Young Woman Answers God’s Call as Lay Missionary
God doesn’t send a text or make phones ring/buzz or otherwise chirp, but God does call each person and make that call known.
When Katie Robben, 27, was in elementary school, she stopped listening for God’s call, but neither God nor her father, who prayed for her constantly, stopped loving or calling her.
“My dad has a very strong faith, and over those years he prayed for me and would constantly tell me that true and lasting happiness comes from Jesus,” Katie said. “He would tell me that I needed to start praying again and going to Mass.”
Like many young people “what he said would go in one ear and out the other,” but about four years ago, at age 23, Katie “had a moment when I realized just how miserable I was and that I was never going to be happy until I made some changes in my life.”
The changes turned out to be dramatic. She describes her life now as “an incredible journey of faith.”
Actually, by anyone’s standards, her journey has been more incredible than not. With research and prayer and strength, she began what has turned into her life as a lay missionary teaching English and mathematics in a village called Kyarusozi in Uganda. She lives at St. Jude, a parish run by the Congregation of the Holy Cross.
Her first visit lasted for 10 weeks, then six months, and now she is committed for two years.
In her previous life, she was a religious education teacher at St. Dominic in Breese, teaching PSR to eighth-graders. She was also an elementary school teacher in the public school system.
On a return visit to Breese to visit her family Katie wanted to share the story of what she had been doing to her former PSR students.
She shared information about her students in Uganda, the differences between their lives and those of her students in Breese, like the young people there have three sets of clothing: a school uniform, everyday clothes and something for Mass.
She showed them slides of dishes the families prepare and eat. “Some families eat one meal a day or one meal every other day,” she said.
Her audience sat spellbound by her descriptions. Young people asked questions about subjects the Ugandan children studied in school and the cost of food.
They also listened to her description of transportation challenges: some high school students must walk five miles one way to go to high school.
Katie, pro-active in her teaching, also visits students in their homes, especially the very poor who may not have shoes to wear to school, or those who have been diagnosed with HIV.
When she finishes her commitment in Uganda, Katie said she will pray and see what God is calling her to do next. She is not only making changes in her own life but in the lives of young people from Uganda to Breese and back again.
To read her blog and find out more about her journey, please see her blog at letusmovemountains.com and her go fund me page gofundme.com/let-us-move-mountains