• June 30, 2017
en

Anna O. from Illinois to Peru

God has a way with our hearts. He holds them—­ten­derly molding, stretching, sharing, car­rying, and giving them life! My name is Anna and I am a 22 year-old from Palatine, IL. It was from my Catholic roots in my family of loving par­ents, two sis­ters, and me that I first encoun­tered God.

This past May, I grad­u­ated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Psychology. Through my expe­ri­ence at Notre Dame, I had the oppor­tu­nity to spend a summer vol­un­teering in a home­less shelter for women and chil­dren run by the Missionaries of Charity. Through wel­coming the women to the shelter, mop­ping the floors, going to mass, playing with the chil­dren, kneeling in ado­ra­tion, talking with the other vol­un­teers, we were loving Christ. I felt my heart stretched, expanded, and filled with a deeper grace and love of Christ that I had pre­vi­ously encoun­tered. In dis­cerning my next step after grad­u­a­tion, I knew that I wanted to enter into that deep love fur­ther and con­tinue chal­lenging my heart to grow towards Christ in a sim­ilar way.

In October, I will begin my 14 months living in La Ensenada, Peru! I am thrilled to be returning to South America after having studied in Santiago, Chile for a semester and to con­tinue prac­ticing my Spanish. The hos­pitable, open, nat­ural, com­mu­nity-ori­ented cul­ture and the unique poverty in South America call me to want to more deeply explore God’s love within this con­text.

My journey, how­ever, is not pos­sible without the love and sup­port of others! When we share our hearts with others, love mul­ti­plies. So I invite you to join in my mis­sion in what­ever way God draws you, whether spir­i­tu­ally, finan­cially, or both. In praying for each other on this journey, hope­fully we can all live with hearts that are a little closer to God. God bless!


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