Christmas Rosary Give-Away - by Karen

Mahatma Gandhi once said, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."  It goes without saying that 2020 has been a difficult year.  For us, one of the great challenges of quarantine has been social isolation.  When we're stuck at home it's tempting to believe that there's nothing we can do to help others, but that is a lie straight from the devil himself.  

Of course, we can always spend our time praying.  We can reach out to those we haven't talked to in a while to catch up and encourage one another in our faith.  We can write letters.  We can study our bibles, watch documentaries, and/or read about the faith as to deepen our understanding.  

Another thing that someone could do during this time of quarantine is to make homemade rosaries.... which is exactly what some of the members of Team Carmody did. 

Back in November we were incredibly blessed to receive boxes full of (what seemed like) a gazillion homemade rosaries.  Unsure of how we should go about getting them into the hands of those who could really benefit spiritually from this amazing gift, we sought the Lord.  In prayer the idea came to us to organize a Christmas Rosary Give-Away event with the other FMC missionaries here in Puerto Rico.  Collectively, we bought bags full of Christmas cards, printed off a page of instructions for how to pray the rosary, and wrote a letter to each recipient which introduced our families and explained the calling we feel to promote unity between the Protestants and Catholics here in Aguada.    

A few days before Christmas all the missionaries gathered at our home and worked together to assemble the gifts.  Following are some photos of our team effort:

After we got done cutting, gluing, folding, stuffing and taping, we broke into group and headed out into the community.  

The kids were eager to run up to each house and yell "Feliz Navidad" to the folks inside.

Given the fact that the government here in Aguada has been discouraging people from visiting one another in their homes, nobody has had many visitors these days.

It warmed my heart to see people's huge smiles when they were greeted by a group of smiling children. 

When nobody answered the door we simply left our gift on the door step or in the mailbox. 

Aguada is a hilly community, so sometimes we had to walk down the windy little paths that jut off of the main streets.  The kids were especially excited for each of these little adventures.

As my group was walking down one of the poorer streets in town we came upon a man who is usually seen begging outside of the church.  On several occasions we've tried to make conversation, but we haven't had much success.  Between his heavy Puerto Rican accent and his tendency to mumble it's difficult to catch what he's saying.  Thankfully, this particular day he seemed to be feeling unusually perky and talked clear enough for me to understand.  He was incredibly grateful for the Christmas gift and felt happy that we included two rosaries so that he could give one of them to a friend for Jesus' birthday.    

When the members of Team Carmody decided to make rosaries they had no idea what the Lord would do with them.... and yet they made them anyway.  They didn't worry about the details, but rather trusted that somehow they would help to bring people closer to Jesus.  Many times people become paralyzed with indecision and end up doing nothing out of fear of not doing the "right" thing.  Personally, I believe this to be the work of the devil.  Jesus delights in our efforts to help spread His Good News and build His kingdom.  We don't need to have big ideas and grand plans - because HE DOES.  The success of God's plans are not dependent on our ability to figure it all out - we are just instruments in the hand of an Almighty Creator who simply looks for people who are willing to say "yes" without full knowledge of what that "yes" may entail.  Jesus asks us to trust Him and promises to always guide the steps of those who surrender to His most holy will.  I thank God for moving in the hearts of our team members who rejected the lie that during this time of quarantine they can't do anything to help others.  I thank God for inspiring us to coordinate the Christmas Rosary Give-Away event and also for our amazing missionary friends who were willing to help make this day such a success.  We pray that each person that received an envelope of rosaries is blessed by the gift and also that they follow our recommendation to give one of the rosaries to a friend, neighbor or co-worker to encourage them to pray as Our Blessed Mother has taught us.  We pray for unity - not just here in Aguada, but throughout the world.  

Thanks for reading about what the Lord did with the many, many rosaries our friends made.  I hope that if you're feeling inspired to do some sort of project for Jesus that you'll simply say "yes" even if you don't have a full understanding of how it will all work out.  Remember, you don't have to have big ideas or grand plans because God does!  

Feliz Navidad, Karen  

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