Hi, my name is Veronika Buláková and I come from a country which is in the heart of Europe. *Drum roll* Yes! I am from Slovakia. I am 25 years old. I really enjoy laughing with young people, for the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8,10). This time I am spending as a volunteer missionary at SPEC is definitely the best time I have had in my life. Living in a community means that I get to share my days with people who have the same love I have for Jesus, but who also share in my struggles; people with whom I can share my love for music or my favourite foods (like cakes, chocolates and coffee). It means that I get to spend a lot of time with Jesus in the chapel, which is only a couple of doors down from my bedroom; and I get to spend the rest of my days talking with young people about Jesus. And well, these things just fill me up with immense joy.
I’m 23 and Maltese. I really love Jesus and I find it slightly awkward writing about myself. I am a firm believer of doing small things with great love (credits to Jesus and Mother Teresa), and spending time with young people sets my heart on fire. I also enjoy vlogging, Instagram and making jam. My favourite things to do at SPEC are giving short talks on retreats, and having random dance parties with the rest of the community. Let’s spread the joy of the Lord people!
My name is Léa Ghanem, I’m 23 years old and was born in Lebanon. I love when the young people share their worries with me and ask for spiritual advice. I also enjoyed chatting to them about their music tastes. My favourite part about being a volunteer at SPEC is totally dedicating a year to abandon myself to Christ and share that with a community that follows Him.
Hi everyone! My name is Catherine and I am a 21-year old who has devoted this year to God through the service of a volunteer missionary at SPEC! I am originally from Pennsylvania, USA, but since high school graduation I have lived in four other states. I grew up as a farmer and I love gardening (or landscaping as we call it in America). Other than being outside, I enjoy doing different crafts, reading, and am currently trying to get into the habit of listening to podcasts. There are two things that I really, really, really enjoy about SPEC: the chapel, the guests speakers, and my fellow missionaries (did I mention that counting is not my greatest skill?). Honestly, having a chapel in the same building that you reside in is probably one of the biggest blessings in the world. And if you have read through the others’ introductions, you’ll have learned that they are pretty cool! After SPEC, my dream is to become a nun, thus continuing God’s great work in this beautiful world.
Hello, my name is Alycia. I am a first year missionary from Texas, USA, and I am 25 years old. I love hanging out with the young people who come to SPEC. It is a joy for me to learn about their lives and to share with them about how to grow in their relationships with Jesus. My favorite part of being a missionary is the community here. We have people from all over the world with so many gifts, so much humor, and deep love for God. Working alongside them and learning from them all in the name of bringing young people to Christ is the greatest blessing. When not hanging out with young people and talking about Jesus, you can find me dancing, eating chocolate, listening to a podcast, missing Tex-Mex, and practicing various accents… or any combination of those things! 🙂
Hello All! My name is Daniel Mehr, and I am a 1st year missionary with SPEC. Coming from a military family, I have called many places and states home, but we settled in Virginia, which is where I did most of my growing up. One of my favorite things to do on retreats is to pray with the young people. It is such a simple and crucial part of our faith, and it seems to be something that many feel unsure of how to do. Inviting the Lord in, reminding ourselves of His goodness and the love he has to offer us, and telling Him, “Lord, we love you, we desire you, we thank you.” Another aspect of retreats that I love is answering the questions the young people have. I was their age once – I had questions about the faith, and having missionaries who are willing to tell their experience, willing to share the Catechism and the Scriptures with them is a huge passion of mine. The beauty of being a missionary with SPEC is that it allows me to not only walk with others on their faith journey, but to reaffirm and strengthen my own. Every day I find something new about the Catholic Church, and every day I fall in love with Her over and over.
Hi, I am Ákos Palágyi, this is my first year in SPEC. I am from Hungary, from a little town called Pápa – fun fact: it means ‘pope’ in Hungarian – and I am 19 years old. I really love doing and watching different kinds of sports, especially handball, basketball and football. Apart from that, I really enjoy reading articles on the internet and adventure and historical books. I also like to get to know new people and cultures. I think my favourite part of being here is that I learn something new every day and the amazing community life.
Hello, my name is Sergi Reina, and I’m 1st year Volunteer Missionary at SPEC. I grew up in Spain (Barcelona) and I’m 23 years old. I love play the guitar and sing worship songs! Also, I really enjoy to run by the trails from forests near SPEC! London is usually really cloudy, but these missionaries are the sun that London needs. I’m in love with the joy that my brothers and sisters are bringing to this awesome house.
Hello! My name is Mia Eckstine and I am a 2nd year volunteer missionary at SPEC. I’m from Cottage Grove, Oregon, USA and I’m 19 yrs old. When I felt the Lord calling me to do a mission year at SPEC, I had no idea how much it would change me or how much I would come to love it. It was not in my plans to stay at SPEC for another year but it definitely was in God’s plan and I am so glad it was. There are so many amazing things about being a missionary here, from the community that’s so Christ-centred to the beautiful garden. But without a doubt, my favourite part of being here is hanging out with all the incredible young people who come on retreat, talking about what matters most.
My name is Mireilis and I am half Dutch, half Panamanian. I have lived my entire life in The Netherlands until now. I am 23 years old and before coming to SPEC I studied Psychology. For the last few years, I have been involved in the youth ministry in my home parish and it always brought me so much joy. Therefore, coming to SPEC for a year and working with young people has been an amazing opportunity for me. My favorite part of retreats is small group, because there young people get to ask the questions they have about Jesus, prayer, the Catholic Church and moral topics. I love it when they are curious and dare to ask all their questions. One of my other favourite things here at SPEC is living in community. I never would have thought I would enjoy it so much. And most importantly two doors down from my bedroom is our chapel which has been such a blessing.
My name is Reeve D’Souza, I’m 24 years old and I’m from West London. Being a Voluntary Missionary at SPEC is one the best decisions I made in my life; nothing can substitute journeying and spending time with the Lord everyday through Eucharistic Adoration. What I love about the retreats is learning from the young people themselves and seeing their faith journey at various ages and schools. Living in community continues to be a truly inspiring experience and, being a local Londoner, I’ve the privilege to be a first-hand witness to Catholics from various cultures and backgrounds being passionate about Jesus! Before joining SPEC, I was reading Chemistry at university and was working in the food industry before finally holding a job as a Food Chemist (a combination of the two!).
My name is Borbála, but my friends call me Bori, and I’m a first year missionary at SPEC. I grew up in Hungary and will be 20 years old in this April. I like reading – I’m a bookworm, my family go mad because of this. But I like writing short stories and poetry too. My dream is become a real writer and bring joy to my future readers. I am glad that I can be a volunteer at SPEC. I have two favourite parts of being here: 1. Working with young people – it has helped me to decide what I want to do in future (I would like to be a special needs educator); 2. Living with people from different countries and cultures.