Presented to Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish on July 16 and 17, 2016
Good morning/evening! And thank you again Father Glenn for this opportunity. Well, it has been about a year since I last stood here and told you about my mission with Focus. I was excited and passionate about what I was about to start doing, but the biggest feeling I had was fear. I knew on paper what to do, but I was afraid to leave my parish, my home, and my comfort zone! In this fear the Lord showed me my weakness of wanting to control everything. I was afraid of asking for financial support, I was afraid of moving to a different state, and I was afraid I was going to fail. He showed me slowly and gently that it wasn’t my job to control my life, it was His. Because the people of IHM are willing to help financially, I could have a home away from home (where butter is one of the main food groups), and as long as I said yes to Him, every moment of every day, I would not, and could not, fail.
By His grace, I not only survived this past year, but His mission thrived. None of this would have been possible without the army I have standing behind me here, in my home parish. I could never thank you all enough for your prayers, your care packages, and your financial support. Here are just a few things that you all have done in Southern Louisiana:
You have brought 13 women to commit their lives to the Lord.
You have helped feed them countless times.
You sent a few to a leadership conference in Dallas this past January.
And you have sent one of my girls and myself across the Pacific to serve the poor in Cambodia.
Sometimes we have a hard time seeing the fruit that bears through our giving and hard work, but I stand before you today to tell you, you are changing a generation that will someday change the world. Of course, there is still work to be done. There are still young people out there looking for love in all the wrong places, they are still looking to find something that will fulfill them, and they are not finding it. We, FOCUS and you all, are still fighting the good fight for the souls of our young people. There is still hope for this world; I see it every day around these college students, around my teammates, and through you.
I encourage you, as I return to The University of Louisiana this next year, to not give up on any of these students, to keep praying for their hearts to be transformed, and for the spiritual poverty we have in this country to turn into spiritual abundance. Mother Teresa, said “There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.” Thank you again for all that you have done this past year, and all that you continue to do to alleviate this hunger.