Posted On 2016-05-21 In Missions

Serving others with great joy

Paraguay, Catholic University Missions (MUC), by Gilbert Sanabria Ravinovich •

This year I said yes to a mission during Holy Week and decided to leave everything to go to a place far from the city. I was going to a place without comforts and fewer luxuries, but I went with the great joy of being a bearer of Christ’s love.

I did not know where I was going, but I was sure that this was the place to make many people happy by giving them a hug, a smile, or a greeting like: “How are you Mrs.___? Or “how are you Mr. ___? Are you well?”

I arrived in Caázapá, which is a beautiful city located 230 kilometers from Asunción in the south central part of the country, in the state with the same name. There I met many people who shared similar feelings, some shyly, and others joyfully, but always, and most of all with the desire to carry out this mission.

20 of July

At Caázapá I had to go on mission in a “magical” land, a place where a greeting, an embrace or a few words would be a reason of great joy for others.

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Mrs. Marciana

“I am going to speak to you in Guarani; I am very happy because you came to visit me again,” Mrs. Marciana told us with a sigh and tears of joy and emotion.

She has a heart-full of love, large hands, and most importantly, an immense faith in Christ and Mary.

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Mr. Gaspar

I recall that we went to visit Mr. Gaspar on the first day of the mission, and after we had finished the visit to the third house, we saw a person in the distance who was watching us as he hid behind the door… just like a child waiting for a gift. It was Mr. Gaspar, who was a little upset because his family had not told him that the missionaries he was expecting, had already arrived.

We shared a moment with him, enough time to fill us with joy.

It is wonderful how God presents himself in things that appear insignificant, but that in reality are enormous. Mr. Gaspar taught us a great lesson: despite his many difficulties, his faith is intact and his heart is always overflowing with joy to welcome others.

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The call to this mission

I arrived at the missions through a very strange experience after meeting Mary in a dream, in which I responded to her call…Things fell into place like the pieces of a puzzle. Things fell totally in place at the place, where she and her son put in the last piece. That is how I decided to be an instrument of Christ’s love. I identify with a phrase of Blessed Mother Teresa: “I am not completely sure of how heaven will be, but I know that when the hour God judges us, he will not ask how many good things did you do in your life, but rather, how much love did you put into it?”

This phrase describes this madness of love perfectly that one experiences in the missions. To share some of what one has with others who do not have it… This small contribution to others produces an echo throughout the entire world.

We will never know how much joy we give to the hearts of others if we do not try. Express good wishes, offer a smile, give an embrace, there are a thousand other ways to transmit love.

I tried it; you also can do it. Try to be an instrument of Christ and Mary!

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Original: Spanish. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA – Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA

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