“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”-Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa knew exactly what was she was stating when she expressed her concern for the West.
Part of our mission statement at Maggie’s Place is to welcome women into a community filled with love and dignity. We welcome them into our homes with open arms, loving them for the unique and irreplaceable person they are. I’ve been at Maggie’s Place for about ten months and I have met many women and their children. Love is what these women are looking for. Yes, we all want a house over our head, food in our stomachs, and a car to drive, but what we are really looking for and NEED is love.
As a MissionCorps member, I’ve been asked many times, “What is your success rate with the women you serve?” I always answer this question in two parts. The first part of answer is that we want all the women we serve to have a stable living environment to transition to when they leave Maggie’s Place. I follow up by stating that we serve the women and help them as much as they are open to. Honestly, some women come to Maggie’s Place to experience and see what true love is and how it can be shown. They come to see what it means to be loved unconditionally and hopefully through that, they see and know Jesus’ love.
Mother Teresa’s quote has really punctured my heart this year. Yes, I am helping women find housing, jobs, schooling, insurance, and all sorts of things, but the most important part for me is to show them Jesus’ love. I have had several experiences these past few months where the Holy Spirit has given me the opportunity to have one on one conversations with moms about God, relationships, and what a prayer life looks like. I pray that each mom leaves our conversations feeling dignified, loved, and respected.
As the Beatles sing, all you need is love; love is all you need (from God and each other).
By Maggie Hagenauer, a MissionCorps member