• February 1, 2010

Catherine K. - 2010/2011 - Thailand

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.

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