We will be sharing a series of reflections made by Vincentian Lay Missionaries and Vincentian Mission Corps participants about their experience serving, how it has impacted their lives and how they continue to live the Vincentian Charism today.
Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think about my time living and working in Thigio, Kenya. I always had a hard time in music school. Not just because learning to be an orchestral flutist is actually quite difficult, but because I always felt called to something more. I talked about my struggles with my flute teacher, who said that it is possible to change lives as a musician, but that was not comforting at the time. Because of my time in Thigio I feel a little more whole, and one step closer to my vocation. Working with the children with developmental disabilities in Kisima and Kiawanda prepared me to patiently and lovingly help my dear friend re-learn how to play piano after he suffered a stroke at a young age. Sitting and praying with a dying woman opened my heart to a love I didn’t know I was capable of, and is preparing me for the inevitable loss of my grandmother. Teaching early childhood music to the preschool on the compound prepared me for taking over a very difficult class situation this past summer while working with RefugeeOne. Spending time in genuine and intentional community with 3 other wonderful young women helped me take another look at my relationships back home. And just as God has prepared me for these moments in life, God has also prepared me for the work I am now doing with Trade Winds Ensemble: a group of musicians dedicated to inspiring creativity and fearlessness through music. Trade Winds has traveled all over the world (including Kenya!) giving music workshops, and I was introduced to them by a mutual friend after returning from VLM. This coming summer, we will be headed to Haiti to teach music with BLUME Haiti at the CEMUCHCA Institute of Music. I’m sure that the experience there will prepare me for the next steps God has planned for me.
Suzanne attended DePaul University for both her Bachelors and Masters degrees. She was a Vincentian Lay Missionary in Thigio, Kenya in 2016.