of the missionaries was the realization that as hard as the walk was, we only had to do it once. These people, whose shoes we were literally walking in today, travel this road every single day. One of the missionaries arrived in her particular home visit to find a little girl there that she recognized from the earlier youth rally. She was brought to tears at the fact that that little girl walked all that distance every day to go to school. Every day! This evening when we gathered to reflect on the day, almost every missionary remarked that their own problems were put into perspective by that walk.

Thank you God for the grace to see that our problems, concerns and difficulties are nothing compared to the burden so many people carry in this world – help us to remember that as we carry our own cross. And, help us to do it with the same joy and peace we saw in the people we met today.

 

With love,

Team Mercy

PS – Thank you Anna Cisne for the cafecito! Such a blessing after a day like today!! Everyone sends you un besito y un abrazo:)

6 responses »

  1. Thank you for posting pictures along with your daily comments, it makes me feel as if I was there in person with you. Be assured that my heart is.
    You would be amazed at the number of people praying for you. I signed up for 4:00pm and while it was supposed to be 3 of us, there were no less than 15 people in adoration at that time.
    I’m looking forward to seeing how many come tomorrow.

  2. Que grato es ver Señor, tu Misericordia, reflejada en tus hijos los más sencillos y humildes de corazón, sigue dando tus bendiciones y frutos abundantes, derrama tu Santo Espíritu, en esta gran Misión que lleva tu msj de Amor. ..Misioneros de la Parroquia Príncipe de Paz…Amén! !!

  3. Hello beautiful missionaries! I spent my morning with the blessed sacrament prayering for all of you. New missionaries, I hope that this mission has already filled your hearts with more joy and love you could ever possibly imagine. Enjoy every second of it because it goes by fast. Thank you for answering God’s call to be His hands and feet and thank you for spreading His love and mercy to the beautiful people of Guatemala. Mission vets, I hope that this mission has reminded you why you became a missionary in the first place. I hope the fire within each of you continues to burn and fills your hearts with an abundance of love for God and His people. I know every mission is different and each time you come home you leave a little piece of your heart behind. Take it all in and enjoy it. May you all continue to grow in the presence of the Holy Spirit each day and may the flame within your hearts continue to burn brightly for each other, for the people of Guatemala, and for God. My heart and spirit are with y’all each day! Sending lots of love and prayers your way! 🙏🏼

    ❤️Ebony Rosales

  4. Que bendición de Dios para todos ustedes los Misioneros…que el Espíritu Santo sea su Guía, su fortaleza y sea Dios quien hable a través de ustedes y lleven su mensaje de amor, con gran alegría y entusiasmo…un abrazo y nuestras oraciones para tod@s…a mi hija Ana Fátima Duran Saavedra…mis bendiciones…Amen,!!!

  5. Hello beautiful missionaries! I spent my morning with the blessed sacrament prayering for all of you. New missionaries, I hope that this mission has already filled your hearts with more joy and love you could ever possibly imagine. Enjoy every second of it because it goes by fast. Thank you for answering God’s call to be His hands and feet and thank you for spreading His love and mercy to the beautiful people of Guatemala. Mission vets, I hope that this mission has reminded you why you became a missionary in the first place. I hope the fire within each of you continues to burn and fills your hearts with an abundance of love for God and His people. I know every mission is different and each time you come home you leave a little piece of your heart behind. Take it all in and enjoy it. May you all continue to grow in the presence of the Holy Spirit each day and may the flame within your hearts continue to burn brightly for each other, for the people of Guatemala, and for God. My heart and spirit are with y’all each day! Sending lots of love and prayers your way! 🙏🏼
    ❤️Ebony Rosales

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