|Blessed indeed are the feet|
- Revive: In the final days of December and first week of January, we welcomed our first ever group of visitors to the mission: a group of young people who had been inspired by Kisses From Katie to seek out a missionary opportunity, a few of their parents and a youth minister, and a group of friars from the Franciscan Brothers Minor.
|And my joy shall be in you and your joy shall be complete|
A perfect description of these men of God
|And I will lead you beside still waters. Or raging waters, depending.|
Either way, you will be revived. That's how the Lord works with me, anyway.
Well, as it often goes with the Big Guy, He heard my cries. And He brought me just what I needed in a way I never expected. The trip was, in fact, a lot of work and at times totally exhausting. But it also was exactly the thing I needed to revive my missionary zeal, my personal spiritual life, and the sense of community I had been desperately longing for. I hadn't realized how carrying the burden of lack of community had worn me out until I had people around to share my life with.
|Thou shalt not pass...I cannot tell you how uplifting it was to laugh with these people,|
to experience the joy of walking together with them.
|No words. Just, yeah, this. Brother Faithful is his name.|
|The foot bridge into the indigenous reserve,|
where our brothers and sisters still wait for us to come
with the message of love and family and hope and God.
|Her. Just her. So worth it.|
|Oh how He loves us.|
I learned a lot that day. A lot about standing still in the moment, letting the awkwardness be what it is and waiting, hand outstretched. Waiting patiently for the tears and the fear and the shyness to ebb and the door to friendship to open. It is not easy to build relationships in a culture so different from our own, with a people who are shy and timid and who speak a language totally unfamiliar to me. I firmly believe that all evangelization has to be about relationship, and relationships are always based on trust. And building trust sometimes means that we stand in the doorway and smile longer than we might otherwise do, even when it feels really uncomfortable, until a hand reaches out and touches our own.
|Here. This is where I lay down my life and hold out my hand|
and wait for the door to open.
And I walked away knowing the supreme privilege it is to be given the chance to live that call every single day, and with a fervent desire to live it with the kind of perseverance and urgency these young people showed me. I got my revival. In the middle of the exhaustion, some new energy was born in me, the Spirit's flames were rekindled, the fire of His love began to glow bright again. And I am so, so grateful that my Heavenly Father knows just what I need and sends it in the most unexpected of ways.
|Brothers Felix, Lorenzo and Fidelus play Baltazar, Caspar and Melchior|
Epiphany - Yes, that's a good word to sum it all up.
An epiphany of joy.