|This is a photo of one of the medical|
missions that we helped facilitate in Peru.
Isaac is the young man at the end of the table
in the green t-shirt.
Soon after arriving in Peru, back in 2016, we met a young man named Isaac who was lost and alone, wallowing in the darkness of sinful despair. He enjoyed the activities we organized and constantly volunteered to help in any way he could. When we did ministry in the outlying pueblos, Isaac always tagged along. Each time a short-term missionary group came, he gave his all to ensure things ran as smoothly as possible. Little by little, as he learned more, he fell in love with the Lord. All praise be to God, Isaac was able to receive the sacraments after participating in the preparation program we offered for kids his age. In 2018, during a youth retreat, Isaac had a life-changing encounter with Jesus which lit his heart on fire. He experienced the Lord's tenderness, mercy, and love firsthand and wanted to tell everyone he met about God's goodness. When we left Peru at the end of 2018 we had to leave Isaac behind, which was difficult for all of us. However, he insisted on carrying the torch, metaphorically speaking, and continued the ministries that we had started. Isaac became a local missionary of sorts and did an incredible job of sharing his faith with all who would listen.
In 2019 our family moved to Kenya to serve the people of the Meru tribe. Shortly thereafter we met an incredible man from the United States who has dedicated his life to helping the disadvantaged. After prayerful consideration, he realized that the Lord was calling him to help Isaac rise up out of his unfortunate circumstances and has made it possible for Isaac to attend a Catholic university in Nairobi. As he did in Peru, Isaac served alongside our family. When we did ministry in the slums, he tagged along. When we purchased mass quantities of food for distribution, he was there with us slinging 100 lb sacks of rice and beans onto the top of our vehicle and tirelessly worked to separate the food into family-sized portions. Isaac is a humble, selfless servant and is always willing to do anything he can to help another, especially if he believes it will help them grow in their faith. When we left Kenya at the end of 2020 we had to leave Isaac behind, which was difficult for all of us. However, he insisted on carrying the torch, metaphorically speaking, once again. He has continued serving others and shares his faith with anyone and everyone that will listen.
In November 2020 Isaac dreamed of organizing a Christmas party for a community of really poor people that live in a small cluster of homes near his university. With the help of Team Carmody, he was able to make that dream come true. Our daughter, Katelyn, wrote a blog about Isaac's Christmas outreach program.
Click on the following link to read that blog: http://www.carmodyfamilyonmissions.com/2020/12/isaac-gives-food-toys-and-jesus-to-poor.html
This year, when Isaac prayed about what the Lord wanted him to do, he got the message that he was supposed to do something even bigger than a community Christmas party. He felt like he was supposed to petition the families of all the university students for donations that he could then distribute to the local orphanages: clothing, shoes, toys, non-perishable food items, etc. He met with the executive board at the university to get approval and then began garnering support. When Isaac called us to explain his idea he was giddy with excitement and said, "I'm not sure how I'm going to do this because it is such a big project, but I know Jesus wants me to do it. I have confidence that the Lord will show me what to do and He will send people to help me."
Following is a summary that Isaac wrote about his recent initiative, along with some photos and video clips. Unfortunately, he's not in any of them because he was the one capturing the moments. He said it felt weird to ask others to take his picture, which I completely understand. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
It is with the grace of the Lord that I am writing to you to tell you about an act of charity that was carried out by the students of the university where I study. With Jesus' direction and my obedience, we were able to make Christmas parties for children at four orphanages near my school. At the beginning of July, the idea came to me that I was supposed to organize an event for poor children here in Kenya. I talked with the administrators at my university to receive approval and then began telling others about my idea. Many people were willing to help me. The name of this program was "Make a Child Smile" and the purpose was to visit orphanages and bring them the love of Jesus at Christmastime. With the help of some of the other students, I was able to collect clothes, shoes, food, and toys for the boys and girls. It was an experience that impacted all of us. We have learned that the smile of a child is worth much more than material things. We played with them and sang songs together. The joy that we felt when we were at the orphanages is so profound that I can not describe it with words. I suppose that I can say that we all have a better comprehension of what God wants for us and in the same way for them. In the bible, in the book of Matthew, it says, "Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (19:14) I know why Jesus wanted to be with the children. They are so fun!
Christmas parties are more than just gifts and expensive food, and we learned that in the most beautiful way possible. When the children saw us arrive, they had gigantic smiles and so much energy and there was no pressure whatsoever. They did not expect something big from us. To them, a simple game, a simple song, a simple hug and a smile is all that they needed. Many of the children that live in the orphanages were found in the streets, eating from the garbage, being cold and sleeping in situations that innocent children should not suffer. They were welcomed by wonderful people who help them with what they can, but many times that is not enough. I thank God for seeing me and for giving me the opportunity to help with this act of charity that also permitted the students of my university to be able to give love and joy to others without receiving anything in return. The most important thing is that we were able to do this activity at Christmastime which is the most important holiday. I intend that this type of activity take place every end of the year, while I am studying here. Each time we will go to more orphanages to help the children who need it, and maybe this activity will be extended even when I am no longer studying at this university.
Thank you very much in the same way to all of you who have helped us through the Carmody Family. Your donations permit me to be in Kenya and help me to do charitable acts for the children in the orphanages. May God bless you, and maybe even if you are reading this article when the holidays are over you will know that the children and all of us at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) are praying for you and wish you a Merry Christmas and a great New Year.
Love and prayers,
PS - I have included some videos so you can see how that wonderful day was.
As FMC missionaries we preach the gospel and serve the poor, in an effort to help fulfill the Great Commission at outlined in Matthew 28:16-20, where on a mountain in Galilee Jesus calls on his followers to make disciples of and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Isaac is one disciple who is now making more disciples. Thank you, Jesus, for entrusting us with this critical work!
I appreciate the fact that you have taken the time to read a little bit about what the Lord is doing through Team Carmody and pray that you are able to receive the abundance of blessings that the Lord desires to shower down upon you this year, Karen (and Isaac too)
We'd love to hear from you via email:
If the Holy Spirit is nudging you to support us financially
so that we can continue serving those in need, please visit:
or call Family Missions Company at (337) 893 - 6111.
Thank you and may God bless you and all those
you hold dear to your heart!