A few months ago, I never would have thought that volunteering for a medical mission could be such a beneficial and rewarding experience. When I first thought about signing up for the mission to Peru, I was a little skeptical. Can I really make a difference? How will I get along with people I don’t really know? Will my family be OK while I’m gone? I had so many questions and decisions to make.
I knew a few of the people in the group, some as acquaintances, some as parishioners that I sometimes see at Mass, and some I had never met. I didn’t need to worry. As we boarded the bus for JFK Airport and started on this journey, I don’t think any of us would have suspected how our lives would change. I would not have believed how closely knit a group of people could become in just eight days. I couldn’t have conceived that all of us, working, praying, eating together, could make an impact on a small part of the world. It was a remarkable and humbling experience.
We developed a bond of love and affection for each other and the people of José Galvez that we served. This mission could not have been successful without each and every one of the people that made the trip. It could not have been successful without the gracious hospitality of Father Jerry and his staff—the food was delicious. Without our wonderful bus driver, without the prayers, donations and the good wishes of all of the parishioners of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and without our families who supported us throughout this endeavor. I am so very grateful that my daughter, Jessica, and I were able to experience this together. Most importantly, I am thankful for the wonderful people that we served. They were gracious, beautiful and happy people and serving them was an honor and a privilege. I hope we made a little bit of a difference in their lives and I hope we can do it again. Thank you, everyone, for allowing me to be part of such an amazing experience.