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Turn to Jesus (Article)

A Crash Course in Humanity
A former RC Mission Corps volunteer reflects back on what he learned during a year that was “a wild mixture of the maniac and the mature.”

Tim Moots
Tim Moots

In the following testimony, former RC Mission Corps volunteer Timothy Moots recalls two major “testing points” during his year as a volunteer.

The clock just ticked 2:30 in the afternoon and, watching cars drive by on the highway in this breezy, summer day in Atlanta, I’m already longing for 5 o’clock to arrive. The long, tedious struggle to master the complexities of my company’s document storage drive and its new management software has slowly been draining all my energy. My phone, however, buzzes quietly on my desk, and with the push of a button, the screen reveals that Fr. Jason Smith, LC, my director in New York for the last year, is looking forward to seeing my testimony when I send it in tomorrow. Chuckling at his clever reminder and thankful for the excuse to take a break, I find soon myself recalling scores of nudging texts, ridiculous jokes, and off-the-wall situations that characterized my last year. Compared with the work in front of me, I’ll take the journey through these welcome distractions, and I’d like to bring you along with me. 

The Regnum Christi Mission Corps volunteer program begins with a month-long training course in July and ends in late May or early June of the following year. The experience which falls in between offers such a vast array of opportunities and lessons: I can’t quite imagine any other year with such a wild mixture of the maniac and the mature.  The responsibilities, the people, the events, and the resulting combination of all three is, simply put, a crash course in humanity.

In my experience and my observation of the experiences of those around me, this crash course in humanity contains two major tests or maturing points—exams on the syllabus if you will. As I dive further into this idea, I notice that at different times during the year, my fellow missionaries each indicated exactly when they realized they had passed these milestones. The missionary reaches his first major milestone when he gets steamrolled by the freight train of “how-did-I-just-do-that” and realizes he has a skill he never had the chance to explore. I remember that moment clearly when I took the microphone to give the first talk of our first retreat of the year and finished wondering where I’d learned to speak like that. For the others with me it came at their first talks, first camps, or first responses from their audience. Nevertheless, along the way, each missionary experienced this same self-awakening of some ability they had never known, a gift from the program.

At one point in early March, teaching my umpteenth CCD class, I looked up from my desk, watching most of the class work and the few trouble-makers not-so-secretly whispering in the corner. I noticed one of the quiet and sweet but inattentive kids fooling around in the back with. Quizzically staring at him just before I silenced the group, I recalled all the different moments in the past few months I had seen this well-behaved student connecting more and more with the bad influences in the class. Sitting back in the chair still connecting the dots, I suddenly grasped that this boy realized being bad might bring unwanted attention, but at least it was attention. The kid had mirrored my fifth grade path so perfectly he could have won an Oscar.

The second test in the course, self-reflection, halts the missionary speechless in his shoes as the idea dawns upon him: This is me at their age. By this I mean that while the missionary uses the new skill he’s pulled from the closet as much as he can, he cannot make the missionary year a personal crusade until he sees himself and then Christ in the kids around him. As he rides back from giving a retreat, directing a youth group, camp, or class he slowly comes to grips with why he is here: So that they won’t turn out like I could have without God’s grace.

All of the missionaries who I spoke with voiced these same sentiments as a crucial result of their giving a year. Without the incredible opportunities offered by the Mission Corps, we could not have experienced such raw humanity with the purpose of sanctifying it. I cannot thank all those who helped and supported me along this journey enough. I also continue to pray for those whom I met and worked with every day: Thank you for the opportunity; give others the same love you showed me. Thank you.



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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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