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Encountering God in Your Eyes

Hermana Chelo and missioner Kitzi Hendricks

 When our lay missioners serve abroad, they work alongside religious in solidarity with the poor. Mission Kitzi Hendricks shares a recent conversation she had with a sister at her service site, Madre de Dios, a shelter for abandoned and abused girls:

Hermana Chelo is a little Spanish nun who has been a fundamental part of the Madre de Dios team for about ten years now. When I asked her when she found God this year, she had the most eloquent response in Spanish.

I wish I had a tape recorder to remember exactly what she said, but I’ll paraphrase it. She told me

“I find God in my relationships–in the beauty of this life that we are so blessed to have. God is not in the sky. God is right here, right now with us. God is with us in every smile, in every tear, in every embrace, in every heart–in the hearts of the beggars we pass each day and those who we fear. We create the eternal life here and now. God is here right now with you and me. As I look at you right now, I see God looking right back at me through your eyes.”

To support the work of missioners like Kitzi, please make a donation to Franciscan Mission Service.

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.