• June 20, 2016

Mara W. - Ecuador 2016-2018

My name is Mara W.! I’m 21 years old, and I’m from the small town of Eden, New York. I’m the second of five kids in my family, and I just grad­u­ated with a Bachelor of Arts in psy­chology from Franciscan University.

It was actu­ally through Franciscan that I was intro­duced to Heart’s Home. I served with fellow stu­dents on inner city mis­sions in New York City over two con­sec­u­tive spring breaks, and we vis­ited with the mis­sion­aries at their home in Brooklyn. What struck me imme­di­ately was the utter con­vic­tion with which they lived out their mis­sion. They were living com­pas­sion so authen­ti­cally and with so much faith that God’s hand was with them in their work, guiding them and touching lives through them. I saw the power in the inten­tion­ality with which they lived out and shared Christ’s love. I wanted to live like them, to be used as a con­duit of that love for the lonely and suf­fering.

As I con­tinue to grow in my faith and rela­tion­ship with Christ, I con­tinue to dis­cover the rad­ical sim­plicity and end­less depth to the pur­pose of my life as a Christian – to love. To love, and to love when you don’t want to, to love when it hurts, to love when you are tired, and to love even when you don’t know how. It is then that I have to look to the Cross and ask Jesus to teach me how to love like Him. I know that this invi­ta­tion that God has given me to meet Him in the people of Ecuador is also His way of teaching me to love. I am such a small and inef­fec­tive instru­ment of His love on my own, but with His abun­dant grace I know that He will use me to shine His light into the dark­ness and lone­li­ness of the lives of those I meet.

Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them
if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him
and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly.
St. Ignatius Loyola

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