ECUADOR, Emilio Puñet •
I had resisted for years, convincing myself that I had other ministries, so why would I invite more problems? It was not my thing…the heat, the discomfort, a trip of who knows how many hours…
They were the first Family Missions in Jama with my wife, and everything I feared…happened! Worse still, the crowing rooster beneath our window never stopped crowing all night.
And what if you are the exact instrument that God has chosen?
Of course, capital of grace… I know. Everyone in Schoenstatt knows it. It is not so easy; it is still bothersome…until one decides to offer it freely and quit complaining, offering everything for those people who are avid for God that perhaps do not know it and perhaps you have to be the instrument that God thought about to enkindle light in their life.
A defective instrument from which God waits for that unconditional yes
It sounds pretentious! Because the reality is that God enkindles the light in your life. He waits only for your unconditional Yes. That is the essence of the Family Missions. That is how it was this time, and I suspect it is always like that.
“In reaching out,” by giving faith is strengthened
Seeing entire families with small children enthusiastically attack the tasks entrusted by the leaders (tremendous leaders!) has been enriching for everyone. How the littlest ones get involved, how they learn about faith being strengthened by giving it, sharing it, shamelessly, without complaints.
Doña Gloria, a lesson
Doña Gloria de Saénz, 92 years old, wanted to accompany us on this occasion to attend the consecration of the church by the Bishop of Portoviejo. She, through her commitment and perseverance, took care from the beginning to obtain resources for providing tents for the parish that have served at all the celebrations in a year. There have been Masses, communions, baptisms, weddings, and funerals… everything because of Doña Gloria’s commitment.
I do not know if we will experience the same thing again in our lifetime
We attended all the mission of the consecration of the church; it was a very beautiful ceremony, very touching. I do not know if we will experience a church consecration ceremony again in our lifetime. We enjoyed it. New men, living stones of the Church.
A heart filled with love
Door to door. Divided into small groups, we spread out through Jama’s geography. Hello. How are you? We came to talk to you about God and the Blessed Mother. They may have thought we were not there on behalf of the pastor. In reality, we listened more than we spoke, we left a souvenir of the Blessed Mother, and we invited them to receive a Pilgrim Mother. There is so much suffering in these people after the earthquake a year ago! And how good it is that they could relate it and that we could pray together!
Thirteen pictures of the Pilgrim Mother… thirteen missionaries committed to this apostolate. The Pilgrim Mother has stayed in Jama. 130 families will receive her in June. And the Pilgrim Mother’s first visit to the home of one that benefited from the mission was made with us. We prayed to her together neighbors and relatives, who will receive her, have already gathered in some houses. The Blessed Mother’s visit is so good! There are so many things for which to be grateful, so many for which to pray!
And the bingo. There was tremendous preparation so that, by playing bingo, the people who came, almost 400 people, took not only physical gifts, but also the warmth of those who came from far away to attend to them, to listen to them, to give them messages of faith, intertwined in the middle of the playing cards. A collection of those funds for the parish. One more.
It meant everything to take a message of joy, faith, and hope with a heart full of love.
Giving strengthens faith. I did not want to go…
Source: www.schoenstatt.ec with permission of the author and the editors
Original: Spanish, 7 June 2017. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA