Small comments can make huge impacts

I was sent by the Catholic Church to work in Managua, Nicaragua, at the end of the Contra conflict. The parishes had plenty of priests, and the culture didn’t know what to do with a secular idiot like me who barely spoke Spanish. Consequently, I found something to do myself. I walked through “El Barrio de Soviet Teca”, & “El Barrio de Grenada”. These were camps for refugees from East Nicaragua displaced into to the west, like Managua. Due to the my personal risk, priests advised me not to walk through there. However I walked on and just kept praying Jesus declared, behold I am sending you out like lambs amongst wolves, so be as shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. Almost only the children spoke to me, and I enjoyed handing out prayer cards that my Mom mailed. After saying prayers, which was practically performing last rights, for one kid’s grandmother, I had a faint epileptic seizure, which at the time I took as a sign from God. The seizure told me I was getting in over my head with no back up, and it was time to get out. It was a three year mission, and I retreated after three months. Due to my failure, I drank myself into a pit of self-hatred, depression, and anxiety.An extended family member was seriously debilitated, who helped me forgive myself. I sent her a text on how she helped me pursue my goal of moving to El Paso, TX.Dear —
I never told you, I literally hated myself because of not fulfilling my 3-year commitment to Nicaragua. I drank over it for many years. After my first marriage ended I started waking up in the middle of the night screaming in Spanish with nightmares. I don’t think it was PTSD. Nurses disagreed with me. Anyway, the booze, sex and everything else I’ve done stems from that self hatred. What you did was tell me that my mission was doomed for failure because I wasn’t fluent in Spanish. I started truly forgiving myself at that point. Small comments can make huge impacts. All I can say is “Thanks”.🙏