• June 10, 2011

Madison A. - the Ukraine 2011-2012

“If we have no peace, it is because we have for­gotten that we belong to each other.” -Mother Teresa

Hi there! My name is Madison, I’m 17 years old, the oldest of a sweet little southern cajun family con­sisting of four girls. I attended NOCCA (New Orleans Creative Center for the Arts) this past year with a dis­ci­pline in dance and jumped into a wide open world of art. After coming a long way through intense dance training and an expo­sure to the world of art, I’ve devel­oped a love for cre­ative move­ment that will remain in my heart for as long as I live. While studying at NOCCA, I also found myself studying the people around me. I studied not only the col­orful artists at my school, but also the home­less, and normal people I would pass everyday in the city. Something, although I did not know what at the time, stirred in my heart regarding these people that I encoun­tered. I wished to know and talk to them. Although I didn’t take oppor­tu­ni­ties to talk to those on the streets, I got to know many beau­tiful people at NOCCA, and I am amazed at what trea­sure I found in them.

As the Spring fast approached, I was faced with that big intim­i­dating ques­tion of where I was going to go to col­lege. I began to create some exciting and ambi­tious plans as far as col­lege goes. By the grace of God, my plans were inter­rupted with a random stumble upon Heart’s Home. To make a long story short, during my visit to Heart’s Home in Brooklyn and seeing the warmth and beauty not only in the home, but in the faces of the people when we walked through the doors of their homes, I felt so sure that the desires of my heart were met in the simple mis­sion of com­pas­sion found in Heart’s Home.

I believe that authentic love is a mis­sion that we were all cre­ated for and that we are all called to. In September, I will have the most won­derful oppor­tu­nity to live in the Heart’s Home center in L’viv, Ukraine for 14 months and learn how to have a truly com­pas­sionate heart and how to answer to my call to authentic love. I know that it will be a chal­lenge in many ways, but I know that I will have the help of my strong friends (and the Heart’s Home patrons) St. Therese of Liseux and St. Maximilian Kolbe as well as my Mother Mary.

I can’t wait to meet the people who are just waiting for someone to let them know that they are loved. I can’t wait to meet the artists who I can hope­fully form a con­nec­tion with through mutual artistry. I can’t wait to dis­cover what it means to be com­pas­sionate. I can’t wait to expe­ri­ence a new cul­ture and lan­guage! I antic­i­pate my mis­sion with great joy, and pray that I will be given the grace to bring beauty to the lonely hearts.

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