The hardest (and yet the simplest) thing I learned at World Youth Day in Madrid is that we are never alone.
Wandering around the city center, I had gotten separated from my group trying to find the Popemobile. There were hundreds of people all around me, dozens of languages easily in earshot, but nothing sounded familiar. I clued in on English conversations, but they weren't a familiar face. I started getting overwhelmed, and even emotional.
I had lost my group. We had a meeting point later that evening, but not for several more hours. I remembered I had a snack in my backpack and sat down to eat. I mean, what else do you do when you're stressed right? On a curb outside a sports arena, I plopped down and peeled back my banana and tried to enjoy it. It was all brown. It got smushed by stuff in my bag. My banana!
Then I felt a tap on my shoulder: "James?!" It was my friend Zsofi the Hungarian. She was lost, too. She sat down next to me and gave me a hug. I had the biggest smile, then pointed at my banana.
"I'd offer you some, but it's terrible." She reached in her bag and pulled out two bananas, one for each of us. I wasn't alone.
Just like Zsofi, I know you're by my side and I'm thankful for your prayers. I'm deeply thankful that you are here and are part of this mission with me.
I'm still seeking partners to join my Pilgrimage Support Team and help me meet my financial goal for this mission trip to World Youth Day Krakow 2016 with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students.
Would you join my Support Team? Those who join my support team also contribute by praying for this trip, first and foremost.
But supporters have already contributed financial gifts to this mission, and because of that when I think about my partners, it encourages me. I know that I am not alone.
I pray daily for my partners on my Mission Support Team during Mass, Holy Hours with the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration, when I'm washing the dishes and other dedicated ways to offer my work and activities for their intentions.
To learn more how to join my Support Team, or for other ways to contribute, fill out the form on this page. Thank you! (And thank you, Zsofi!)