• October 19, 2013

All my Gratitude to Chile!

Porvenir Bajo,
Valparaiso - 2013

After a fif­teen-month mis­sion in Valparaiso, Armando Gutierrez is back home in California, his heart over­flowing with thanks­giving and love for Chile.

“I want to give all my grat­i­tude to Chile. I want to give her thanks for the clothes that hung out­side the houses that gave color to her barrio. I want to thank her for the kites that could reach the clouds and woke the chil­dren with laughter. I want to give her thanks for the sun­rises and sun­sets dif­ferent from the next ones that made me feel so alive. I want to give thanks to the fresh bread and hot tea that filled me in the morning. I want to give her thanks for her flag where Our Mother rep­re­sents the star that guides us to Her Son. I want to give her thanks espe­cially for her people that made a ‘gringo’ like myself feel more than wel­comed, felt really at home. Where I could say hello to a stranger knowing he would hap­pily reply back. Never in my life did I think I would live a mis­sion in Chile, and now I can’t believe it would be so dif­fi­cult to leave.

But now I know why. It is here I found God. I found Him in the streets, I found Him in the ‘micros’. I con­versed with Him in the corners and the stair­ways. He wel­comed me for break­fast and I wel­comed Him for dinner. I played with Him in our house and play­grounds. I went on visits with Him to transmit His love. He was found here with my brothers and sis­ters. He was found in their suf­fering and in their hopes. He was found in the com­pas­sion they have shown me and the accep­tance of who I am. He is here in Chile, I take Him with me in my heart but He will always remain here. Thank you God, Thank you Mary, Thank you Chile, Thank you Heart’s Home, and thanks to my family, friends and spon­sors for being with me all the way through our mis­sion. I say this with all my con­vic­tion that I could have never done it without you. God has given me His pres­ence through you. Gracias!”

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