All very valid questions!
In fact, Eric and I have been asking and discerning precisely these questions for several years now. The short and sweet answer to all of them is (of course) that this is what we feel God is calling us to do. But here’s a closer look at how we came to hear and accept that call:
We don’t think Jesus was kidding when He talked about the need to commit ourselves in a real and tangible way to “the least of these.” (Matthew 25:40) And although there are infinite paths of living out this vocation of service to the poor, we have always felt drawn to international mission work.
During and after university, Eric and I individually spent time volunteering in developing countries – he in Brazil, I in Uganda and Ecuador. These experiences were foundational in our faith formation and global perspectives, and we have longed to share a similar experience together as a family. The question soon became not “Why us?” but rather “Why not us?”
Eventually, we ran out of responses.
Having felt called to international mission work for years, Eric and I were fairly open regarding the specific timeline for our departure. Our decision to go now has more to do with our children than ourselves. This seems like the perfect season in our daughters’ lives for a big adventure and life transition. Kiara and Adelina will be seven and five when we arrive in Honduras – young enough to adapt to change and learn Spanish, but old enough to remember and be shaped by the experience (we hope!).
Why this mission?
Eric and I began discerning what sort of mission work we would like to do several years ago. A faith-based program was of primary importance to both of us, and obviously we needed to find someplace that accommodates families with children.
I had strongly considered volunteering at the Finca del Niño (Farm of the Child) after I graduated from Notre Dame. At the time, however, I was newly in love with Eric and I couldn’t bring myself to spend 2.5 years away from him. Years later, while researching missionary opportunities, the Finca immediately jumped out at us. Eric and I started communicating with board members and former missionaries, and – through those conversations, many late nights reading about and discussing the Finca, and lots of prayer – we discerned our calling there.
The four pillars of missionary life at the Finca del Niño are community, spirituality, service, and simplicity. These pillars resonate deeply with us, as they encapsulate the values we believe Jesus lived out – the values around which we wish to orient our lives.
We love the mission statement of the Finca. We love the things we’ve heard from former missionaries about the Finca. Most of all, we love the feeling we get when we envision our life at the Finca: a feeling of peace that surpasses understanding.
Are you interested in supporting our family’s mission? Go to the Support tab above for more information, or click here to make a tax-deductible donation to our mission fund.