Our monthly donors are an exceptional community that are instrumental to meeting the ongoing needs of vulnerable children here in Ecuador. Mary Wei, a longtime monthly donor, kindly agreed to share her history with Mission Santa Maria and the reasons she continues to give. Here is her reflection.
“Jim and I went to college together and then reconnected in NYC years later. I was living and working at my dream job while Jim was planning how he was going to change the world. I went to a Mission Santa Maria fundraiser with my sister, which was where I donated for the first time. I did it partly to support a friend and partly because prior to being in New York, I had attempted to work as a medical missionary in Belize. I did it with my best friend at age 24. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t do it. I felt I had failed in being someone I had wanted to be. Donating to Mission Santa Maria somehow healed some of that and gave me a new part to play in missionary work. I also truly believe that education can end poverty.
It was some years later that I met my husband, Albert. He converted to the Catholic Faith after we married and we now have 3 kids, for whom I am very thankful to God. We moved out of the city, since our 2 bedroom apartment couldn’t fit our family. It was a hard transition to the suburbs of Philly, but I stayed working in pediatric oncology and Albert could work remotely for SAP.
Then, when COVID hit and I lost my job as a nurse, I happened to read one of the updates for mission Santa Maria. Due to the pandemic, their education focus had to change and feeding all the local families and children became the priority. I thought then of my own children and what if I could not feed them and my heart broke. I remember sitting in my bed and just crying. That reaffirmed my desire to continue to donate. I believe in Jim, I believe in his calling to be in Ecuador to help the people there. I thank the Lord everyday for Jim and Grace. There is not a question in my mind of where my money is going and that it is being used for a greater good! I know that it is a difficult job and it is an honor to be a part of their amazing contribution. May God continue to be with them.”
Thank you Mary, and thank you to all that donate through monthly giving!