I´ve just returned from Guatemala and a visit with Drs. Jennifer Thoene and Brent Burket along with their four children, Christopher, Elizabeth, Julianne, and Nicholas. (pictured here with Bishop Gonzalo de Villa y Vásquez and Lay Mission-Helper Mitch Tolbert) Just prior to that visit we had Commissioning Mass for Dr. James and Mrs. Terry Hake, leaving this summer to begin a three year assignment in Cameroon.
I had some time to think about this blog, waiting in airports (and in Guatemala City for an airport to re-open) and how I can share with you the joy, dedication, and generosity of spirit all these special individuals share. One a young family, taking their children, away from aunts and uncles and grandparents - the other couple leaving behind adult children and grandchildren.
It isn´t that they are unaware of the sacrifice, or that they don´t miss the opportunity for big family get togethers that this separation means, but that despite this separation they step out, they take the risks necessary to share their skills with individuals in need in Africa and Latin America.
This is a profound example for all of us who comfortably put our heads on our pillow tonight, who can see our families when we chose. Their example of service, so far from home, is one that we may not be able to follow today, but through our own sacrifices we can make their service possible.
Those who support the work of MDA are the essential partners in a healthy delivery in Guatemala, a child treated for malaria in Cameroon, a trauma cared for in Uganda, a village visit in Tanzania. We put our faith and trust in God that we too may be blessed.