I am always inspired by women who radically live the Gospel. We are all called to share the Good News and evangelize, but God has called some people to take a leap of faith and live out His Word as missionaries in foreign countries. Today I am blessed to share an interview with Colleen Mitchell, author of Who Does He Say You Are? and founder of St. Bryce Missions in Costa Rica.
- Who Does He Say You Are? started as your prayer journal through your healing process after your experience of loss and grief. So many women today are going through similar trials that you have gone through. How do you think your work can help the beautiful women?
My hope for this book is that invites women to bring their whole selves before God and see the desperate love he has for them and how much he desires to live in intimate relationship with them, exactly as they are, where they are, and for who they are, not in spite of it. I want women to experience to the relief and joy of knowing that there is room for all of them in the heart of God, and that he wants to be a part of every line of their stories, and transform those stories with the grace and mercy of redemption so that each of our hearts is more authentically joined to his in intimate communion.
- You have selected 12 women from Scripture to highlight in your book. What was your inspiration for selecting these particular women?
Some of the women I chose were very familiar to me and others came as surprises, new discoveries, if you will. I can only say that at the end of the day, the Holy Spirit decided which women were highlighted. In writing, what I looked for was women whose stories I could connect to in a personal way and draw insight from that I knew was meant for everyone, not just me.
- I love the story of how you founded St. Bryce Missions. Can you tell our Divine Mercy for Moms followers about “a day in the life” of your mission work?
I always laugh that I think most people would be surprised to find out my life is not that different from most other moms, I just have a cool job title. I am, first and foremost, daughter of God, and so prayer and intimacy with him is the foundation of my days and how I begin my mornings. I am next wife and mother, so doing the work of maintaining a marriage and raising a family are the next priorities in the day, including a morning check in with my husband, morning prayer as a family, and homeschooling my boys. After that, I am charged with the task of being a missionary, which on a daily basis looks like me being involved in the day to day operations of our St. Francis Emmaus Center, a pregnancy and medical hostel that provides at risk indigenous mothers food, housing, access to health care in the local hospital, and education and advocacy with the system. That looks like supervising the employees who help us in the initiative, making sure beds are made and meals are provided for, responding to the needs of our moms, including preparing them for and accompanying them in their labors and birth and through their postpartum recovery. Sometimes it means accompanying them to appointments, responding to a call for a referral from the hospital, riding out to a remote village to transport pregnant mothers to the hostel, and occasionally, delivering a baby on the bathroom floor when it comes too fast! Besides the physical work of the center, we pray daily with the moms we serve, offer catechism and sacramental preparation weekly. In addition, we take days to head out to the villages of the indigenous reserve to share the Catholic faith with communities. Add time writing, family recreation, a bit of exercise and some free “mama” time in there and all 28 hours of my day are filled. Oh, wait, that’s not right, is it? Yet God seems to stretch the days to make time to fill my life to the brim and still feed me and care for me in tender ways.
- If they feel so called to help in your work, how can they do it?
We would love to have them join us at stbryce.org as monthly sponsors, one time donors, or prayer warriors. They can subscribe to our monthly newsletter to get all the news about the work we are doing as well!
I have been blessed to read Colleen’s beautiful book Who Does He Say You Are? and I encourage you to check it out yourself as well as follow along her missionary work on her blog Blessedarethefeet.com
May you be inspired to dream big for God!
Copyright 2016 Michele Faehnle