On each and every Mission of Hope trip to serve the poor of Nicaragua, I never cease to be amazed that I get to experience a glimpse of the heart of God. At first glance, you might think that’s a nice poetic phrase, but, seriously, it’s true!
I see a glimpse of the heart of God in so many of our first time Missioners as they “see the realities” of extreme rural poverty in developing countries for the first time. I see their hearts pour forth with gratitude and, sometimes, even a little guilt at how much we have here in the one of the richest countries in the world.

I see a glimpse of the heart of God as missioners of all ages reach out to share hope with abandoned disabled orphans or who struggle to carry heavy “monkey wood” down a steep incline to build a home shelter for a family without anything.

I see a glimpse of the heart of God as initial shock at the dire circumstances turns into generous acts of compassion and a commitment to “stay the course” and make a long-term effort to change life for these poor children.

I see a glimpse of the heart of God as those who visit remote barrios distributing rice and beans come back moved to tears at the often-times overwhelming deprivation they see.

This thought for the week is a tribute toall those who now understand on a much deeper level, and who now return home encouraged to share their gifts of time, talent, and treasure to truly “make a difference and improve lives” of the poor and vulnerable.

It seems to so often be a given that each of us on Mission gets a glimpse of the heart of God in the very lives of the poor and vulnerable; we touch the heart of God as we hold an orphan, build a home shelter, paint a section of a hospital in which we’d never want to be a patient, and help HIV orphans retrieve a piece of candy from a Pinata because they are too weak to do it for themselves.

I share this reflection as an opportunity to tell you that I love my ministry because I get a glimpse of the heart of God, not only in the invisible poor, but also in the very multi-aged missioners with whom I go on Mission. I see ordinary people do extraordinary things because they have stretched themselves to access the deepest and best pieces of themselves.

And, indeed, all of us are called by our loving Creator to not only seek a glimpse of the heart of God in those placed before us, but to also honor and cherish the awareness that we, too, just might be a glimpse of the heart of God for others!

So, to all of you reading this reflection, thank you. You are activists, realists, young and not so young. You are women, men, and children from all walks of life. You are married, single, divorced, Christian and non-Christian. You come from diverse cities and countries as well as cultures. And, yet, isn’t it true, that we are all striving to be that glimpse of God for others?

It’s who we are supposed to be. It’s who we are called to be, and, in doing so, we live and share HOPE with others. I believe that part of my passion for life and for my ministry resides in the blessing that you are to me and to many others!

So, as you go about your day, your week, and your life, seek not only to experience “a glimpse of the heart of God” in others, but also accept that you are a “glimpse of the heart of God” for others as well!

Live and be HOPE this week.

This post was written by Dominican Sister of Hope Debbie Blow, OP. As the Executive Director of the North Country Mission of Hope, a spiritually-based humanitarian organization committed to fostering hope and empowering relationships with the people of Nicaragua, Sister Debbie has led fifty-nine trips to Nicaragua over the past seventeen years. For more on Sister Debbie and her ministry, click here. For more on Mission of Hope on our site, click here.