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Men on a Mission
U. S. A. | APOSTOLATE | NEWS
Atlanta’s ‘Missionary Men’ serve the needy in Cancún

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By Alex Caraballo

Cancún, 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. 

We mixed 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
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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
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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. 

As 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 his call?

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.

If you 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.

 

 


PUBLICATION DATE: 2012-11-21


 
 

Related links

Altius Foundation
Catholic World Mission
Helping Hands Medical Missions
St Rafael Guizar y Valencia Missionary Center


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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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