Thursday, February 13, 2014

I am a Catholic missionary and I am human.

Kissing the ground as a sign of love for my new home: CAMIGUIN ISLAND

Yes. I’m human! I have wants, I have needs, I have likes and dislikes, I have emotions and I have fears! As long as I live on this earth, I will have these human desires.

            Let’s be honest, moving to the other side of the world for a year was a little bit overwhelming. Leaving my Goddaughter who is only a month old, all of my family and friends, and the comfortable American lifestyle behind to embrace the very simple Camiguin culture was (and still is) very hard.

            I could, in my humanness, complain about all the little “inconveniences” of living in mission entails. Like that our living room and dining room is outside and we have an audience for each meal, or the cold showers, or not having a toilet seat. There’s that fact that we don’t have an AC, a microwave, an oven, a dishwasher, or a washing machine. The ants, lizards, spiders and cockroaches like to crawl through the cracks of our wood floors and walls and say hello to us at night.  We sleep on mats on the floor and the 20 plus roosters or even our neighbors slaughtering pigs think they are a wonderful alarm clock at 5AM. Then there are the mosquitoes and the constant sweating and only being able to use my iPhone as a camera because we have little to no Internet access, but in all reality, these are gifts from God! When I look at my neighbors and all of the families on Camiguin who have less than I have and who are living in great poverty, God gives me the grace to rejoice for all that He has provided me with! I rejoice that the poor are teaching me how to be a simple soul, I rejoice for having an amazing family and friends that I can one day go home to, for the Lord teaching me how to grow in holiness and how to love others, for giving me a group of young women to lead in missions (even though 99% of the time they are leading me.) God has provided a house for me that is walking distance away from a crystal clear beach, a hammock to lay in while I read and drink my coffee, an occasional ocean breeze, unlimited coconuts literally a climb away, I get to have a sleepover on the floor every night with my best friends who always keep me laughing all day and night, and I am able to work with a priest who is a living saint. The list can go on… I rejoice for having a chapel in our house, for being able to walk everywhere I need to go, for the unbelievably generous and hard working Filipinos who call us beautiful all day long, for the children coming to our doorsteps to play and read the Bible with us, for eating organic without the price tag, for not having to worry about make-up or fashion or being “in-style”, for being able to teach Religion in a high school a minute from my house, and especially for hearing God speak clearly to me everyday.

            Missions is hard, and if I didn’t have God pouring out his graces on me, I would have quit yesterday, but He gave me the eyes to see that this is what it takes to build His kingdom. It takes my humanness to let God shine through my weaknesses to be the missionary He wants me to be!