Mission Reflections

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Blessed are the poor in spirit… Blessed are they who mourn…

Yes, the Beatitudes are the perfect way to describe my Peruvian people, the 1,200 who happily and patiently waited to be seen by the doctors and nurses who went on our Medical Mission to Peru.

As a Peruvian by birth (now I am a Spanish-speaking U.S. citizen!),  I felt so proud to be part of the first Medical Mission, and more than happy when Father Dan chose Peru as the location for our Medical Mission.   But, being away from Lima for almost 45 years, I felt nervous about the response we could have from the new town of José Galvez, because most Peruvians are humble, meek, and shy.

Elena with the team packing medicines at night.

On our first day, I saw the line of people at the site, with a lot of shiny eyes and timid smiles. My heart was proud watching how polite and grateful they were.  Most of them came walking down the hill with their babies and toddlers on their backs, or clinging from their clothes, but they did not ask for special treatment.  Some of them did not have breakfast in order to be early, but they did not complain about the long wait.  All of them were waiting for a miracle for their pains, illness, and conditions.  They came back, with smiling faces, two days in a row, to check if the medicines were released from Customs.  Each and every one of them were the reflection of one, if not all, the eight Beatitudes.

The Peruvian people live day-by-day, they do not take anything for granted, they teach their children to greet and be thankful, they are tired, sometimes sad, but have a lot of hope and resilience.  And when I was translating their pains and worries, I was also hearing I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was sick and you took care of me.

I know for many this experience was like a drop of water in the desert; for others, an eye opener beyond the cooking for Walk-In Dinners and the wrapping for the Giving Tree.  And, for many, this experience was a life changer because we gave them a bag of goodies and medicines, but they gave us a foretaste of the happiness of heaven.



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