A 24-year-old girl from Illinois, Catherine K. left in May 2010 for a 18-month mission in Thailand. She gratuated in German and litterature and works as a Development and Communication manager.
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." Mother Teresa’s words have been echoing in my soul since I was in Kenya earlier this year. There I listened to heartbreaking stories of women and men who face challenges I can’t imagine, while they shared a generous hospitality with me as a sister in Christ. I have been struggling for some time with how to respond to those ringing words and to the hurt that I see in the world. For a while, a good job working in nonprofit fundraising and active volunteer work have been enough, but I believe God is calling me to something a little different.
It was with these words that I opened my sponsor letter. My name is Catherine Kustusch, and I’m blessed to say that in just a few short months, I will be a missionary of compassion with Heart’s Home. A little about me is that I am from Chicago and I have a bachelor’s degree in German. In 2006, I helped start a nonprofit to help a friend make a pilgrimage around the world. For the past three years, I have worked as a fundraiser for the Sheil Catholic Center at Northwestern University, a campus ministry. Now I am becoming a missionary- why? The mission and vision of this work “correspond with my heart” – I’m not sure how else to say it.
The ministries I am already a part of are similar to what the Heart’s Home missionaries spend their time doing – being present to those for whom no one else seems to have the time: people who are young, or disabled or very small. Already in my life I have learned so much from simply showing up, being present to those most in need, and relinquishing the outcomes. I believe God is calling me to an even greater generosity of spirit in my life. Loving those in need when it fits into my schedule as a volunteer is one thing, pouring out my life in love on a daily basis is a completely different thing altogether. Learning to love is a lifelong journey, and I am hearing God calling me to learn to love on a deeper level.