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Mike Hayes

Mike Hayes

Mike Hayes
Director, Campus Ministry

“More” she signed.  Or at least that’s what I thought she wanted.  Maria Delores, a young orphan in Nicaragua seemed to be asking for more arroz con pollo, even though she hadn’t started eating what was already in front of her.

I was on a mission trip to Nicaragua and I was given the task of getting Maria Delores, not simply to eat her lunch, but also, to feed herself.  She had cerebral palsy and had done extensive physical therapy to try to help her regain some use of her hand that was badly clawed. 

I told her, “No” and placed the spoon in her hand and hoped that would be good enough to get her to begin her meal.  That spoon became a flying object seconds later and landed half-way across the room. 

I sighed, and then I caught sight of one of the kitchen workers laughing at my failure.

“Oh, can you do any better?” I bellowed nastily back at her.

“Si! Claro!” she replied.  Challenge accepted!

She went into the kitchen and returned with two more forks and a bowl.  She placed one fork in front of Maria Delores and the bowl and a second fork in front of me.

Maria Delores simply took half of her meal and spooned it into my bowl.  The more she wanted was for me to be fed as well.  She would not eat until all was served.

Here I was looking to serve her needs and instead a child who appeared to have nothing, gave me more.  Much more.  In fact, what little she had has fed my soul for some twenty years now.

Some days when I get down on myself because I don’t think I have what it takes to make a difference in the lives of our students, I am reminded of this small child, Maria Delores.  When the finances are low, and the odds seem overwhelming, I remember that she gave me enough to last a lifetime.  Magis, more…is simply giving all that we have and then maybe a little more and turning that into something life-changing. 

We are all more than enough for others.  We are magis.  Nothing more but more importantly, nothing less.