Here are some moving insights from the administrator of Carmen Pampa University, one of our ministry partners. It was founded by a Franciscan nun to serve the needs of poor but hardworking high school graduates from rural areas of Bolivia, the poorest country on the South American continent.
We all imagine being part of something much bigger and more important than ourselves. We think that somewhere, everything we do will be complemented with the efforts of others, and working together we can achieve so much more. I found this at Carmen Pampa University: a team of women and men dedicated to helping young people grow and reach their potential. The work of training young people to respond to the needs of their rural communities is not always easy. But we work together, and we get to see these young people transform into excited young professionals ready to do the impossible – because they don’t know that it should be impossible. And in the end, nothing is impossible when we ask God with a good heart.
Food is such an integral part of our existence, from the bread and tea we share at the breakfast that Cross Catholic Outreach provides for our students, to the bread and wine we share at the table of Communion. Christ asks us to give of ourselves, and joining the community of Faith that we share with Cross Catholic to feed those less fortunate than ourselves is the work of love that God expects of us all. I feel fortunate to be part of that, and I hope that the benefactors of Cross Catholic do, too.
In the Our Father, we say, “Your will be done.” That means putting aside our own desires and training our heads and hearts on what God wants for His people. All of us who work here live alongside the students and mentor them. Though I have no children of my own, I feel like the father to 700 teenagers and young adults. That is both satisfying, and trying! But I can see God working through them all, and I can’t think of a better way to contribute to His Kingdom.
– Dr. Hugh Smeltekop