Office of Small Faith Communities
It has been over two months since I left Guatemala and it feels like only yesterday that I was sitting on a colorful bus, filled with over 100 people (and some chickens and pigs) traveling for over five hours heading to my next mission… all while having the biggest smile on my face! Those six months were truly an adventure. I experienced and saw things that I know will stay with me forever and that I now realize have changed me. This experience not only showed me the meaning of hospitality, service and humility but it also gave me a sense of pride for my culture, country and people.
The gift of hospitality was shown to me by 83 wonderful women that have dedicated their lives to the people of
to God. From day one of my mission, the Sisters of the Eucharist welcomed me
with open arms and opened hearts. They shared their homes, their food, which
sometimes was barely enough for them, and their ministry with me. They became
my family and we shared so many special moments of laughter, prayer and
sadness. The sisters have eight missions throughout Guatemala Guatemala,
some near and some far from the capital of ; they gave me the opportunity
to visit five of them. I was asked to spend one month at each mission, which
allowed me to serve in many different ways. Guatemala City
Atlitlan I was able to visit the sick, help build homes in underdeveloped
villages and take food to hungry children. In Xejuyup, Nahuala, I worked in a
co-ed boarding school for underprivileged and orphaned high school students
where I helped them in their studies… mostly with their English homework but
was also there to give them advice and listen when they wanted to talk to someone. In Joyabaj I joined the sisters in
catechizing adults and children of the nearby villages, where our classroom was
literally an open field because we needed a big enough space to be able to
teach up to 80 children at a time. I will never forget their smiling faces and
their joyful spirits as I shared with them about our Catholic faith. Santiago
In San Andres Semetabaj, at the mother house, I learned to live in community, grow in prayer and have a higher appreciation and admiration for all women in religious life. I grew very close to some of the sisters as they opened up their hearts to me and shared their life stories. It was so amazing how I was able to create such a close relationship with them in such a short period of time but every time I had to go to the next mission it was always difficult to say goodbye to all the new friends I had made. And last but not least, in San Jose Ayampuc, I spent my last days taking care of 16 abandoned elderly women, where I was responsible of bathing them, brushing their hair and preparing all meals for them, and in one case we even prepared one of the women for her burial. All of the women were over the age of 75, most of them on medication, and all had been abandoned by their family members. Never- the-less, everyday they awoke with a smile, always ready to play some bingo, sing and dance. My time with them was the most memorable because they gave me the gift of hope. Being able to be witness to their sense of humor and loving smiles was the perfect way to end my time in
No matter where I was, how difficult the situation was or what new task I was asked to do, I knew that it was right where I was supposed to be and that God was by my side. I saw his face in all the people I met through their smiles, their gratitude and their love. Before I left for my mission trip I didn’t know what to expect but now that I am back and I can look back at everything I accomplished and experienced in Guatemala, I can truly say that it was more than I could have ever imagined. I have returned home feeling like a renewed person with a new sense of what’s really important in life, a peace in my heart and a faith-filled spirit!
Ayudando a los pobres de Centro América ayuda a acercarse a Dios
Oficina de Pequeñas Comunidades de Fe
Ha pasado más de dos meses desde que regrese de Guatemala y se siente
Nunca he sentido el don de la hospitalidad
la que me demostraron las 83 mujeres maravillosas que han dedicado sus vidas a
Dios y al pueblo de .
Desde el primer día de mi misión, las Hermanas de la Eucaristía me dieron la
bienvenida con corazones y brazos abiertos.
Compartieron sus hogares, sus alimentos, que a veces ni era suficiente
para ellas mismas, y su ministerio conmigo. Ellas se convirtieron en mi familia
y compartimos muchos momentos de alegría, oración y tristeza. Las hermanas tienen
8 misiones a través de Guatemala, algunas cerca de la capital, la cual es la
Cuidad de Guatemala y algunas muy lejos; ellas me dieron la oportunidad de visitar
5 de las misiones, las cuales me dieron la oportunidad de servir de muchas
maneras diferentes. Guatemala
En San Andres Semetabaj, en la casa madre de las hermanas, aprendí a vivir en comunidad, crecer en oración y aumentar la admiración y agradecimiento por todas las mujeres religiosas que conozco. Logre crear relaciones cercanas con algunas de las hermanas porque abrieron sus corazones y compartieron conmigo las historias de sus vidas. Fue tan maravilloso poder crear amistades fuertes en un tiempo tan corto pero cada vez que me tenía que ir a la próxima misión siempre era muy difícil despedirme de todas mis nuevas amistades.
Sin importar donde me encontraba, que tan difícil la situación, o que nueva tarea tenia que aprender, sabía en mi corazón que era exactamente donde tenia que estar y que Dios estaba a mi lado. Pude ver Su rostro en cada persona que conocí, por medio de sus sonrisas, su agradecimiento y su amor. Antes de irme a esta misión no sabía que era lo que me esperaba, pero ahora que estoy de regreso he realizado que fue más de lo que me pude imaginar. ¡He vuelto a casa sintiéndome como una persona renovada, con un nuevo sentido de lo que verdaderamente es importante en la vida, con una paz profunda en mi corazón y con en Espíritu lleno de fe!