We are called
By Jean MacInnis
This year is Scarboro Missions' 85th year as a mission society. Our experience has proven that priest and laity, women and men, married and single, can stand shoulder to shoulder as companions and partners in mission overseas and here at home. The cover of this magazine issue illustrates this concept.
By virtue of our baptism, all Christians are called to be missionary. Together in, with, and through Christ, we are called to transform our world into one in which the characteristics of God's reign are evident: love, justice, equality, peace, hope, gratitude, acceptance, inclusivity, tolerance and faith.
Some individuals are called to do mission in an overseas cross-cultural setting. This is not a path that is higher in quality or commitment than living out the baptismal call here in Canada. Overseas mission is an option that calls forth particular gifts, skills and capacities for living life with people of another land, language, culture, faith and tradition.
"Why are you a lay missionary?" "What do you do?" "Where do you work?" These are some of the questions people ask us as Scarboro lay missionaries. In this issue of Scarboro Missions magazine you will read about life in overseas mission. We hope the issue will help you to better understand why we have chosen this missionary journey.
In 1998, following Scarboro's four-month mission preparation program, my husband John and I were missioned to Guyana, South America. We joined Scarboro Missions with a desire to experience and learn about a new culture. We were blessed with good health, had an adventurous spirit and felt an eagerness to give of ourselves, our experience, gifts and talents to others. We felt that we would go to mission to give, to teach. We did not realize that we would also receive and learn.
Monetarily poor and overburdened, the Guyanese are a people alive in Spirit and hope. They taught us about a spirituality of sharing-that it is giving and receiving. From the Guyanese we experienced unconditional love and generous hospitality.
It was a difficult decision to leave Guyana and return to Canada at the end of our mission contract. Presently, John and I coordinate Scarboro's Lay Mission Office. We are involved in promoting Scarboro Missions and in recruiting new members. We maintain ongoing contact with our overseas missioners as well as other Lay Mission Societies.
Living here at the central house, we are privileged to get to know the lay and priest missionaries working here in Canada. We are privileged to get to know and work alongside the staff. We are privileged to prepare new lay candidates for overseas mission, and to walk with these enthusiastic individuals who are eager to respond to God's call in their lives.
This issue is filled with the stories and experiences of people just like you. Scarboro missioners are open to the Spirit in others, aware that God works through us and walks with us as we respond to God's call.