Finding one of LaPlace’s well-kept secrets

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I’m amazed how God will continually bless people when they least expect it. Early Sunday morning was one of those times when I went to the Shell station to get gas and a newspaper. Sounds like an uneventful trip? No, because my God is an exciting God and as I was pumping gas, He chose that time to get my attention.
I noticed a car that had magnetic signs on each front door. I recognized the man in the car. I had
seen the man many times riding
a bike and walking with his wife
for exercise. His name is Bill Grieggs.  
The signs read: “Our Lady of the Americas Missionary Foundation.” “What’s that all about?” I asked. “It’s a foundation my wife has that helps the poor people in the Yucatan Peninsula,” he replied.
Being interested in the work of the foundation, I got his phone number and called him Monday. Bill let me talk to his wife, Joan, and she told me what it was all about.  
She was excited as she shared how she started the foundation with the help of Father Vincent (now deceased) and the children of St. Joan of Arc School. It was a way to get children involved in going to the Yucatan on mission trips to bring food, clothes and other necessities to the poor in a third world country.
As word traveled, students of St. Louis Catholic School in Lake Charles wanted to be a part of God’s ministry. St. Charles Catholic High School also got involved, including a few students from Jesuits. Many of the young people made trips to the Yucatan to ease the burden of the poor, underprivileged people. Joan said that some of the young people who made the trips will never be the same.
She told me that 50 years ago, she did missionary work in the Yucatan, and that’s where she met Bill. She’s originally from Elmont, N.Y., and Bill is from St. Marys, Pa. Only God could arrange a meeting like that which led to them getting married 45 years ago.  
When I asked if they had children, she said that they were unable to but that they have a lot of children whom they’ve met over the years. They have lived in LaPlace since 1979 and said they love it.
“Our Lady of the Americas” is one of the best-kept secrets in LaPlace, but not to God. I’m reminded what God’s Word says about feeding and clothing the poor. “When you did it for one of the least of these, you did it for Me.”
If you would like to contribute to this ministry, you may send a donation to: Our Lady of the Americas Missionary Foundation, 2143 Spyglass Drive, LaPlace, LA 70068.
If you have any questions or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call 985-652-8477, or email