During our visit to Guatemala, Sister Marty Bertke and I had the opportunity to see first-hand the missionary spirit of Sisters Terry Walter and Joyce Kahle. Responding to God’s call to leave their homeland, they were willing to learn a new language, to live in a different culture, and to set up a House where young girls could stay who wished to attend college. Presently, they have six girls who make their home with them. They are students who attended Marifé’s School and are now taking college classes in the city.
Most of them live six to eight hours away from their families. Some also have a job to help pay for their schooling. Much credit is due to Joyce and Terry who provide a welcoming spirit where all help with responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping. They also share meals, prayer and some fun times according to their schedules. Marty and I knew little Spanish but we enjoyed the hugs, smiles and hearty laughter of these young women.
Both Joyce and Terry teach classes on Wednesday at the boarding school Marifé administers, which means they have to leave home at 6:00 a.m. because the school is an hour and a half out of the city. They also teach Adult Education classes on Sunday in the parish where they attend Mass. Terry took us to see Sangre de Cristo Clinic in LaLabor where she does Psycho-therapy and healing ministry on a weekly basis. Terry does exquisite needle work and you’ll see many handmade quilts and hangings throughout their home. Joyce tutors the girls and other clients and continues to sharpen her Spanish. Keeping the gardens and plants in tip-top shape is Joyce’s responsibility and also a break from teaching, tutoring, and being House Treasurer.
Terry and Joyce were wonderful Guides for us in this Land of Volcanoes. We saw some of the marvelous sights of Antigua, Panajachel, Santiago Atitlan and the Central Market in Guatemala City. We admired their courageous driving as they negotiated the constant curves, and handled the distracting motorcyles, tuk-tuks, and numerous traffic jams. What an exciting and interesting week it was for us! Marty and I both left Guatemala with gratitude in our hearts for Terry, Joyce and Marifé as they continue to sow the seed of Hope, especially for young girls who wish to pursue an education.
By Sister Rosemary Goubeaux
Assembly Directive: Stand with the Marginalized