Monthly Archives: December 2010

Missionary in Uganda

Came across this missionary and her blog via another missionary sister of mine. The missionary’s name is Katie Davis, and she serves in Uganda. Here’s a link to her blog. Enjoy!   http://www.kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/

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St. Eugene of Mazenod

So, my Uncle Derwin gave me this REALLY nice rosary while I was at his Knight’s of Columbus chapter’s Christmas party. (St. Edmond’s Council, and btw he’s the Grand Knight! woop woop!) I was stoked because first of all it’s a beautiful rosary. It has a black crucifix with a gold corpus and gold chain links. The beads must be made of some kind of black glass because the rosary is heavy. It’s a nice feel. A good solid heavy rosary. Feels very substantial, like I’ve really got something, something special, in my hands.

 

Sometime after the party, I had more reason to be stoked about it. I looked on the “centerpiece” medal of the rosary, and on one side there is the blessed Mother. But, even more than that, on the other side, there is a “St. Eugene of Mazenod”. I didn’t know who he was at first, but I still thought he was cool because Eugene is my middle name. So I did a little research and found out that the order he founded (Oblates of Mary Immaculate) were missionaries on five different continents. So yeah, I think it was meant for me to have this rosary. 🙂

 

Hope you enjoyed my little story! God Bless!

 

Here are two links to some short bios on St. Eugene and some pics of my rosary:

http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_19951203_de-mazenod_en.html

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=346

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“Hello Bible, it’s nice to see you again”

12-22-10 – 1:05pm – @ Awardmaster (my parents’ trophy shop) – Lafayette, LA

Today for me has been like one of those mystery stews where you toss in all the random leftovers. Just kinda seems that way. When Mom left the house and I was still in my PJ’s, she told me that today would be the Christmas lunch for all the employees and that I was invited. Obviously stoked because it meant lunch wraps from Zea’s which are VERY good. I was thinkin’ I’d take my time, watch some TV, take a shower, head to the chapel at St. Ed’s to do some reading, and then mosey on over to the shop to eat what was left. But, then my mom called and said that one of the girls was gonna leave the shop early cuz she wasn’t feeling good and wanted to know if I’d come. She almost seemed kinda timid and uber polite when asking me if I had other plans, and if not could I come in to cover for the girl that was leaving early. Now, yeah, it’s good that my mom’s polite. But I can’t help but thinking something was wrong with this picture. It doesn’t matter that I’m almost 30 either. My mother is my mother. I owe respect and obedience to her whenever possible. She shouldn’t have to ask if I was willing to come. She should be able to know that she can tell me she needs me to come help out at the shop since I’m home on break, and not have to worry about my reaction. I guess it’s one of those things we continue to grow at.

I also feel really bad because when she called to ask if I’d come to the shop, she was asking me about something that I was taking care of already (unrelated to work). Well I was. It was mine to take care of. After all, I’m almost 30. I’m a grown man. I need to learn how to take care of my ownself without my mom getting all in a tizzy. Asking about something that doesn’t affect you at all and that you have no control over, is no bueno. The only thing that this effort to satisfy curiosity will do is increase stress levels and possibly give rise to gossip under the guise of “concern for the situation.” So, when I reacted to her asking about the situation after I’d asked her to forget about it and let me take care of it, I felt justified. But, it was HOW I reacted that made me feel bad. I went a step beyond speaking firmly, lost the politeness, and was almost speaking too sternly and speaking down at her like she was a child. This, of course, made me feel like crap. And when I got to thinking about it, I learned more about how I should relate to God. What do I mean? Well, lemme respond with another question: Why did I feel like crap after I reacted to my mom? I didn’t feel like crap because I was fearful of some fiery angry raging response she’d have to my reaction. I felt like crap because I love her. She has been nothing but good to me all my life, and has loved me and provided for me. Therefore, why would I want to or let myself mistreat her? I think that type of fear is what should be our motivation to be holy. We shouldn’t be fearing God’s vengeful wrath so much as we should fear offending the unending love he shows us. If we feel like crap after doing something wrong, it shouldn’t be because of punitive consequences. It should be because we offended against love.

Another interesting tidbit of the day is that I finally read my Bible again for the first time in five days. Whenever I’m at Big Woods, I don’t find that it’s a problem. Out there, we have morning prayer 6 days a week.There’s a chapel with a tabernacle on the property. It’s out in the middle of nowhere and very quiet. Everybody else that lives or works there does so because they are involved in missions. You can see how it’s much easier to maintain a routine of prayer and spiritual reading and Scripture reading while there. The community lends itself to that. At home, it’s a different story. My parents themselves are good people. Besides going to church every Sunday, they both do things during the week that are concrete examples of living out their faith. So they themselves are not the cause of my laxity while at home. It’s that I don’t have a routine & I don’t have a larger community of faith surrounding me. There’s strength in numbers, and my parents can only do so much. The routine helps me to control my urges and focus my time and efforts. It helps me to overcome my laziness. The good thing about being home though is that I have to focus more on making personal effort to do what I need to do, since my normal routines and coping mechanisms aren’t there. Gaining more self-control in this way will definitely be a good thing.

My last bit of news is quite exciting. J In my last entry on the 30th, I went out on a limb and said that we were going to St. Lucia. Well, we finally heard back again from Archbishop Rivas and he said he wants us to come for sure! Yahoo! We will be living on the first floor of a convent, with some nuns living on the second floor above us. There’s a nursing home on the property where we’ll be doing some ministry. The archbishop also asked if I’d be willing to teach at an all-boys school. I’m sure too that there’s poor people that need ministry as well as many other ministry opportunities. Yesterday Sarah-Kate confirmed with me that our plane tickets had been purchased. We leave on the 17th, so we have just under a month before we’re in missions! Until that point, I’ll be spending time with family, packing up, getting rid of stuff, and tying up loose ends. I leave you with a bible verse that I got in my Scripture reading earlier this afternoon:

“I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord; and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.”
–Jeremiah 24:7–

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Where I’m going and what I need……………….

So, usually my blog posts are simply a re-typing of  an entry from my spiritual journal. And typically these entries are well thought out, spiritual/reflective, etc…. This post, not so much. Well, I take that back. I did put some thought into it.

First off, I would like to formally reveal that my mission partners are The Eckstine Family. Mark and Lora are from Oregon and have ten children, from 15 years on down to 6  months. From oldest to youngest (correct me if I’m wrong Mark), they are Abi, Ellie, Mia, Peter, Esther, Rachel, Annie, Bridget, Becca, and Isaac.

Our mission post is St. Lucia! 🙂 I’m very excited because we just found out that we’re headed there. We started the process back in October, and had been waiting and waiting and waiting (something you have to be very good at when you become a missionary). Not sure exactly where on the island we’ll be, but i know that A.)we’ll be living on the first floor of a convent, with some nuns living on the second floor, B.)We’ll be ministering in a nursing home nearby, C.)I might be teaching in an all-boys school, and D.)we have to be there by January 18th.

Now onto the “what I need” section……

*Prayer prayer prayer. I’m beginning to learn as a missionary that God can and will provide for all of our needs. One of the primary ways we see him providing for us is through prayer. So please pray for me. If you do nothing else for me, then please pray.

*Praise be to God for generous donors. When I started my missionary training in september, I still had half of my fees to pay (roughly 1200 bucks). Got all that paid off with donations that came from my inital batch of “begging letters” that I sent out. However (there’s always a however), there are still some other needs I’m trying to take care of.

1.) I need to book a plane ticket to St. Lucia. Round trip tickets are $600-700.  I’m not sure how much missionary funds I have right now, but i know I don’t have this much in my account.

2.) Vaccinations – There are no vaccinations that i’m absolutely required to get before the St. Lucia gov’t lets me step off the plane. However, Hep. A & B are recommended, as well as polio and typhoid. DPT (D-something, Psomething, Tetanus) is another one that would be good to get. All I remember from my phone convo with the doctor’s office, after I recovered from cardiac palpitations caused by how high the cost is, is that each of those is in the neighborhood of $90. ouch.

3.) Used Cellphone – I would hardly use my cellphone at all while in St. Lucia. In fact, I plan to never use it. I’ll have my computer where I can do email and facebook, and skype as well. However, i’d like to have a working cellphone while in St. Lucia for any emergencies or other needs that come up. My cellphone is now “on the fritz” and is not the most reliable phone.

4.) Voltage converter – I need a voltage converter for my laptop so that I can use it while in St. Lucia. These typically run anywheres from $20-30 (saw one at RadioShack today for about $30).

5.) Monthly expenses – As missionaries, we are budgeted to live off of approx. $300 a month. As of now, I have enough money in my account, after paying for my plane ticket to St. Lucia to live for -1.5 months. Basically, at this point i’m in the hole.

anyhoo, I know that someway somehow, God will provide. Pray for the new batch of “beg letters” that just got sent out, as well as this blog post, that it would reach whoever it needs to reach.

If you have any prayer requests, please send them to me, and I’ll add it to my missionary prayer list.

God Bless!

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Blows my mind to think that I’ve found grace in someone else…………

11-30-10 Tuesday – 9:57pm – In my bedroom in the trailer @ Big Woods (Abbeville, LA)

It’s almost ironic how prophetic our own words can be sometimes. I was sitting here, reading through a journal entry from earlier during Intake, and in it I was thanking God for all the struggles that would come. I did that because I knew struggles help me to learn, and grow closer to God. The Holy Spirit refines our souls as fire refines a precious metal.

My struggle lately has been in honoring my first-year singles commitment. Since me and (name omitted) have been visiting and praying together, we have naturally grown closer. And as you grow closer to someone you desire to spend more time with them. From a Christian perspective, the reason you want to spend more time with them is because God has allowed them to be a channel of his grace in your life. All of these things are true and good. However, I voluntarily made a singles commitment for one year upon joining FMC. After some community members drew our attention to the fact that we were not honoring our singles commitment like we should be, we realized that we’d have to take a step back. In order to be obedient and faithful, we now know that we have to limit our communication. As hard as this is, I know that it will be a source of grace for us during our first year of missions, so that we can focus on our mission work. Ultimately, I believe it will also serve to strengthen our friendship.

I’m also a little bummed out because (name omitted) decided to leave voluntarily for a few days. This past week she had a recurrence of a medical condition which was causing alot of stress for her. She felt like instead of dealing with it here and having it affect us too, that it would be best to go stay with her aunt. I recognize and appreciate her selflessness, BUT, it’s a little hard on me. When you grow close to a friend and suddenly they’re gone, it’s kinda sad. It reminds me of a bible verse from my entry on 9/17. 1 Corinthians 12 says “…if one member suffers, all suffer together…” I want so much and pray for her to be healed so she can follow God’s call to the mission field. The good thing is that later on in that chapter it says “…if one member is honored all rejoice together…” As I said earlier though, I think it’s a good struggle. Developing the virtues of patience and obedience will serve me quite well I think. It’s also good now to get used to not having  her around, because once we leave for our mission posts we won’t see each other for at least a few months and will probably at most only communicate once a week.

I have some other good news too. We (me and The Eckstines) finally got a response from Archbishop Revis in St. Lucia! He sent an email response to Mrs. Genie and asked her to send more info on me and The Eckstines. So we wrote about our formation experience, past ministry experience, and what skills and talents we have, as well as potential ministry we envision ourselves doing once we arrive in St. Lucia. What was also very encouraging was that the Archbishop seemed to be very eager to receive us. So, I’m going to step out on a limb here, without fear of “jinxing” myself, and say that me and The Eckstines are going to St. Lucia! 🙂 It’s such a relief to finally know where we’re going. I’ve also been blessed by my benefactors’ generosity. They have been very generous in both “treasure” and prayer. Since donations have started coming in, I’ve been graced to be able to do some thank you notes, because I sincerely want them to know that they are a blessing to me and that I am thankful. I also want to be able to in turn, support them by offering up their prayer intentions during my daily prayer time.

Oh wait…….What is that?…….I hear something. It’s my bed calling. 🙂 So I bid you good night and adieu.

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