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.
if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him
and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly.
St. Ignatius Loyola