Having known the Spanish Missionaries of the Holy Family for years, we both decided to meet the Missionaries who live in Bolivia this summer. To us, the word “missionary” referred to that person who is sent to predicate the Gospel and that was what we expected to find overseas. But there, amongst the muddy paths, we recognized the real “Missionary”.
That Missionary’s sandals are his humility and perseverance. His walking stick: the Gospel. His coat is made of the people’s love. His bag pack is full of comforting words addressed to the depressed, full of advice to guide the youth, and lively attitudes to enlighten the broken families. His sole make-up is his everlasting smile that protects children and encourages women. One more clue: you will recognize him when you look into his hands. Those are always wide-open, ready to welcome anyone. Together, his hands work incessantly, without any prejudice and…what’s more, they never want anything in return.
Today, back home, our minds realise that we did not know the Missionaries as we thought we did. Sharing their daily lives and taking part in their activities helped us grasp the actual meaning of the word “missionary”. There, in Bolivia, we understood that it is possible to follow Jesus today. However incredible it may seem, there are still people who are willing to leave any hindrance or bond to give in their lives. Today, back home, our hearts keep on saying “Thank you Missionaries of the Holy Family. Thank you dear Luis”.
Sylvie and David (Spain)