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Day 3: Unsteady

Advent Blog Headers 2022 (3)

Editor’s note: On this third day of our Advent blog series “His Light Would Not Go Out,” current missioner Victor Artaiz offers practices that steady him even amidst the challenges of life on mission.

During my nine months here on mission in Bolivia, there are many days when I ask myself if my efforts are “enough.”  It is in these times of unsteadiness when I turn to my faith in Jesus Christ and my time in Franciscan lay mission formation to settle my mind and heart. Knowing that I am making myself available to His Will for me is all the assurance I need to know I’m in the right place alongside the many friends I’ve been blessed to have here in Cochabamba.

Times of doubt, the questioning of sacrifice, the experiences of vulnerability are all a part of what overseas lay mission commitment is about. Making choices that steady us and ground us in our faith are an essential aspect of faith-based mission work.

The daily focus on prayer, Bible reading, ministries accompanying men in prison, and children living in group homes have strengthened my faith via soaking in La Palabra, or the Word of God, and taking action to be with those living on the margins of society.

Strengthening my Catholic faith through evolving relationships with priests, brothers, and sisters here, teaching and fulfilling Sacraments for men at El Abra prison, and completing a course on Eucharistic ministry to be able to share the Body & Blood of Jesus Christ to those unable to get to Mass are all blessings from God that have smoothed my continuing camino as a part of the Franciscan Mission Service family and vision.

“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for His harvest.” (Luke 10:2)

Let us be grateful for the opportunity and blessing to be joined as laborers in His harvest whether it be as a missioner or all those who support us in prayer, direction, and financial sacrifice.

Snapshots of places where Victor finds steadiness: the beckoning open arms of the love of El Cristo over the city of Cochabamba (left); the joys of FMS community and supporters (center); the beauty of Creation (right).


Question for reflection: What steadies you?  Who labors in the harvest alongside you?

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After a 30 year career in international business and serving communities in Kenya and locally in New Haven, CT, Victor Artaiz is grateful for the opportunity to serve and accompany individuals living on the margins in mutuality and simplicity through FMS’ Overseas Lay Missioner program. Victor's ministries in Cochabamba, Bolivia, include addiction recovery services, accompanying men who are incarcerated, and serving meals to people experiencing hunger.