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Encountering God in Our Hearts


Today, Kitzi Hendricks shares the story of one of the girls she serves in Cochabamba, Bolivia at the Madre de Dios shelter for girls who have been abused or abandonded.

Martha is one of the adolescent girls I have been working with at Madre de Dios since she arrived at the shelter in March. When she came into the shelter, she was very difficult to handle–always fighting, always complaining, and constantly refusing to do anything we asked of her.

In the last seven months, she has made a complete turn-around. She is one of the faces I am so happy to see when I have a rough day. She is a reminder of the amazing blessings that come out of my mission.

When I asked her where she can find God, she put her hand on her heart. She said “Dios está aquí –siempre en mi corazón. Dios está en todas las cosas hermosas. Dios está con nosotras ahorita.”

In English: “God is here–always in my heart. God is in all beautiful things. God is here with us right now.”

To support Kitzi’s work and solidarity with girls like Martha, please considering making a donation to Franciscan Mission Service this season.

Kitzi served as a lay missioner in Cochabamba, Bolivia from 2012-2014. During her three years on mission she worked with teenage girls at the Madre de Dios shelter and at the Instituto de Terapia e Investigación (Institute of Therapy and Investigation) to accompany people who had experienced torture under the Bolivian dictatorships. Originally from Northern California, Kitzi is a graduate of St. Francis High School in Sacramento and Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where she earned a bachelor's in psychology in 2011. She is currently in graduate school at Santa Clara University.