In 1978, my husband and I came to a junction in the path on the road. Phil was retiring from the Marine Corps in 1980 and we had to try and figure out the rest of our lives. We moved to Southern CA from Hawaii and proceeded to put in applications with a number of mission organizations. We had enough income to support our family and were willing to go anywhere in the world…well except for Los Angeles. I was dismayed when no one wanted us. So instead of heading out to places unknown we setted in Fallbrook CA, bought a house, Phil started a business and I became a stock broker. It took less than a year to find ourselves very successful from the financial perspective, the kids were happy and in great schools, we had great friends and neighbors, and a wonderful church. We gladly tithed on our gross income since we felt grateful for all that we had received. Then in the early 90’s I began to ask myself if there wasn’t more. Yes, our genersoity enabled mission to happen, but I felt that we had somehow missed the best and settled for something good.
I was the chair of our church’s endowment committee and met the president of the Presbyterian Church Foundation in 1991. I became their senior planned giving and investment officer in 1992. Now I could use my professional skills and knowledge to help others express their own generosity enabling even more mission. My new position allowed me to feel that I had plugged into something that gave new and deeper meaning to my life.
Then in 1993 the new pastor at our church in Winter Park FL challenged us to take a leap of faith and go on a mission trip…I discovered that I was a frustrated missionary. That was the first of 13 trips to Central and South America. I often describe myself as a mission trip junkie. The lost homeless boys of Peru and their mothers who had to ache in sending their young sons away were put squarely in my path and I believe that ignoring their plight would have destroyed my soul. Whether it is building shelters for street boys, bulding money making projects to help feed and clothe them, or finding markets for fair trade products made by the poor of Peru, I have found my mission in life. Like that unknown person in the Robert Frost poem, Phil and I have taken a road less traveled, the stopovers often mean hard beds, no hot water, and lots of beans and rice, but it is a road we travel with great joy for we travel it with our children. Another of our daughters in law will go on a trip to Peru this summer with us. I feel assured that the care of those in need in Peru will continue on with my children when Phil and I are no longer able to travel the less comfortable roads encountered on a mission trip.
Health Bridges International will be able to accomplish things that no other organization can focus on and I look forward to continuing my service to the poor of Peru thru this vital new organization.