Comboni Lay Missionaries

Arequipa, mission in southern Peru

We leave under these lines another video recorded by the Spanish television with the Comboni Missionaries in Peru.

In this Comboni parish is also working the Comboni Lay Missionaries for the last 9 years. At present time we are Kike Garcia (Peruvian CLM), Matt and Karissa Misner (CLM from US) with their two daughters.

We hope that with this video you can get close and understand better this missionary reality.

Greetings to everyone

Christmas project in Rayampampa, Peru.

LMC PeruEvery Christmas, the ladies of Theodokis Maria visit the small village of Rayampampa, Peru. Rayampampa is outside the city of Otusco where the Virgen de la Puerta, this region’s most famous religious icon resides.

The group takes gifts for the children of the village. When they first started approximately 15 years or so ago, there were only 10 children on their list. This year, there were over 100. They also take clothes and needed household items for the adults.

In the beginning, the village also did not have a church. Within the last few years, the ladies have worked with the villagers to construct their beautiful one room church. I was honored this year to be invited to participate in this project!

The celebrations started with praying, singing and Bible stories. The children danced and laughed and had a wonderful time. After the gifts were distributed, everyone was treated to hot chocolate and Panetton…the Peruvian version of fruitcake. No Christmas celebration in Peru is complete without it!

When most of the village had started their trek home with their goodies, one of the families cooked lunch for our group. Roasted hen and rice and beans cooked over an open flame. It was wonderful and I will certainly always remember the friendliness and generosity of spirit of these wonderful people!!

Melissa White, CLM in Peru

Why be a lay missionary?

AdamAdam Lewandowski comes to the NAP Comboni Lay Missionary Program from Madison, Wis.  During this time of formation in LaGrange Park, Ill., the Comboni community welcomes him and prays for his discernment. Here is a reflection from Adam.

When we encounter God our perceptions change and we are changed. How we understand our world and how we live in the world are shaped by that experience. When I was studying as a physicist I had such an encounter that transformed my perception of reality. I saw that creation was knit together fundamentally by love. Nothing at all is required of us to earn this love.

This encounter was relational and invites me to seek solidarity with all of creation. Though loved by God we are certainly no better than our poorest brother or sister. In fact, out of great compassion God chooses to take the lowest place. Therefore, he is more visible in the suffering and abandoned. He leaves the cathedrals of the wealthy and incarnates in the dung heap. And so I find myself desiring solidarity and simplicity with the poor of the world to be closer to God.

I know that nothing is required of me to earn God’s love. I also know that I am imperfect and fallible. But maybe in serving for three years as a missionary in service and solidarity with the poor I can make one small step in the right direction. And perhaps in reaching out to others in service both I and those I meet will be witnesses to God’s love and be changed and transformed.