Written by Rachel Gunderson and Megan Kennedy Farrell

Today marks the start of back-to-back mission trips for Solidarity Bridge. Our multi-specialty mission team has just arrived in Punata, Bolivia, and next week, a general surgery mission team will be working in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. 

Over the past few months, we’ve been eagerly preparing for these mission trips: arranging airfare and hotels, coordinating with Puente de Solidaridad to ensure that the local hospitals are ready, packing nearly $1 million of medical supplies into suitcases. 

When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
and if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.
— For the Traveler, by John O'Donohue

Our hands are busy both before and during mission.  But our journey is fundamentally a journey of transformation - for missioners, patients and families. So, before we departed, we took time, as a community, to prepare our hearts and spirits for this profound journey.  Through reflection and prayer at our annual Missioner Formation Day on September 10, we considered what it means to live the conviction that, as a human family, we are one - somos uno.  

Formation Day concluded with our annual Commissioning Mass and celebration. Bishop Manz of Chicago, the community at St. Nicholas parish, and past missioners gathered to bless and send us forth. We then celebrated with great fellowship and a delicious meal.

Now we are ready for the journey! Check back on our blog throughout the next two weeks for details on our teams in Punata and Santa Cruz, or sign up to receive blog updates direct to your inbox. 

P.S. - Did you miss the updates from our first fall mission trip? Catch up with our neurosurgery team and the great scientific exchange they supported in Santa Cruz earlier this month.  

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