Friday, August 19, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Two weeks ago, I officially started what I guess you would call my fundraising for VOICA. After running (okay jogging and sometimes walking) a 5K obstacle course covered in mud known as Warrior Dash, I raced back to my church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Higginsville, to speak about my mission at Saturday Mass. Even though I was nervous, it was nothing compared to the fear I felt reading at Mass 10 years ago in PSR. I guess I’ve grown since then, and to be honest it was a small crowd. I spoke at Mass again on Sunday, and with one speaking engagement already under my belt my nerves were at ease. It truly was a great experience! I was amazed at the number of people that were interested in what I am doing and told me they were proud of me. To me, donating a year of my life to live in another country doesn’t really seem like a sacrifice, but after speaking with others I was reminded that it is, and it reassured me that this is definitely what I’m supposed to be doing.
Our Parish Council and the Stewardship Committee were nice enough to designate our monthly loose change collection in August to my mission fund. This money usually goes towards funding a different church maintenance project each month. I found this out while reading the bulletin before Saturday Mass, and it was a great surprise! Between the loose change collection and other donations I received from people at St. Mary’s, I’ve raised nearly half of my minimum donation to VOICA. I’ve never met a group of more giving people. I can’t say thank you enough for all the generosity and support I’ve experienced, but I’m going to try. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
And, because I think this story is really neat…When I was in junior high, our church started a program called Prayer Angels (different parishioners were given a junior high student to pray for). I had great prayer angels. They prayed me through junior high, high school and college. They even sent me birthday cards. But, through all those years I never actually met them face to face. Once I returned to my pew after giving my speech about my mission, the man in the pew in front of me turned around, shook my hand and told me what I was doing was great and to be safe out there. It turns out, it wasn’t just any man. After church, Ralph and his wife Bette made the connection and realized that I was the girl they had been praying for all this time and introduced themselves. It took me a second, but after hearing their name, I made the connection, too. So finally, after more than 15 years, I got to meet my Prayer Angels. It’s the little signs like this that I love that He shares with us.