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Silver Spring, MD

Megeen Testa
Group: 1
Country of Service: Zimbabwe
Years of Service: 1991-1993
What I Did on Mission: I taught biology, physical science, and religious education in secondary schools. I was also involved in youth ministry and pastoral work, including leading bible studies, retreats, and women's groups; teaching scripture lessons; and coaching volleyball and soccer.
Current Location: Silver Spring, MD
What I'm Doing Now: I am a nurse at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and serve on the FMS Board of Directors. Previously, I was also the Co-Director of FMS.
 
 "The new friendships formed changed who I was as I entered into the stories and lives of many wonderful, hospitable, and loving people."
 
Don Clausen
Group: 20
Country of Service: El Salvador
Years of Service: 2004-2007
What I Did on Mission: I taught
computer classes in the newly rebuilt parish school in Chiltiúpan, which opened in 2006 after the previous school was destroyed by earthquakes. Out of a donation of old computers from Cleveland, Ohio, we put together a fully networked lab of 26 computers connected to the internet. The school had no library or textbooks, so the computer lab provided an opportunity for the students and teachers to access current information, do research, and connect to the outside world.
Current Location: Silver Spring, MD
What I'm Doing Now: I serve on the Returned Missioner committee at FMS, volunteer for various causes including: Habitat for Humanity in Montgomery County, Habitat International going to Jordan, and food pantry at St. Camillus (Franciscan Parish). I also spend time with my 4 grand children who live in the  DC area. Pat and I still feel a very strong connection to El Salvador and go back for extended visits twice a year and continue to follow and support various projects in Chiltiúpan.
 
 "The mission experience for me was extremely powerful...I became very connected to the people and experienced both their joys and sorrows, their successes and failures, their births and deaths."
 
Pat Clausen
Group: 20
Country of Service: El Salvador
Years of Service: 2004-2007
What I Did on Mission: I was a nurse practitioner with a parish clinic serving those living in the area surrounding
Chiltiúpan. My coworkers were both professionals in the clinic and health promoters, who were community volunteers trained by the diocesan "pastoral de salud" (health ministry). Together we engaged in a daily ministry of direct care, accompaniment, and outreach.
Current Location: Silver Spring, MD
What I'm Doing Now: I am active in a Franciscan parish that challenges us to continue to grow in our faith, especially in the areas of Catholic social teaching. I still work as a nurse practitioner with an underserved, uninsured population, many of whom are from Central America. Living in an area impacted by the recent recession and anti-immigrant sentiments has only reinforced for me the need to continue to combine action, advocacy, and my own spiritual development.
 
 "The three years with FMS have been part of an ongoing conversion and growth for me. I have learned that one experience doesn't define you, but it can stretch you and allow you to be more open to the experiences and graces that follow."
 


Franciscan Mission Service
P.O. Box 29034
Washington, DC 20017-0034

T: 202-832-1762 | F: 202-832-1778

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