Missionary trip to El Puyo (Ecuador) with the Servant Sisters and the youth from the Home of the Mother, October 2014.
A few weeks ago, the Home of the Mother undertook a new mission to the east of Ecuador to the shuar indigenous communities of El Puyo.
This was our fourth time going. This time, the group was made up of two married couples, 20 youth members of the Home from Playa Prieta, Chone and Guayaquil, and 4 Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother. We were accompanied by Father Dario, parish priest of Calceta.
As in previous trips, we had several teams to serve the various communities. The married couples stayed in the first parish and did a great job with the couples, showing them the reality and the beauty of marriage.
Once again the Lord did not allow himself to be outdone in generosity, since the more we gave of ourselves, the more we received. Everyone had a very enriching experience. The priest who accompanied us said: “I have been a priest for 20 years and God continues to amaze me.” It is truly a missionary experience, an experience of self-giving and self-sacrifice, but it is, above all, an experience of God, whom we felt so present that our souls overflowed with joy. You see yourself in God’s hands and you are constantly aware that not a hair of your head can fall without God allowing it; so the fear that once may have been present, disappears, giving rise to a trust in God that gives peace to the soul.
This time the Lord surprised us with a great gift. In Yampis, one of the most remote communities, we have seen a transformation that fills us with joy. It is a place recently evangelized, they knew almost nothing of God and, much less, of prayer or of the sacramental life. It was very difficult to reach them, because what we taught them in catechesis was quite contrary to what they were living, especially in the moral order. Throughout the various missions there, the Lord has been touching hearts and changing lives. The first time we went, the reception was cold, this last time we were received as part of their community. We have been able to notice the true love people feel toward the missionaries and, above all, the love that begins to grow in them for God and for our Mother.
They themselves have built, with much effort, a chapel, “a house for God” (as they say), which is marked by their delicate touch. The community is an Indian camp, so the huts are organized in a circular form. The main part was occupied by the “communal house”, which is the common meeting place to celebrate parties, to have assemblies, etc. When thinking about where to put the new chapel, they realized that it should be in the central place so that it could be seen from all the houses, so they did not waste any time. They took down the communal house and moved it to another location, putting the chapel in its place.
On the first trip that we took to the Puyo we brought a life size poster of Our Lady of Garabandal. When we asked the people who lived there to whom did they want to dedicate their new chapel, they all looked at the poster of Our Lady and said: to Her. The chapel will therefore be dedicated to Our Lady of Garabandal and to St. John Paul II. This new chapel will be consecrated at the end of February or the beginning of March, God willing.
In another of the communities we were told that some sects had gone to visit and they had offered them many things so they could change their religion. Marcos, one of the indians said: "You cannot take away the Mother I have. You cannot buy our conscience."
The truth is that, with these examples, we returned home full of joy and gratitude to the Lord. It is very evident that from these missions the Lord provides disproportionate fruits in comparison to the work that is done. Some people sow a small seed, others water it, but it is the Lord that gives it growth.
Again, the Lord gave us the joy of hearing ‘whatever you did for one of these little ones, you did it for Me.'