• December 2, 2010

Erika D-H.- Thailand 2011-2012

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.

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