My dear Friends,
Thanks SOOOOoo much to each and all of you who have been praying for me. By that next morning after I sent the last email, I was beginning to be lifted up. And I am experiencing a new strength, joy and hope since that day--increasingly. What a gift you all are! I don't feel so alone anymore! I had a great overnight of prayer at the at the Cappucchin's retreat house recently, am taking a long weekend of prayer and relaxation to spend with friends for Holy Thursday through Easter, and am learning to "work hard, pray hard, and play hard while resting in between!"
We had an amazing time with Franciscan student volunteers for several days and Saturday a bunch come also along with some kids from the local High School. Please pray for Mama Nita, (AKA Juanita Slappy) has had her second Grandson shot in the last month in our downtown area. The first boy died and now Leroy is stable. This drug-gang war has to stop in Jesus' Name! It's so sad. We know our house will in some way will have a part in stopping this war of revenge.
Please also pray for our friends and brothers and sister in Nuba Mountains where I served a year ago for 2 months. Dr. Tom Catena is there along with dear Camboni Sisters and Priests of the Apostles of Jesus, along with dear friends from Uganda and Kenya and Sudan who are serving on the medical team. Darius emailed me an hour ago saying there is heavy fighting near them and they are constantly in the surgical room mending near fatal wounds from the antenov bomber plane. The northern regime has declared all out war against the Christians and sympathetic Muslims in the north and have declared officially "Sharia law". These brave missionaries will stay there to care for the poor and wounded. Please pray for them!! I have experience first hand the power of your prayers. Pray with me, please, for their courage, health, strength, wisdom and protection. Please pray for an end to the war there and for wisdom from other countries if they should intervene so that this genocide doesn't continue.
I wish I could be there, but God has made it clear to me to do this mission in Steubenville where we have our own war going on. Again, thanks so much for your prayers. God is teaching me so much lately. One thing is that, like Mother Mary, we can be small but mighty. "He who is mighty has done great things for me!" Luke 1. I may be only one small lady in the midst of a drug and corruption war in Steubenville, but together with many hands all enveloped in the Lord's hands, we can change this city around to become a city that loves God's heart and honors and respects each other. It CAN happen. I'm going to be childlike enough to believe it. It is NOT impossible for God. Please stand with me on this to see it happen.
I was VERY encouraged yesterday with a phone call from Pastor Jason from a Presbyterian church around the corner from us. He heard what we are doing and said something like, "That is exactly what we are seeing around the world-- God is moving mightily in the out of the box types of places like Christian coffee houses and people are having encounters with God in beautiful ways. I fully support you and if you need anything let me know!" My own parish is doing a fund raiser this week for us, too. God, YOU are moving in downtown Steubenville! Have your way!
Thanks for all those volunteering and sending words of encouragement. They mean a lot to us!
I wish you all a very wonderful Holy Week and soon Easter.
Big hugs to you all!