This week, hundreds of young men and women arrived in Provo to begin an exciting, daunting adventure. I have a keen sense of what that’s like. Once, just like them, I was preparing to go on a mission.
In 1980, after my first year of law school, I left my studies to work with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras. For nine months, I ran a vocational school that taught carpentry and welding. I struggled with my Spanish and saw up close what it was like to live under a harsh dictatorship and contend with crippling poverty.
I grew up in an Irish Catholic home in Overland Park, Kansas, the son of an ironworker and a home economics teacher. My Catholic high school planted a strong seed of public service.
That motivation led me to the village of El Progreso. The Jesuits have a saying: they are “men for others.” They live in poverty, chastity and obedience for the sake of creating a better existence for their neighbors.
Being a missionary taught me how to live Christ’s declaration that we find ourselves only by losing ourselves. I learned to go long stretches without a shower, to empathize with my neighbors when they were victimized by abusive officials, and to accept meals from those who had almost nothing to give.
Read the rest of the story at Deseret News
Tim Kaine, Deseret News
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