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Saved by His Never-Ending Love

If you haven’t seen Pam and Ryan Voltin in a while, it’s because they left San Diego last year for San Antonio, Texas.  Ryan’s new career as a Border Patrol pilot and law enforcement officer has kept him busy traveling and keeps Pam busy with their four kids.
VoltinsThis beautiful couple made their weekends in the Fall of 2011.  The story of their attending Cursillo is not a traditional one.  In fact, it’s not one we’d necessarily recommend.  It sure gets the community to scramble a bit! But it also reveals what a loving community we have and a Holy Spirit who moves fast.
Before getting to that story, we’ll back up a bit.  Pam was brought up Christian but fell away from the faith.  Because of her choices, she experienced much shame and guilt.  She married young and had a child, but it was a volatile marriage, and it ended.  When Pam met Ryan, a Catholic, she journeyed her way to the Catholic faith in the RCIA process and toward a loving relationship and marriage with him. They had three more children together throughout their marriage and all seemed wonderful.  Pam was grateful for her happy life.
Then, in 2007, when Ryan was deployed as a Marine Corps helicopter pilot, he was injured in a friendly fire mishap.  He was severely burned on his face, head, hands, and arms, and his left leg was amputated.  He spent three months in the hospital and three years of undergoing more than 50 surgeries.  Needless to say, it was a trying time.  Pam was angry with God.  How could her family be going through this when she was finally happy? 
Pam discovered God’s love and grace through people, many of whom she didn’t even know.  They received many cards, and a tremendous amount of support, prayers and love.  She came to understand a statement made to her that she would later thank God for this trial.  Though she didn’t at the time, she later realized this friend was right.  God was indeed with her.  Pam says that in times of tension is when God draws us closer.  So true!
Four years later, and in San Diego, Pam heard about Cursillo from Gina Ledford (who would later sponsor her).  They were unable to make that weekend, but Pam heard about it again a few months later at a mom’s group where Jeanne Taddonio was the speaker.
VoltinFamilyJeanne asked the group of women for prayers for her husband, Jim, who was to attend Cursillo that very night.  Pam asked, “Is there a Cursillo tonight? Can Ryan go?” Well, as we know, there are a few things that take some preparation for someone to attend, but friends, Gina Ledford, Anne Wilson, Karen O’Malley, and Theresa Pearson made a few calls to Nieves (Pre-Cursillo) and Patrick O’ Brien (Secretariat Director) to see if it was a possibility.  While they waited, they all prayed together that if it was the calling of the Spirit that they should attend Cursillo, that it would happen. 
Anne Wilson asked Pam if she knew the theme of the men’s weekend.  Well, Pam had no idea about anything much less there being a theme.  It happened to be the Scripture that was speaking strongly to Ryan at that time, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.  This was yet another sign to Pam that God was calling them to be on that weekend.  
Pam called Ryan to make sure he could even make the weekend.  He asked, “Is there any reason why I can’t go this weekend?” (like many good husbands knowing the wife holds the calendar).  She responded that there wasn’t and he said, “Okay, yes; I’ll go.”  She was so glad, and off he went to Cursillo.  They thought it was just a little retreat!
He had a wonderful time on Tony Pota’s weekend, and Pam had a wonderful weekend, as well.  The timing was perfect.  If the community hadn’t jumped in when the Spirit moved, these two would not have had the wonderful two years in the Cursillo community that they enjoyed and taken their gifts with them into their marriage and family.
As a result of attending Cursillo, Pam says she and her husband feel closer with God and with each other.  “It has changed our lives”, she shares  “in that now I feel a personal relationship with God.”  Learning about His love is one of the most important lessons she got from Cursillo.  “The love He has for us is limitless and there is nothing we can do to get Him to love us more.”
SanAntonio-to-LasCrucesPam loves grouping and ultreya.  “It connects you with people who love you, support you, and journey with you; it’s amazing.  That is what’s missing in some churches.  Now, I am not ashamed to lay it all out there.  I learned that it gives others permission to share as I allow others to encourage me.  Then, they don’t feel alone if they are holding the same pain.  It’s a safe place where we all do our best to love.”
Pam was open to God’s call.  She saw the signs and took a chance.  The Holy Spirit invited and the community was prayerful and welcoming.  The Voltins were able to enjoy their weekend and, as a result, have been thriving and sharing in their faith everywhere they go.  
They are doing well in Texas and will be moving again to Las Cruces, New Mexico, by June.  
De Colores to all Cursillistas in the many ways you share His colorful love!

©2012 San Diego English Speaking Cursillo

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