• March 24, 2015

Where There is Mercy,
There is Hope

Clara-Maria with abuela Rosita at the Mother Teresa House of Peace in Guayaquil

by Brittany Koepke, mis­sionary in Guayaquil, Ecuador

"There is so much human suf­fering I have wit­nessed here. Abuse. Brokenness. Poverty. Injustice. Illness. And I do not share this with you to depress you, but to tell you the impor­tance I have seen of a pres­ence of mercy in our neigh­bor­hood.

Mercy: "having a pain in your heart for the pains of another, and taking pains to do some­thing about their pain" - as Fr. George Kosick used to say. That is why Heart’s Home exists, to be this work of mercy in the world. And that is why I am here, with my com­mu­nity, to be part of this work of mercy specif­i­cally in the Isla Trinitaria. And when there is mercy, there is hope. Hope that one man, one child, one person can learn to truly love and be loved.

What is Heart’s Home response to this suf­fering? We try not so much to erad­i­cate the dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions as to live the prayer of asking God to change the hearts of the per­sons amidst their sit­u­a­tions. We visit Johnny weekly, feed him, pray with him, and sur­prise him on his birthday. We invited Miguel to watch Slumdog Millionaire as way to edu­cate him on the dan­gers of the street. We have hooked Miguel up with a friend of ours willing to come weekly to teach him how to read. We have offered Don Galo a home at Mother Teresa’s House of Peace, but he decided for the moment he will con­tinue living on the street. We bring up the topic of vio­lence in the home and try to edu­cate Brisa’s par­ents on true familial love, which is not based in fear. We have gotten to know Evan’s mom and accom­pa­nied her to a family coun­selor.

And we are con­scious that these little ges­tures are not a “cure-all” by any means. And the mis­sion is much bigger than offering prac­tical solu­tions. The mis­sion is to love like Christ."

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