Thursday, June 5, 2014


Dear Honduras,

It has been a pleasure being here. Honestly, I can’t believe my time is over. I just wanted to write this note to say thanks. There is so much I could thank you for.

I’ll start by saying thanks for teaching me about myself. Within your borders I came across so many challenges, emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual. I learned both my weakness and my strength simultaneously. And I learned to accept both. It is interesting that, when away from any familiarity and the societal pressure to be successful, you have a lot more freedom to know yourself.

Also, thank you for all the wonderful things I have experienced. Your people are beautiful and I will always carry many in my heart….my students, those I met on mission, the other missionaries in the community, and so many others. But speaking of people, you really need to take care of them better. It is so difficult when situations that people do not choose cause such suffering. Please, Honduras, take care of your people…ALL of them.

On the topic of people, it is certain that through your people I grew so much in my faith. The example of their trust in God is incredible. He truly takes care of those who trust in Him. And the way He took care of me during all the challenges of mission was also so beautiful. Thank you, Honduras, for creating the typically crazy circumstances that allowed this clarity.

Finally, Honduras, thank you for teaching me about the world. I know that I grew up very much in a bubble. But now I can see how my brothers and sisters in the rest of the world are connected to me. I have seen that the way I live and decisions I make must build up and not oppress, not even indirectly. To be honest, I don’t know what this means yet, but I do know that I want to live with integrity and solidarity.

In conclusion, it has been a great two years. I will miss you.

Your half-Catracha friend,


Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Once again, the time has slipped past and I have not written. It has been a good couple of weeks. We had another Pan de Vida retreat, my last. It was a wonderful retreat for the youth who came. They were able to encounter God in a powerful way. For me, also, it was a powerful weekend. Knowing that it would be my last, I spent some time in prayer reflecting on everything that has happened in these two years. There have been so many challenges, triumphs, and moments to grow that I can barely believe it has only been two years. So much has happened that I can scarcely begin to think about it all without being in awe of God. During the retreat, the thought that kept coming back to me was “I am loved.” Through it all, at the end of it all, I am loved. I have seen to incredible power of God’s love, both in my own life and in the lives of those I have been blessed to walk alongside. It’s a love we can’t imagine, nor can we earn it. We are loved passionately, foolishly, to the extreme. And opening our hearts to that reality is what gives life its meaning and excitement. We are created for this.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Happy Easter

I guess better late than never is a phrase I can use for this blog post. I didn’t realize how long it has been since I have written.

Let me back up to the beginning. Holy Week was wonderful. I was on a team that went to one of the islands for mission. It felt like I was working in a post card, seriously. During the day we had kid’s programs and other activities on the beach. In the evenings, we had Mass or other Holy Week activities with the community. It was definitely a difficult place for mission, but beautiful nonetheless. We had to trust God to plant the seeds, even if we can’t see fruit. But I truly believe that if we take that step out to serve, God does the rest.

It seems like God has been showing me how He always takes care of us. I wrote about that after the mission to Ingrula. He did it again during Holy Week. There was a thunder storm that was headed to the island right as we were doing some outside activities. It went around us. No one got bit by a tarantula, though we killed 10 in the house we were staying in, including one in a suitcase and one on my ceiling. He helped us overcome the daily issues with getting the power we needed for the activities. Truly, God cared for us.

Now we are back in school. In the community we will be leading a Pan de Vida retreat next weekend. Then it is nearly summer and all the blessed craziness that that implies. I can’t believe how the time is flying!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Quick Update

I don't have time to write a full post now since we are rushing out the door for the Holy Week mission. But I wanted to share a video we all like very much. You can get English subtitles using the settings on the bottom of the video screen.

Also, I updated my pictures.

Have a blessed Holy Week and Easter!

Monday, March 31, 2014

God's Mercy in Ingrula

Last week I was able to go with the community on mission to a remote village called Ingrula. The people were very simple and extremely sincere in their faith. We were able to celebrate the feast day of the community (Annunciation) with them. They had a huge nearly all-night vigil where they sang and prayed. They got Mass, which, for a mountain village, is rare. We visited several families in the village. This involved A LOT of hiking as the village is built on two side of a steep ravine and the houses are spread apart. From the top of the village to the bottom there is probably a 1000-foot difference. And then you have to hike up to other side!

For me, it was a beautiful week. It helped remind me of how blessed I am to be here. The generosity of the people astounded me. At nearly every house they gave us eggs because they wanted us to have them to take back and share. It was incredible. I could see God in so many places: nature, the people, the adorable great-grandmother that kept asking us if we knew her grandchildren in the United States, the children, my team members that stepped out of their comfort zones to serve during the week...the list goes on and on.

The biggest lesson for me, though, was how God is merciful and answers our prayers even about the little things. We had hiked over two hours to reach another village for the day. It was time to return to Ingrula, but we were WAY behind schedule. We also had to climb up and over a huge mountain. Usually, I like being outside and hiking, but after doing so much already, I do not honestly know if I would have made it. I said a little prayer for help and God sent me a bus. We were able to take the 3:00 bus to the turn-off for our village. From there, it was still an hour hike, but downhill.

At the end of the week we were supposed to hike to the main turn-off for our village to be picked up there in the car. What had taken us an hour to hike down the day before now had to be climbed, with backpacks, guitars, sleeping bags and the suitcase full of random supplies. To make matters worse, the first mile or so was literally straight up the mountain with not even switchbacks to helps you out. I said another little prayer that we would not have to climb. As we were preparing to load a mule with at least some of our things, we heard the most wonderful sound...our car had come to pick us up.

These things, at the time, seemed so small. Why should I ask God for that? But He answered. He pays attention to the little details and uses them to show His mercy and love.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Challenges of Honduras

When things go wrong in Honduras, they really go wrong. There are no safely nets here like we have in the States for people who are in crisis. Imagine, a family does not have enough food. There are no food banks here. A family lost their home. There are no shelters, only relatives. There is a situation of child neglect. There is kind of a powerless version of CPS, but they can’t make the decision to actually take the child away. A student needs extra help. There are no special education services. There is a seriously depressed person. The number of hoops to jump through to get them help takes two months. There is a medical emergency. The public hospital leaves them unconscious and does not attend to them for four hours. Add to that the fact that there has been no cell phone service for nearly a month because the government wants to curb the number of prisoners making calls (a great goal, but not great implementation). It has been a week of relying on God in prayer. We believe He can do all things and we say that so much, especially on mission. It is when things happen that you actually learn to believe it. He can do all things. In this we place our hope.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Suyapa and Other Fun

Well, last week was my first week with the new schedule. It was a good week, though this change will take some getting used to. Here are some highlights of the week.
  • I did a self-evaluation thing with my students since we were starting a new term. When asked to describe her behavior, one girl wrote, "adorable." Another student said that the hardest thing about school was getting up in the morning.
  • As a school we went to the Basilica of Our Lady of Suyapa in Tegucigalpa. It was beautiful to be there with the kids. I am thankful for the public schooling that I received, but it is also beautiful to be able to do things like this.
  • This weekend I was a little stressed because I have some work to do with all my new classes, but we lost power. It was like God was saying: slow down and smell the roses. I have a feeling it will take me a lot longer to learn this one. I tend to rush rush rush when I know I have things to do
On a deeper note, being on this side of my second Christmas is a little bit of an eye-opener. I've been doing a lot of reflecting. I came with the desire to love the people of Honduras and to help. Simply put, but difficultly lived. Sometimes I succeeded and sometimes I let impatience or other things get in the way. But through it all, I can see how God has been working, in my heart, in the community, and in the lives of others we serve. All I  can do is look to heaven and say thank you and ask for the grace to continue and to deepen this path that I am on in these last couple of months.