I grew up in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and attended Benedictine College, in Kansas, where I studied Spanish and International Studies. Upon graduation, I took a job in Kansas City, where I worked at a parish as Director of Youth Ministry for 18 months I have felt called to the international missions for as long as I can remember. In the past few years, I have struggled to clarify my desire, wondering if it was something coming from a selfish desire to travel and see the world, or if it was truly God-given as a desire and purpose He has placed on my heart. I see God’s hand in my discernment, going hand in hand with His timing.
In May of 2010, I was talking about this desire on my heart to do mission work overseas when my best friend told me, “Why don’t you just do it?” I was so surprised; I stammered a semblance of excuses. Two months later I handed in my resignation. I moved to Madison, where I took the job of being nanny for my nephews as I sifted through dozens of organizations. I first learned of Heart’s Home through a presentation in 2005 or 2006 at Benedictine, after a night of Adoration. I was so struck by the mission of the volunteers—I remember my heart aching to go! Now, after I have graduated and worked for a couple years, it is time to be sent. I feel I must go, at this time, in order to know my vocation and purpose in life.
The mission of the volunteers for Heart’s Home matches my desire: to love and restore dignity to the most wounded people in the world, starting with the children. I recognize my need and desire for spiritual nourishment and community life, essential components of the Heart’s Home volunteer ministry. I know it will be difficult. I know there will probably be days when the last thing I want is to see another person. Yet, I believe that I am going to offer myself to others and I know too that I will be receiving so much, it almost seems selfish.
I am going to give myself to Christ in the poor. I am going for I know that I need to learn to love as Christ. I need to be love. I don’t know how to do it! But if I encounter Christ at the end of my life without any evidence of an effort to learn and try, I believe I will have failed. This is how He wants me to learn.