John the Baptist spent his life announcing the coming of Christ. When Jesus was beginning his public ministry, John said “He must increase; I must decrease” (John 3:30). John had done his job in baptizing with water, and it was now time to step aside for the one who would baptize with fire and the Holy Spirit.
|Bolivian Christmas tree and creche|
Today’s prayer from returned missioner Jean Lecthenberg reminds us of the need to seek and accept the life-giving gifts God has for us (peace, acceptance, kindness…) and turn away from solutions that are temporary, and often hurtful, as we prepare the way for Jesus this Advent.
“For Christmas and the new year I pray for:
More peace, less violence
More acceptance, less judging
More kindness, less pettiness
More beauty, less crassness
More giving, less acquiring
From 2007 to 2009, Jean and her husband Lee served in Bolivia where she taught English at the Universidad Academica Campesina in Carmen Pampa. The rural Catholic university provides an education to students who would have otherwise not have gone to school. These students return home with their degrees and experience in nursing, education, agronomy, veterinary sciences and ecotourism and to help and contribute to their communities.
Jean also taught reading to children in first through fourth grades with reading difficulties. In conjunction, she established a children’s library and worked with others to collect books.
|Jean reading with a child in Bolivia|
Read about and see great photos from Jean and Lee’s mission experience on their blog, Jean and Lee in Bolivia.
Support FMS this Christmas by purchasing a commemorative print of one of Lee’s paintings. Each one is numbered and signed.