Going where we do not expect

Come over to Macedonia and support us.
Acts 16: 9

 I never expected to spend almost seven years in Honduras – and probably live here until God calls me elsewhere.

A 2006 service trip with students to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina opened up something in me.

I applied for an opening in El Salvador, a country which I had visited every year since 1985. I was interviewed and the Des Moines-based committee wanted me to go to be interviewed by the Salvadoran staff.

But soon after the New Orleans trip I had written to a friend, Dubuque Franciscan sister Nancy Meyerhofer, if I might be of help there. She told me that when I came on a planned visit in May I should speak to the bishop.

The Saturday before I was to see the bishop was the Saturday of the fifth week of Easter, with today’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles.

Paul seemed to be trying to figure out where he should go to preach the Gospel. But the Spirit prevented him from going to some places in Asia Minor (now western Turkey). The places weren’t bad places to go, but God had something else in mind. At night, Paul had a vision of a man from Macedonia who told him to come to Macedonia to help.

In some ways my days in Honduras in May 2006 were like Paul’s vision: “Come to Honduras to support us.”

Sometimes God calls us where we hadn’t planned to go. And so I am in Honduras.

“Why Honduras,” some have asked me, “and not El Salvador where you have connections and emotional ties?”

Only God really knows but for me Honduras is poorer and has less solidarity than El Salvador.

And so I am here. Thanks be to God.

 

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