We all have regrets. Yet there are some experiences we have had for which we will never be sorry. One of those events was when I went to Ecuador on a Home of the Mother (HM) Mission Trip as a junior in college. Going on that trip changed my worldview. Also, I often look back on it so as to know how to put things back into place in my life.
I would like to share five reasons why I will never be sorry that I went on an HM mission trip:
1)- The other girls: There is something about living a life-changing experience with another person that changes the way you see them. I will always have a special connection with the other girls from my school that went with me down to Ecuador.
2)- The people in Ecuador: I felt like I couldn’t wear masks. They are so simple, they are just ready to accept you as you are, and they expect you to be simple as well. You can learn so much from them if you have an open heart.
3)- Overcoming my fears: I loved doing things that were uncharacteristic of me on the trip: killing a chicken for the Children’s Soup Kitchen, jumping off a tree into the lake on our “day off”, and sweating nonstop – even right after I stepped out of the shower (and accepting that the people were so poor there, that maybe the shower would only drip instead of come out full blast like it does in the US). One of my college roommates had a hard time at first with the challenges that you meet inevitably on a mission trip, but when she changed her attitude, the mission trip changed her forever.
4)- A new way of seeing life: I can never throw away food again. When I saw a little girl come into the soup kitchen with her little brothers and sisters, I thought to myself, “That could have been me: I could have had to come to a soup kitchen with my little brothers and sisters to eat just once a day.” How could I waste money on food that I was just going to throw out later, knowing that there are real children, just like me, who do not have enough. I can’t do it.
5)- Finding what I least expected: I never understood before why people loved the Blessed Mother so much. Yet when we first arrived in Ecuador, we went to a shrine dedicated to Our Lady and I felt in prayer that Momma Mary said she would be with me throughout the trip. During the HM mission trip, I have never experienced so much joy. And at the end of our time in Ecuador, I felt like I had tried to give and all that had happened in the end was that I constantly received. Then I understood that having a sincere relationship with Our Heavenly Mother always brings joy with it.
God never lets Himself be outdone in generosity.