Editor’s Note: Development Associate, Derek Slaton, shares a conversation he had with current missioner in formation, Becky Kreidler, regarding her love for intentional encounters with those in her life.
By talking to Becky I was able to develop a deeper understanding of what motivates her and what matters most to her. In this blog I want to share some of the wonderful things that I learned about Becky. It is my hope that I can tell a bit of her story so that everyone can get a glimpse into the mindset of an FMS missioner and how there are many different ways to be called to mission.
What matters most to Becky is other people. She gets great joy from seeing the gifts that God has given other people and the ways that they are sharing them with the world. She particularly finds joy in people that she has never met before. This is one of the innermost reasons that she wants to be a teacher. As a teacher there are many opportunities to meet new people to build relationships and see all the beautiful gifts that the Lord has given them. Within these relationships, Becky truly feels the presence of God.
She has been thinking about doing mission work since her sophomore year of college (2016). She had a moment where she felt she had to decide to either go out and do a mission overseas or go back to her local community and give back in a smaller way. After visiting FMS for discernment days, it occurred to her that she could do both. Mission does not stop when you come home. The experiences of mission and the people that you meet along the way change you as a person, which stays with you for a lifetime. Becky anticipates when she returns home from mission she will be able to share her gifts and experiences with her community, therefore; never really stopping her mission at all. She wants to pursue a teaching career when she returns home and volunteer with youth programs in the community. Sharing her faith with the youth is one of Becky’s passions, because at such a young age kids go through so many changes and need guidance. Having a strong faith in the Lord will help them through their journey and she wants to accompany them along the way.
Something that stuck with Becky from a talk given by Fr. Paul Dressler (OFM Capuchin) was that you cannot be a peace maker without having peace within. She told me that throughout this formation process she can already feel herself changing. While she does not know exactly how she will change from this experience, she is expecting that she will be more open, accepting, and kind. That is because as you get in touch with humanity and see how people overcome adversity it brings you closer to God and His Graces will pour into your life.
There is one story in particular that Becky wanted to share with me about a stranger that she met that had a huge impact on her. She was studying abroad in Rome when she decided to go to a church that was called the Bone Church Santa (Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini). There she met the man who oversaw the church. He introduced himself to her and asked her if she could help him figure out his new phone so he could take pictures of the church. She spent about 40 minutes going around the church taking pictures of different parts of the church for him. She got to see parts of the church that the public doesn’t normally get to see. The man ended up being so grateful that he gave her a card that was a drawing of the Virgin Mary which is depicted on the walls of the church. She recalls this beautiful moment, as she witnessed how happy the man was. It is little moments like this where Becky can really see God’s presence and how He brings different situations together to eventually show us a greater picture.
After returning from that trip, while Becky was discerning the call to serve with FMS, she found out something interesting about that church. The crypt underneath the church, where she explored, is a Franciscan Capuchin crypt. She was amazed to find how this place where she had such a profound experience ended up being affiliated with the Franciscans. Becky now looks back on her life to see little signs throughout that really reflect the Franciscan way. These encounters and memories reveal to her how she was being lead to do mission work with FMS.
Reflection Question: Which encounters in your past have had a significant impact on you and ultimately lead you to where you are now?