“Where are you going?”
It’s a familiar, important question for our missioners serving overseas, but also relevant for our year-long volunteers, who often arrive in DC for the start of their service program after considering various options for after college. At the same time, all of our missioners and volunteers come from somewhere, and connections to home help sustain all program participants during their year–or years–of service. In addition, the experiences of missioners and volunteers also have an impact on their home communities and families while they are serving with Franciscan Mission Service, often long before one becomes a returned missioner or alumni volunteer.
In this article, we consider the other side of “Where are you going?” and hear from family members of missioners and volunteers who speak to three of the many ways their loved one’s “yes” to service has impacted their worldview and relationships.
Click on the following to hear the stories and perspectives of several of FMS family members:
Conclusion: Where did you come from?
As an organization that values, respects, and supports the unique life journeys of its missioners and volunteers, FMS would be remiss if it did not acknowledge the amazing variety of stories that make up the lived experiences of family members of missioners and volunteers. An individual’s decision to serve in a sustained way over a year or more has a ripple effect. Sometimes, those ripples are small and almost imperceptible, and sometimes they look more like waves. Nonetheless, this truth is one we honor as an organization and one that links the stories told here, as well as the many stories that are untold: the other side of “Where are you going?” is important. It has meaning. It is sacred.