“Dear Jesus, flood our souls with your spirit and life. Shine through us and be so in us that every soul we come in contact with may feel your presence in our souls. Let them look up, and see no longer us, but only Jesus!“ – Mother Teresa
Growing up in Comayagua, Honduras, with its deep Catholic roots, it’s not uncommon for prayer and church on Sundays to be part of the family rhythm even if you don’t know why. Daily rosary became muscle memory before I could balance on two legs. But some beats of my family didn’t seem to match the same tune. So I began marching to the beat of my own drum, and my dad kicked me out of my house at 13 years old. I got involved with a group of friends, who were part of a local gang, and became addicted to alcohol and drugs instead of God and the Church.
Because of my stubbornness, God knew He had to do something big to catch my attention. One Sunday after playing soccer, the “something big” came in the form of a gun shot through the femoral artery of my right leg. After God miraculously saved my leg, I spent 40 days in the hospital, where my family was always at my side. Our relationship began to heal, and they brought me back to God. My recovery was very slow (2 years in bed!), but thanks to this stripping away of everything, I was able to hear God’s heartbeat. During that time, I began getting to know Him in Scripture and praying more. There were also people who came to my house to encourage me, pray with me, and invite me to conversion. When all my friends had abandoned me, God, through the people of the Church, showed me His mercy and power, lifting me from that bed. In 2013, I met a community of lay missionaries, called the Missioners of Christ, when they came to my village. From that moment, I felt that God was calling me, as a direct witness of His love, to help others who, like me, feel abandoned by society and even by God Himself.
I ended up living and working with this community for over two years. Then, I joined the secular workforce as an English teacher. But something never felt quite right. While on a mission trip to Jamaica during the summer of 2019, God reminded me of my desire to be in the midst of those most in need, as Jesus was and is. He reminded me of my frustration when I hear about a far-away, unreachable God. Pope Francis’s words have always resonated with me, “I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.” I wanted a way to be part of the answer to this problem, to help others experience a God who is close to us, who understands our humanity, as the people in my village and my family did for me. I knew I needed to enter more deeply into the humanity of my brothers and sisters to show them this… and to remind myself if I’m really being honest.
I soon learned of Source of All Hope, and it felt like an answer to my prayer. Since Jesus freed me from the chains of loneliness and addictions, I look forward to sharing the same hope with the people of Baltimore that I have found and still fight to hold onto most days – the “source of all hope” – Jesus Himself. Through accompaniment, we can lift each other from our beds every day. Would you join me in marching to the beat of Jesus’ heart on the streets of Baltimore?
Pursuing my calling as a missionary is only possible through the spiritual and financial support of mission partners. Your investment in this mission enables our community to go out and share life with our friends on the street day after day, where we address their biggest source of suffering—isolation—in a way that nobody else can. All the missionaries in our community are nourished and equipped through daily opportunities for spiritual, intellectual, and human formation; moreover, we will spend time in prayer before Christ in the Eucharist, growing closer in intimacy with the Lord and interceding for the needs of this suffering city. Your support makes all the difference, and I want to invite you to invest in both me and my community. If you are interested in partnering with me, please let me know the best way to reach you and I will happily schedule a time to meet! You can email me at email@example.com.