One may at first think that all 3rd world countries look pretty much the same: shoeless hungry children, street vendors, elderly beggars, makeshift shelters. It’s important to know the history of each country, to look beyond the external evidences of poverty and understand the reality in which a particular people finds themselves. To do this, it is necessary to walk with the people, to remove as best as possible, our First World eyes and see through their eyes, to listen to their stories.
I went to El Salvador wanting to know why missioners go to Latin America and end up staying as many as 50 years serving the people there? What is the attraction? I understand a little better now, because I could easily see myself doing the same. The purpose for walking with the poor and the oppressed is much clearer to me than most things in my life...there is little gray area…I've become convinced that it is my obligation as a Christian to walk with those whom Christ referred to as, “these least ones of mine.” It’s easy to understand how the disparity between those of us in the First world and those in the Third world. And it’s easy to be enraged at the unequal share of resources based solely on where one is born.
I've been reading "Through a Glass Darkly." What an awesome book! Don't be intimidated by it's size. It is an easy read and so engaging, you'll want to read all of it. I've come to realize lately how much I have changed for the better as a Catholic, a Christian, and as a person since working forMaryknoll the past 2 years. I am blessed to be able to witness daily the building of the Kingdom here on earth, to see Christ in the missioners, in those partnering with Maryknoll, in the people around the world being touched by Maryknollers. I've witnessed Maryknollers being touched by the people they serve...daily encounters with Jesus, our brother, our teacher.