“Go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Mt 19:21)
Dear Friends and Family –
“Here I am Lord, for you called me”. Samuel’s words, spoken in the book of Kings, have become my own over this past year. Approaching graduation last spring, I began to plan out what I would be doing with my life this year. The job applications went out, and the job offers came in. However the Lord was working on some different plans for me. Seven months ago, the Lord called me to follow him in a new way. On a spring break mission trip to the small Mexican town of General Cepeda, my eyes were opened, my heart was broken, and my soul was moved. My eyes were opened to the poverty of our world, to the conditions that millions of people live in every day of their lives. These people, less than ten hours away from multimillionaires living in a plush San Antonio condo, are living in shacks consisting of cardboard held together with thumbtacks. My heart was broken; I had been blessed with so much in my life and these people were sleeping in huts of mud, with no heat, no food, no family. My soul was moved, I was convicted, I need to help these people, I need do whatever I can to serve them, I need to show them that they are loved.
Seven months later I find that the Lord has not wasted one ounce of my willingness to help these people, to love them, to show them Christ’s love. He has called me to give up everything that was once familiar, to turn down job offers, to leave my home, leave behind friends and family, and to follow Him. I now find myself having followed Him to the small town of Abbeville in the middle of the Louisiana bayous, training to become a full-time lay Catholic foreign missionary with Family Missions Company. Over the past 2 months I have been in an intensive formation program, preparing me to be a foreign missionary. This coming January I will be sent out with one or two other young men to a foreign country to begin my life as a missionary. My life will be given to the poor. It will consist in building homes, offering medical help to the local people, giving alms, making home visits, but most importantly to spreading the Good News of the Gospel to as many people as possible. I will be holding prayer meetings, hosting Bible studies, sharing testimonies and giving witness to what the Lord has done in my life. My life will be consumed with trying my hardest to become the hands and feet of Christ in today’s world, to serve my brothers and sisters abroad, to walk where Christ could not while here was here on this earth. Family Missions Company is not a Catholic version of the Peace Corps, but instead an organization devoted and dedicated to improving the life of each and every person we meet not only in any worldly way we can, but also in giving them a hope and a love that is never-ending, that will be with them long after we are gone, the hope and love that can come only from a relationship with Jesus Christ.
This mission that the Lord has called me to is becoming more urgent each day. As the world population approaches a monumental 7 billion people, the number of Christians is hovering around 2.4 billion. That averages out to an approximate Christian world population of merely 28%. If we believe the words of Jesus, if we truly believe that “every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life” (John 6:40b), then we must ask ourselves: Why isn’t more being done? If the statistics came out that 72% of the world was dying and that all they needed for a strong chance of recovery, a chance of being healed, a chance of being saved was a WORD, you could bet on it that millions of people would be rushing into the streets shouting that word at the top of their lungs. Well, this is what is happening; 72% of the world is dying. They are living their lives without faith in Christ, many of them never even having heard His saving name, the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Why is it then that we are not running to the ends of the earth to proclaim this name? A name that brings life, a name that will not make us immortal, but a name that will bring us life eternal.
This very action is what Christ calls us to do. In his infinite wisdom, the last thing he said to us before ascending back to the Father, was to “Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News” (Mark 16:15) We are all called to be missionaries in one way or another. We are all called to be witnesses and preachers, to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ, the Word of God. To proclaim Him and His Good News. A message which can save lives, billions of lives that hang in the balance. There are souls to be won and it is up to us to win them for the Lord. I am called to be a missionary by giving my life. You may have that same calling in your own life. The world needs missionaries, and I implore you to listen to the Lord’s call and pray for strength to answer it. However, you may not be called to give your life for this mission, but you are called to be a missionary nonetheless. You are called to pray for missionaries and those they are serving… and I do beg you to pray. You are called to donate to foreign missions if the Lord has blessed you with the ability to do so… and I do beg you to donate. Millions of people are so desperate in our world today. If we won’t help them… who will?
As my prayer warrior and donor, my mission is your mission. The people that I am blessed to help, you are helping. If you request it, I will send you my personnel newsletter in the mail at least once every two months, with pictures and stories of what your prayers and donations have allowed me to do. Part of my mission is to give you the opportunity to change the world. I need your help, those who I am ministering to need your help. I will be and am so grateful for anything you might be able to give. This life will be tough, but I am confident that the Lord will provide. Know that you and your intentions will be prayed for daily by me and all our missionaries.
Father, I pray that those who feel Your call to pray and support the mission You have called me to would be blessed beyond their wildest imaginings by Your grace and blessings. Please bless me with a steadfast spirit, a joyful heart of love, and a passion for You that is similar to that of the great missionary saints, like St. Francis of Assisi. Amen.
In the abundant and wonderful love of our Savior Jesus Christ,
James Franke – Catholic Lay Missionary
P.S. Please feel free to e-mail me your prayer intentions and glory stories at firstname.lastname@example.org. This will allow me to send you e-mail updates in addition to my newsletter.
HOW TO HELP:
– PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!!!
– FINANCIAL DONATIONS (one time gifts, monthly, etc)
– MEDICAL SUPPLIES
– AIRLINE MILES
– CLOTHING, SHOES, ETC. FOR THE PEOPLE
– ASK FOR ANY OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP CHANGE THE WORLD!