Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mike MacDonald—Back in Mexico Again

Hi. My name is Mike MacDonald, and I just arrived in Mexico to live and work in La Montaña of the State of Guerrero as a representative with Mission Mexico.

It’s good to be back in Mexico. This afternoon I will go to my new home in La Montaña of Mexico, but right now I am enjoying the hospitality of my good friend Gerardo Debbink, in Cuernavaca. Gerardo is the director of
Quest Mexico, a center dedicated to creating social justice through experiential education; Gerardo receives high school, university, and church groups from all over North America.
Returning to La Montaña, the most impoverished region of Mexico, will be challenging but rewarding, I know. I first visited the area in 1979, when I took a group of students from St. Mary’s High School from downtown Calgary to visit Father Lawrence Moran, CSB, who was working there. I later moved in 1982 to live permanently in Mexico (although I also lived for a time in El Salvador during the civil war there in the late ‘80s).

Father Moran, from Trochu, Alberta, dedicated the last-quarter century of his life to serving the indigenous peoples of Mexico. One of the great blessings of my life was the opportunity to accompany this true saint during a large part of that time. I will always be grateful to Pat and Maureen Doherty, their family, and the Our Lady Queen of Peace Foundation they started, for supporting Father Moran and me during so many years in Mexico.

The decision that I return to Mexico after four years in Canada involved several round-table discussions with my wife and two daughters, who will remain in Canada for education and employment reasons. They lived in Mexico with me; they know the almost-unimaginable poverty that exists there. They have seen how support from Mission Mexico in the past has been life-changing for families and communities in La Montaña. They want others to experience that solidarity. They want to make a difference. And they know that we will be able to spend some time together as a family on a couple of occasions each year.
In an e-mail to Father Fred Monk, the founding director of Mission Mexico, my wife, Julie, wrote:

This time has been very difficult for all of us with Mike heading off to new adventures in a warmer place. However, we all believe that our lives have purpose sometimes greater than the small
picture....Our daughters understand this and even though it is difficult and we already miss Mike, as a family we feel this work is life changing and will make the world a little better—and that, in a nutshell, is our hope for our time here on this earth: to leave the world a little better than when we entered it. Thank you for the opportunity to make a difference.

 During the upcoming months and years I hope to share with the reader of this blog site a variety of experiences from La Montaña. And I will share some of the stories about what Mission Mexico is doing. Or, to say it even better, I will share some of the stories about what you are doing through the support you offer to Mission Mexico.

There are heroic people living and working in La Montaña. Some of the most committed people in Mexico are dedicating their lives to affirming and facilitating the hopes and dreams and efforts of marginalized families and communities. You will read about many of these people in upcoming blogs.
Mission Mexico simply wants to be a partner with these people in their struggle to turn these dreams into reality.

So the invitation is extended: please consider checking out these blogs once in a while. I will do my best to share this world with you to the best of my capabilities.

Vaya con Dios.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mike,
    You may not remember me but we met way back in the 80's when I went to Mexico with Patty & Luis Flores. I was searching the Mission Mexico sight because I have a friend who is interested in making a short term 'missions trip' to help out and learn about issues in Mexico or another Latin American country.
    I was surprised to see you were back in Mexico.
    I actually 'took your name in vain' about a week ago when I was trying to remember the name of a deacon down in the Lethbridge area, his first name is Michael & I told the person who wanted the info that his last name was MacDonald - whoops - thankfully I caught the mistake myself and corrected it - strange though how your name came up recently and now I see it again!
    I'm glad to see you're back in Mexico and wonder if there are any short term mission trips that my friend can help out at - I also wonder if CCID is staying open. Do you know? Please email me at