March 12-18, 2023 we welcomed back the University of Dallas for their 2nd Alternative Spring Break with Catholic Mission Trips, Inc to Lake Charles, LA!
We helped 3 different families and were welcomed into the home of families each night. Some of the families who hosted us were either active members of the Cursillo or the Domestic Church.
Paw Paw Mitch witnessed to us the love of his family at the Guadalupe Ranch as we met his grandkids by the dozen and shared with us his love of the Sacred Heart and one of the famous quotes of the Sacred Heart promoter, Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey:
“An apostle is a chalice full of Jesus that pours out its overflow upon souls.”
Every morning the UD crew joined us for 6:30AM Mass. After breakfast we served 3 different families throughout our week of mission.
Gary’s home was destroyed in the tornado in Ragley. The UD student missionaries were moved with such compassion for Mr. Gary as his home was destroyed into pieces. Upon clean up, they found a bag of $120. Mr. Gary insisted that we keep it. The money ended up being a bag a blessing for our next family.
Apparently in the outer Lake Charles area there are a lot of people in the blind community. We got to spend time hearing about their lives, falling in love, raising children, and surviving the storms. We got to brighten up their lives for their guests and painted their doors and shutters.
Melissa’s trailer was demolished in the flood of 2016 after spending her money on a new home, her new trailer was destroyed in the hurricanes in 2020. She found a small insulated transport for arctic animals that she purchased as her home. She had no running water and was using rain water as her main water source. She confessed that she felt ashamed of her living quarters and the rats that invade her home. She told us she thanks God for what she has and is grateful that she has something because she knows she doesn’t have much. We were moved by her littleness before God in the midst of her situation.
Before we started our work, we invited her to pray with us. We prayed our famous St. Joseph the Worker prayer and she cried sharing with us that was her husband’s name, Joseph. Melissa has lost a number of her family members and we were grateful that we could be family for her that week.
She shared with us that she has been living like a hermit because she rarely has any human interaction. As we prepared to disinfect her home and put in new flooring that was chewed away from the rats, we all slowly began to become aware of the greatest ministry we could offer Melissa was a ministry of presence.
Because of the selflessness of these students coming on mission we were able to replace all that was rotted and restore a new well for Melissa’s running water and a new shower for her to experience her dignity as a chosen and beloved by God.
Thank you to our missionaries:
Mitch, Trooper, Shelby, Deacon Ryan, Tatiana, Peter, Patrick, Michael, Siyu, Eleanor, Angela, & Kevin.
Thank you for all of your hard work and giving Jesus to so many in the community this week. We pray and hope you can share the mission and bring back a friend with you next year!
Viva Cristo Rey,