Sometimes, I forget just how many people receive this email each week. Recently, I was told by the mother of one of our former student travelers that he is now a Border Patrol Agent and is located at the Southern Border. She told me he faithfully reads my news/notes even though he doesn’t respond and that he mentioned our Color Run to her and that’s why she was at our event a few weeks ago.
I now pray for him each day, that he may live the lessons he experienced while on Mission with everyone he encounters each day. His task is surely not easy, but I pray that he walks his path with compassion and kindness and hope. And in reality, the same is true for all of us, isn’t it? We are all called to live the lessons of our faith, our mentors, our Creator! Security and justice and humanity and compassion do not have to be opposites! So, here’s a big shout out to you all…near and far, because you are the Ambassadors of Hope, Ambassadors of the Mission of Hope- each day.
How can I say that with conviction? Well, earlier this week, some of us were in a Zoom meeting with our Administrators in Nicaragua and in that meeting, I expressed our heartfelt gratitude for their sustained commitment to serve the poor and marginalized, recognizing their added work load and continuing to serve even in the midst of such turmoil in their country.
Their response took me off guard and touched my heart in a way that I didn’t expect. Here is a piece of what they shared… They both expressed how deeply grateful they are for the sustaining hope of the Mission, especially at this time in the life of their beloved country and in their own personal lives. They mentioned how so many people have lost their source of employment, many companies have just shut down or abandoned their businesses, hundreds and hundreds of families go hungry, and many struggle to keep hope live, while their country and their lives are in such shambles.
They then told me, that thanks to all of you, the Mission continues to care for the sick in our Mission clinics, and feed thousands of children, as well as elderly, every single day. Children are being educated, people are receiving rocket stoves and home shelters, etc. Because of the Mission, HOPE is REAL in their lives. They mentioned how our staff in Nicaragua is able to provide for their families as well as others. In a very real way, their lives are dependent on the generosity and compassion and hard work of all of us.
I also received emails yesterday from our contacts in Oklahoma and in Missouri, confirming the distribution of our disaster donations to those most in need.
There is a song that says, “Our lives are in your hands, O God, our lives are in your hands.” And if we are the hands of God in today’s world, then YES, others’ lives are in our hands as well. We are called to care for the least among us, to welcome the stranger (who may not look or speak like us), and to extend our hands of hope and our hearts of compassion.
We cannot underestimate the value of the ripple effect of the Mission’s continuance of providing for those on the edges nor can we underestimate the power of HOPE!. Even though we are separated by miles and by sociopolitical unrest, our hearts and our lives are joined by our common humanity and our love and care for one another- in our own families and communities, in Nicaragua, at our borders, in regions ravaged by disease, tornadoes, flooding and poverty.
Yes, HOPE is real and you are the ones providing that hope in so many ways.
YES, it is that simple and it’s that profound.
May we live and be hope whenever we can, to whomever we can, however we can!
Sr. Debbie Blow, OP