The Journey of 8,000 Miles
In an airport, everyone is on some kind of a journey, whether it is a business trip, a vacation, a visit to see a loved one, etc. Everyone boards the plane with one particular destination in mind. Sandra and Bryce Bradford are among these travelers as they wait with entwined feelings of anticipation and excitement, with suitcases in hands, listening to the echoing sounds of airplanes on the runway, during a long layover at Dulles Aiport. They were grateful to be able to spend some of this time with Rhegan Hyypio, their formation teacher and mentor, who was able greet them before take-off. Their next flight will take them to Johannesburg, South Africa for the last leg of their journey before they land in Zambia, the place they will call home for three years.
They have committed themselves to three years of service and ministry with the people of Kitwe, Zambia. They have spent months studying and preparing themselves for this experience they know will be life altering. They have come to grips with the concept of leaving the comforts of home, family and friends during this time to work alongside those who suffer and thirst for justice.
I first met Sandra and Bryce five months ago, when they first arrived at Casa San Salvador, poised to begin their formation classes. The two had already long immersed themselves in causes advocating for the poor and less fortunate, from working in schools to serving on a Navajo reservation to acting as house parents for a program supporting expectant mothers. I have loved listening for hours to their stories and have felt honored to be a part of their journey while they were in D.C. Their commitment to social justice has been such a powerful witness to me over the months. Their choice in a program like Franciscan Mission Service demonstrates their firm commitment to approach overseas mission with full-discerned hearts. There is nothing impulsive about their decision – it is rooted in vocation. I know that they are following the will of God, who has called them to be his servants.
While I am not able to go on mission with them, I look forward to hearing their weekly stories of life in Kitwe, Zambia. I invite everyone else to share in their experiences as FMS missioners as well by following their blog: Sandra and Bryce Adventure.
~ Susie Zagar, FMS Domestic Volunteer.