These pictures from six years ago in Honduras are some of my fondest memories. Suyapa is a woman who I was blessed to walk alongside during my time there – her life was a story with many tragedies and hardships, but nonetheless she had her beautiful children to move her forward, no matter how tiny those steps were, and even if she often took steps backward, much to our dismay. From her I learned that ministry in the form of listening and intercession was powerful, and that no matter how persuasive I believed the Gospel or my own explanation of it to be, that a hopeful yet silent presence of another human being in a moment of despair can work miracles. Her baby girl in this photo, Ana Cecilia, who she named after me, was a miracle.
I recall quite vividly arriving back in Honduras after my first summer session in Rome to a phone call from then Brother (now Father) Dismas saying I needed to get back to Comayagua ASAP because Suyapa had been shot, was pregnant, and in the hospital. I made my way home, and along with my mission sister Nely went to the hospital. Suyapa’s boyfriend had also been shot and had passed away. The years of accompanying her were filled with not so fond and some very scary moments with him – violence and abuse were normal when he was around. And yet here we were at her hospital bedside, consoling her through this tremendous trauma and loss, and reminding her that despite the tragedy and heartbreak, there was a life in her womb that needed her.
Months later in November, Ana Cecilia was born. This beautiful baby girl was certainly a miracle in the midst of tragedy. And though Suyapa’s life is not perfect, for me she is a constant reminder that even though we don’t always get to see a miraculous shift in the direction in which people take their lives, the Lord is still good.
Fr. Dismas once shared this from a prayer in his brievary in reference to a social work difficult case we were on.
¨Dios, cuya providencia nunca se equivoca en sus designios…¨
“God’s providence is never wrong in its designs”
Despite wanting quick resolutions, immediate conversion, and instantaneous change, we had to trust in the Lord’s designs.
As I reflect back on these moments, I continually offer up my own life and heart to the Lord. May we all continue to rely on His providence and trust in His designs.