Written by: Vivian Joffre, Guest Blogger and Missioner

Another SB mission has taken off. After meeting with our host medical team, reviewing some patients and their cases, we gather at the hotel rooftop, enjoying the views of the city of Cochabamba and its welcoming weather. Father Gary directed our opening ceremony. He reminded us of embracing our spirit to serve others, and allowing ourselves to share our gifts, no matter how big or small. He reminded us of the importance of sharing these individual talents with each other, our Bolivian counterparts, our patients, and their families.

We symbolically shared our gifts, shared our light, by passing on the light of our candles to one another. Unfortunately, there was a breeze that kept blowing our candles out. This became a moment of great significance for me, as during our day-to-day lives and our work we may encounter obstacles when sharing our light. But we must continue forward in our task of service because, as Father Gary reminded us, it is the light inside of us that matters most, the light that is reflected in our work and service to others.

Although we physically couldn’t keep our candles lit, our individual lights are shining, ready for all the work ahead. The light in our hearts is ready to shine brighter and brighter after each patient, after each family has been touched by the collective efforts of our missioners and local staff. At the same time, our hearts feed off the light of hope and gratitude that radiates from the people of Bolivia.

As we wrapped up our ceremony, some clouds rolled in as the sun set. In my heart I know it was that light from above, it was His light over us, blessing us all for the work ahead.

You are the salt of the earth,
You are the light of the world,
Let your light so shine,
Let your light so shine,
Shine with the goodness of God.

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