by Michaela McCurdy, WMF Intl. Intern
This update is from one of our interns who just completed her Word Made Flesh internship in Bolivia. Michaela is a senior at Anderson University and is completing her degree in International Relations and Spanish. We are grateful for her time with our WMF Bolivia community these past couple months!
I hope your summers have been great thus far! I wanted to let everyone know that I am back home in Indiana safe and sound :). Words can not begin to express how deeply grateful I am for your prayers while abroad and for your continued friendship at home. You all are awesome!
As I begin to process all that I saw and touched and sensed in Bolivia, two themes that often rise to the surface of my mind and conversations have been family and eucharastic communities. In a culture and a ministry where the absence of wholistic families has created such visible and devastating effects- widespread prostitution, domestic violence, single mothers, and the exploitation of those most vulnerable- the incredible importance of family was magnified in my heart. Not only am I even more grateful for my family (and friends who are like family), but I also am discovering what I believe is a calling that God has placed on my heart and life to provide family for those who do not have such- particularly amongst refugee and emigrant populations. This is one way that I would love for you to continue to pray with me. Please pray that God will continue to give me eyes to see and be aware of where He is moving in my own community in this way and how I can partner with Him in these ways both now and the days to come.
The other manner that I am seeking growth is in the pursuit of Eucharistic community. In the moment of the Eucharist, Jesus took the bread, gave thanks and bless it, broke it, and then shared it with His disciples. I have been challenged by the reading of Jean Vanier’s From Brokenness to Community (a small book that I highly recommend) which speaks of the way in which we can learn to live in community in the same way. Together, we give thanks for the moments that are shared and we suffer with one another in compassion. Eucharistic community further frees us to send and receive one another as we are shared with the world. It is a posture of remembrance and the acknowledgement that all is grace. The Word Made Flesh community has modeled this so well for me over the past seven weeks. Not only do they take time to intentionally celebrate life, but they also suffer with one another as they walk in the brokenness of the world, and they have freely received and sent me with abounding love and grace. This community lives in gratitude and prays with gratitude and my life has been blessed and touched simply by sharing time together. As I now look towards the rest of my summer days and the start of my senior year at Anderson University, I know how critically important it will be for me that I continue to live in a Eucharistic community. Rather than dreading the changes that lie ahead, I am learning more and more to give thanks for each moment shared in each of the precious communities that I am a part of and to send out my sweet friends in the love and favor of God when the time has fully come. In these times of Eucharistic community, I believe that our eyes too will be opened and we shall see Jesus (Luke 24:31).