Mexico - On November 1st, six men left Atlanta for
Cancún, accompanied by the Parochial Vicar of St. Brendan, Father
Juan Guerra LC. All the men had one purpose: to
do God’s will. No one really knew how hard our
work was going to be; all we knew was that
we were going to put our faith in God and
have him help us figure it out.
St. John the Baptist Chapel,
located in a community about 20 minutes drive from Cancún,
was a mere three walls. But with the help of
our Missionary Men and some generous donors, we were going
to slowly transform this chapel, ourselves, and maybe even the
community. We all knew that the chapel was not going
to be finished on this mission trip, but our purpose
was to work as hard as physically possible so that
the next set of missionaries will see the fruit of
our work and can finish this task.
and poured concrete, and built columns and trusses for this
small chapel. The sweat on our faces, the blisters on
our hands, and the pain in every muscle could not
compare to the joy in our hearts and the many
graces that God gave us to make this effort a
reality. As the columns of this chapel went up, so
did the spirit in the community. Every day we celebrated
Mass with the community, and the Holy Spirit came upon
us and let us mutually love and care for each
other. As one man struggled, another man came to help
and take on his burden. As one man almost fell,
another man would pick him up. As the community saw
the men struggle, they would call their names to support
them in their effort, or in some cases, come to
help. Words cannot capture the experiences that all
of us shared. The following two experiences enable us to
see how God uses us every day if we are
open to his presence.
As one man went door-to-door to visit the
community, he came across a mother, daughter, and the daughter’s
baby. We talked about the mother’s struggle with her first
marriage and how she is now married and content. As
the men talked to her daughter, they found out that
she was not married and they asked more questions. There
was a lot of fear in this young lady about
marriage, not about the man whom she loved, but the
fear of commitment, the fear that she would repeat her
mother’s past, the fear to put it in God’s hands.
We talked about the beauty of the sacrament of marriage
and how if we put God first, he will take
care of us; then we left to work. On the
last day of our mission trip, she came to Mass
with a nervous smile; she came to tell the men
that she and her soon-to-be-husband have decided to get married.
I never understand why God chooses a specific person to
bring a specific message, but he does and it comes
together so nicely.
The second story happened on the last day
of our stay in Cancún. We met a captain of
a small tourist boat, and he asked us what were
we doing here as missionaries. We informed him that we
were here fixing a chapel. He then asked how much
they were paying us. We
proceeded to inform him that
we all paid our way for this trip and additionally
contributed for the materials needed to fix chapel. He asked
everyone on his boat for a tip, but he did
not want a tip from us; all he wanted from
us was to continue to do this mission work and
help his people and country. He indicated that only through
God’s grace can men come here to help his people.
Even in our simple and innocent testimonies, God is working
to impact others. I do not know what was in
God’s plan to plant that seed in the captain’s heart;
only God knows. As missionaries, we don’t always see the
fruits blossom around us, but we do bring back seeds
of love, hope and faith in our own hearts that
we can plant in our family and friends.
we begin to plan next year’s trip, we don’t know
which men will come or where it will take us,
but we know that God will place us where we
should be in that exact moment. God bless everyone reading
this article, and know that God is also calling you
to plant a seed; the question is, will you answer
We want to say a special thank you to
the Catholic World Mission, who provided some seed money
to help begin the process of building the chapel.
would like to participate in next year’s Missionary Men’s mission
trip, please contact us at Admin@missionaryhearts.org.
If you would like to
see more pictures of this mission trip, please go to
our website at www.missionaryhearts.org.