• March 30, 2011
en

Lenore H.- Ecuador 2011-2012

When I began to read Come be My Light: The Private Writings of Mother Teresa three years ago, I had no idea that the Lord would use those writ­ings to rad­i­cally change the entire course of my life. After reading the work, my heart burned with the desire to serve the poor, suf­fering, and vul­ner­able just as Mother Teresa did, and I began to search for a way to serve Jesus. Franciscan University of Steubenville, from which I am grad­u­ating this May, has a robust mis­sion pro­gram, and that year, 2008-2009, I had the oppor­tu­nity to serve on the FUS cat­e­chet­ical mis­sion to Belize with fif­teen other stu­dents. There we taught reli­gion and gave purity talks at sev­eral high schools. The expe­ri­ence in Belize planted the seed of open­ness to long-term mis­sion work, so much so that I returned to Belize in May 2010 with another mis­sionary to work with the same stu­dents and strive to be a pres­ence of con­sis­tent love to the teens. Following the second mis­sion to Belize, the Lord opened my eyes more deeply to what it means to serve as a mis­sionary, with all of the sac­ri­fices and strug­gles, and my heart longed for those sac­ri­fices and that ability to be a con­stant pres­ence of love.

I recently returned from leading a mis­sion trip to Nicaragua this March in which myself and nine other col­lege peers served at an orphanage for men­tally and phys­i­cally dis­abled chil­dren as well as spending some time with the chil­dren living in the Managua City Garbage Dump. The Lord filled my heart with a pro­found and abiding peace from the moment I set foot in the orphanage. Throughout the week, He not only deeply con­firmed the call to serve with Heart’s Home, but also opened my eyes to rad­ical poverty and suf­fer­ings, the like of which I have never seen. There I found that my heart longs for and is truly at peace in the sim­plicity of total giving of self, of embracing poverty, and loving until your heart hurts. As Catholic singer Danielle Rose beau­ti­fully wrote: “Love until it hurts, until we feel their pain. To love the way You love, and give the way You gave Yourself for us. Make us worthy, O Lord, to serve our fellow man.”

From the moment Sister Regina con­tacted me in June 2010 about Heart’s Home, I could think and pray of nothing else. Heart’s Home’s charism of being a pres­ence of love and com­pas­sion to the suf­fering in imi­ta­tion of Our Lady at the foot of the Cross has not only been an inte­gral part of my prayer life for the past 2 years, but also encap­su­lates how my heart has longed to serve. I have never expe­ri­enced such a deep peace and joy as when vis­iting Heart’s Home in January 2011 for the Come and See weekend. The Lord has made it clear that this is exactly where He wants me.

I am con­stantly amazed at the Lord’s faith­ful­ness and prov­i­dence, espe­cially in this beau­tiful call to serve as a Heart’s Home Missionary. I am looking for­ward to joining the Heart’s Home Mission in Ecuador this August 2011 for a four­teen-month mis­sion and I am so thankful that the Lord is really asking me to love Him and embrace Him in His suf­fering people of Ecuador. I am so deeply grateful for your prayers espe­cially and, if you are able, your mon­e­tary spon­sor­ship.


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