Monday, March 5, 2012

Missionary Work From Home (for now)

I am on such a high right now. I feel on top of the world and like I could accomplish just about anything.
Picture of siblings living in extreme poverty ...
Siblings living in extreme poverty in El Salvador.     Image via Wikipedia

Saturday night was a big night for me and for our St. Luke Church community. This summer we have 29 fabulous missionaries who will be traveling to work for 9 days in El Salvador at Project FIAT. Saturday night was our fundraiser dinner and I have been praying about it for months now.

For a few years now, Jason and I have been feeling strongly called to become involved in missionary work, something that terrifies and excites us at the same time. We have been unsure of how we can best answer this call and at times were scared and even frustrated. Simply to say that you think you should do "missionary work" is a little vague. When? Where? And for us, most importantly is HOW? With three young children at home, this raised a lot of questions. We realize that people do this, that there are very brave people who quit their jobs, sell their houses, leave their lives and travel to far-off places to do the Lord's work. Even with small children. Of course this idea is incredibly frightening. But we still considered it as we realize that what we are called to do is not always within our comfort zone.

The most frustrating part was that this calling to do missionary work seemed in conflict with other directions that the Lord has taken us, such as creating a welcoming home and resting place for our family; being close with our extended family, fostering those relationships and helping them when they need us; and for me, being a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. How could these two callings be in harmony? We discussed this conflict of callings a lot and prayed about it.

In September, I was asked to be on the Short Term Missionary Trip Committee at Church, which was a true answer to our prayers. From there, I was able to learn more about the mission trip programs that are available, help choose one that works well for the needs of our parishioners and help prepare those who are going for their trip.

We are not going on the trip. Not this time anyway. Veronica will only be a year old and we simply are not in the phase of life to make a trip like this right now. But in supporting these missionaries, I have learned so much and am becoming more prepared (and less scared!) for when it will be our turn. And I also feel that in a small way, I am contributing to the work they will be doing this summer, which is good enough for me right now.

So Saturday night was our fundraiser dinner, which I chaired. This is the first time I have ever organized an event like that. Basically it means that I helped organize things, that I delegated a lot and helped iron out any problems that arose. I worked alongside an AMAZING team of people who honestly did most of the work.

I have been very nervous for this event. It was a lot of work for a lot of people and I wanted it to be worth everyone's hard work, time and energy. For weeks, ticket sales were not doing great and I was worried we'd have like two people attend. By last week though, the concern changed to how were we going to fit everyone. We had 160 attendees and the 29 missionaries there.

I was also worried that we would not make enough funds to be worth all of our efforts. A car wash or a bake sale is much easier to organize. In my mind, we needed to make a lot more money than one of those fundraisers would in order for the dinner to be a success. In the end, we made more money that we had even hoped for.

God is good. He answered our prayers triple-fold. My heart is so full right now and it feels so open to whatever He is calling me to do. Yesterday we had the ministry fair after Mass and I found myself thinking, "I could do that. And I can do that. Oh and that sounds like fun." There is such a balance to saying yes to what I am being called to do and not over-committing, so that I can fulfill my calling as mother and wife with grace, kindness, patience and a little energy too.

Mural con la imagen de Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo ...
Archbishop Romero was assassinated on March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass. He was an advocate for the people's human rights and was killed after giving a sermon in which he asked Salvadoran soldiers to stop carrying out the governments repression and violations of basic human rights. 
To learn more about the history of El Salvador and the conditions there in past decades, the movie "Romero" is very good.

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  1. With busy lives and different circumstances, we all have to work hard to find our own ways to serve GOD, you my friend found a way. Lisa


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