Now more than ever I can say these phrases with all my heart, with the certainty of knowing that we are brothers and sisters in Christ. In spite of the fact that we don´t speak the same language, in spite of the fact that we belong to different Christian denominations, we are precisely that: "brothers and sisters in Christ". We are united in love for people, love for children, and definitely in love for our neighbors.
I again find myself in Illinois (Edwardsville). Last night I returned from Indianapolis.
In Illinois there were reunions with old friends from years ago, meetings with colleagues, and meetings with mission partners. As in all the other places, they have welcomed me with warmth and much love. There has been the opportunity to have afternoons and nights of long conversations, of making plans, of remembering, of getting to know each other better, of looking for how best to help. There has also been the opportunity to rest, as this long effort is beginning to have its effect. Many times the thinking process requires more than the body can respond to. There is still a long road ahead, so I have decided to take a long breath, relax, and now to carry on.
Minnesota: “Time is golden”
When you read that phrase perhaps you thought, that´s right. Blanca is right. Time is golden - not just here, but everywhere, in all the things that we do. I agree with you. Time is golden - it is a beautiful gift that God gives us: "TIME", "LIFE".
As I have been mentioning, thanks to God I have journeyed through various parts of this beautiful country, traveling by airplane, by bus, by train, arriving at different places and taking with me the message of my people in Ecuador. That's why I began with this phrase, and over and over again I want to say THANKS TO GOD. Thanks because now more than ever I understand the true significance of this phrase in this country. Thanks to the brothers and to the sisters, who in spite of their occupations, of a multitude of activities, have given me a space in their time. They have left their daily tasks aside for a moment and have given me their attention. MAY GOD REPAY YOU FOR EVERYTHING.
The visit to Minnesota was another valuable and very important experience. This is the home of FEDICE USA, and this is where Violet many years ago must have had the dream that is now the reality of FEDICE. Here is the place where part of the finances and resources are managed and that, thanks to God, we receive for the work in the communities.
Besides, this was the occasion to have more wonderful experiences. For the first time in my life I saw snow around the houses, around the trees. In Ecuador, obviously, we never have this.
I confess that I was a little nervous when I told people that I was coming to Minnesota and they asked me, "Blanca, do you have a coat, do you have gloves, do you have a cap?" And I said, "Uh, oh, what´s going to happen?" But, of course, I was very excited, and told them, "Well, I'm on my way…."
Upon my arrival, I looked out and saw the airport as a huge ice-skating rink. Some of the friends told me, "Blanca, don't worry. They have lots of experience with living with these climate conditions." THANK GOD, because I am learning more and more and discovering your marvelous creation.
Well, after all the excitement of the arrival, and meeting friends, we went right to work. Remember that I had started by saying that time is golden here and everywhere.
I had a very agreeable meeting with Mr. David Johnson, president of FEDICE USA, and with Paul Cristensen, lawyer and treasurer of FEDICE USA. We talked openly about his questions, about mine, about pending subjects, the situation with FEDICE, and of course, the principal point that I brought with me on this long trip - how to continue the work and help the people in the communities.
The next day I had the opportunity to visit the Kanabec Bank in Mora, Minnesota. What a great experience, and I'm so grateful that God keeps putting people in my path who are dedicated to helping us in various forms. To help - that's the important thing. The necessary documentation was provided and everything is in order to continue with Kanabec State Bank.
In the afternoon and the evening, I had more unforgettable moments. First of all, I was able to see the place where Violet Groth was born, where she lived, and where surely she thought about and birthed in her heart her desire of what she wanted to do, and how to help people.
In a beautiful place in the city of Braham, in a rural zone, surrounded by cultivated fields, by hardworking farmers, David, her nephew told me, "Blanca, now you understand why her passion was to help the people on the farms. Now you understand her decision to leave her family and go to places so far away, just for this, to help." Thank God for Violet's life, and thank God because now we are many people who have decided to continue with her dreams. I am thankful for the opportunity to know Violet's family, to listen to their funny stories, and eat the delicious food here. Now I understand their sense of humor and the art of Violet's cooking. It came from her family.
There was also time to talk about FEDICE, first Violet's dream, and then Victor's, and to listen to suggestions, ideas, changes that we can make, to reaffirm again that "We are not alone".
After all the emotions and the chats about how the work must continue, it's time to prepare to go on with the activities that will be next in Illinois.
May God bless the path of the people that I am meeting, and may God abide in their hearts and may they continue on.