When you sign up to be homeless for nine months, with a van-full of strangers, and essentially earn only five dollars a day, people will give you some shocked and confused looks. This is definitely understandable since it is a very radical thing we signed up for, but the many blessings we have encountered along the way make it all worth it.
The Lord has blessed us in so many ways. Team nine has adopted the term “road grace” to describe the everyday graces the Lord individually blesses us with to keep up with this busy lifestyle. We have seen the Lord’s presence in little blessings like a boost of energy during early morning retreats and the multiplication of van snacks. We have also seen God work in major, from miraculous ways such as healing from eight weeks of back pain to giving a retreatant the courage to go to Confession for the first time in six months.
We have led many confirmation retreats, and through talking more about the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, we have noticed those very gifts working through our team members. Most prominent being the gift of fortitude. This gift is being able to face evil and control fear. One team member spoke for all of the team in saying, “It’s a scary thing to leave home for nine months, but none of us would be here, doing what we’re doing, without the gift of fortitude.”
Of course this has not gone without struggle. Being distant from our families back at home has been a struggle. That is why the family-like bond we have created among the team is so valuable to each of us. We are learning to lean on each other in times of struggle, especially spiritually. The spiritual battle is real and it is strenuous, so there is a sense of comfort in seeing the team unite in prayer to help each other fight the battle. The traveling missionary life is full of constantly changing surroundings, but the people we start and end the day with remain the same and have the same goal: to help one another grow in holiness.
With Prayers, Team 9