Have you ever wondered what missionary life is like? Have you ever heard the Lord calling you to something more? Have you ever actually considered selling all that you have and giving it to the poor after reading the story of the rich young man in Matthew 19:16-30? Are you interested in bring the Gospel to those who have yet to hear its saving message? Are you looking for a closer realtionship and dependence on Jesus? If you have answered "Yes!" to any of these questions then attending a Family Missions Company "Come and See" retreat is for you!
What is Family Missions Company? Family Missions Company (FMC) is a lay catholic foreign missionary organization based out of Abbeville, Louisiana. FMC trains and sends out singles and families throughout the world to bring the Gospel to those most in need of the saving message of Jesus, the lost and forgotten. Family Missions Company is an evangelistic foreign missions company that currently has missionaries serving in nine countries throughout the world.
Family Missions Company offers a five day discernment retreat four times a year for individuals and families to prayerfully discern if God is calling you or your family to foreign missions. During the retreat you have a brief glipse into what missions looks like as a FMC missionary. You are also given an opportunity to serve in the community of Abbeville. The directors and staff of FMC also give you many opportunities for silent prayer before the blessed sacrament. Questions are encouraged throughout the retreat.
Does everyone who attends a FMC "Come and See" retreat join Family Missions Company? No, not everyone who attends a retreat feels or hears the call to foreign missions. However most people leave with a deepened relationship with Jesus and returns with an evangelistic fire to their home parish or diocese. Foreign Missions is a call from the Lord. We can attest to this. It is a secondary vocation that the Lord gives. There were five families and six singles present at our "Come and See" in 2014. Currently our family and one other family are in foreign missions from our retreat. The other families felt the Lord saying foreign missions was not for them but they also heard him calling them to something more within their own parish.
Is a five day retreat in Louisiana really worth it? Yes it is. It gives retreatants an opportunity to sit with the Lord away from our daily distractions. We do not have access to internet during the retreat and we are all encouraged to turn off our cellphones. Without the unnecessary distractions you are then able to focus on growing your relationship with the Lord and listening to His voice. It also gives some people another opportunity to focus on their family. When you leave the retreat you feel revitalized and refreshed in the Lord. If you truly give yourself to Him during the retreat He will give you guidance.
How do you really know if God is calling you to foreign missions? One word, Peace! If when you think of foreign missions and an immense amount of peace comes upon you this is from the Lord. I can honestly say that when we were making out eighteen hour car ride to Louisiana from Wisconsin I was not at peace. I was very anxious and I was trying to think of reasons for us to turn around. I was really anxious when we were twenty minutes from Abbeville. I told Taylor we needed to turn our vehicle around and go home. He could not believe I said that just as we were arriving to our destination. I can say now those feelings that I had in those moments were from the evil one. When we pulled into the drive way I still felt anxious and did not want to be there. I kept telling myself I was there to support Taylor. But as the day progressed my heart softened and unbeknownst to me I started listening to the Lord. That night as we laid in bed I looked at Taylor and said "We are home. I feel at peace here." Through hearing those words come from my mouth I knew that this was the life God was calling our family to.
I want to encourage anyone who has any sort of thought for missions to prayerfully consider attending a FMC "Come and See." Please check out their website at Family Missions Company "Come and See" retreat. You can also call or email Erika at FMC for more information. Erika is the missions coordinator and we spoke to her when we were discerning missions. You can reach Erika at 337-893-6111 or Missions@fmcmissions.com.
Fear not and just go!