The following is a guest blog from Stacy’s sister, Sarah, after her visit to the missionaries at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. 

I had been anxious to visit the mission in Ferguson since the missionaries moved there.  My desire to visit increased after all of the protesting and rioting began and ended.  I wanted to see with my own eyes where my sister was living and experiencing in her normal day-to-day life.  

My visit was brief, but I was definitely most excited about going to the parish.  I had created my own test in my head to measure the impact she was having there. The test was, “How many double takes can I get during this mass?”  For years it annoyed me that people would mistake my sister and me.  Since she has moved, I secretly love when new people think that I am her.  I knew the ultimate test would be at mass.  

It was immediate when I walked into the church that I got a second glance.  Then while walking back from communion you could see people’s eyes look at her and then to me then back to her.  Internally I loved every minute.  After mass I was able to meet all of those double takers.  “This has to be your sister.”  “Wow, you two look alike.” The comments kept coming.  It was in those comments and interactions that I could tell my sister and the missionaries were completed ingrained in the community there.  Why did it prove it for me? It was because the people of the parish cared for my sister and knew her.  They wanted to know about her and her family.  They knew her well enough to recognize her family.  

One of the other missionaries sat with us at mass and two other parishioners asked to squeeze in to be by her.  There were open pews all around, but there was a relationship there.  I was able to meet a couple of teens that approached my sister and wanted to talk about youth group the next day.  This wasn’t part of my test, but more proof of the impact the LT missionaries were making.  

My secret test continued that night when we went to a couple of my sister’s favorite places in Ferguson.  When we walked into each of those places, we were greeted not only with smiles and double takes, but also with a sincere welcoming.  There were stories about families and inside jokes shared.  At two of the places the people working there asked about the other missionaries.  I was impressed.  I knew that the missionaries would have a presence in the parish, but I wasn’t expecting for the community to also have embraced them.  Most of the people that I met on my visit had lived in Ferguson their entire life. From my perspective it appears this group has welcomed the missionaries into their community completely. 

Overall, I was so impressed with the mission and the work the missionaries have done since being in Ferguson.  I look forward to going back and spending more time getting to know the people I got a chance to briefly meet.  Plus, it will be fun to see how many people I can get to look at me strange or to call me my sister’s name. 

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