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Focusing on Mission


Editor’s Note: Missioner Aubrey Kimble shares how a recent reflection with FMS staff helped her re-focus on her ministries and reaffirm her decision to devote this time in her life to mission.

This past week was a real treat because two of our program directors from FMS, Emily and Meghan, came to visit us in Bolivia!

I had a wonderful time showing them around Carmen Pampa. It felt great being able to share this university with them and talk about my experiences so far on mission.

While Emily and Meghan were here, we were able to have an FMS reflection one afternoon. Meghan asked a great reflection question during that time that I wanted to share here.

Inspired by visiting the garden where FMS missioner Annemarie works in Cochabamba, Meghan started by explaining how farmers usually set aside certain plots of land at times to let them rest. They are still attentive to this land – making sure it gets the most out of its rest – but they intentionally do not plant anything in it for a set amount of time.

So Meghan asked us: what are you setting aside in your life right now to focus on instead?

I think that’s a really good way to look at being on mission.

Especially since I only arrived fairly recently, I feel like I’m intentionally setting aside my life in the United States to pursue life as a missioner (as an outsider, as a foreigner…and as a disciple of Christ).

Instead of pursuing a hotshot career, or being physically present with my family, or continuing with my music, or even pursuing a relationship (although let’s be honest – I wasn’t anywhere close to that happening), I am here in Bolivia.

Carmen Pampa landscape

Carmen Pampa landscape

I am intentionally pursuing solidarity, a shift in my own perspective, the ability to live simply, and being present with those who are marginalized.

I am also pursuing a deeper relationship with Christ and the opportunity to develop personally and become the best – most authentic – version of myself.

Looking at it in this way is helpful and very comforting, especially when I miss important events in the lives of my family and friends.

Even though I know that this decision was the right one to make, and I feel that it is worth it every day, I still feel the nagging of FOMO (fear of missing out) every now and then. But choosing to view my life in the United States as being intentionally set aside – and being allowed to “rest” – helps to ease those fears.

This mindset also serves as a helpful reminder for reverse mission – that when I go back to my “plot of land” in the United States in a few years, I will bring all of the things I have learned while on mission and hopefully cultivate “land” that will produce more fruit than ever before.

Reflection Questions: What are you setting aside in your life right now? What are you focusing on instead?

Aubrey has been in Bolivia since January 2016 serving at Unidad Académica Campesina-Carmen Pampa, a rural college. She works at the children's library and in a daycare for students' babies. She also accompanies students in their daily and after-school activities, such as Pastoral group, English Club, and Mujeres Valientes, a women's empowerment group.

Aubrey’s heart lies in service, the Spanish language, and music – she has been playing the cello for 11 years. While studying economics and Spanish at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Aubrey became a Catholic and discovered her love for service through Newman Center alternative spring break trips to Philadelphia and Staten Island. Her desire to be the hands and feet of Christ among the poor motivated her serve on overseas mission.