Strength, Service, and the Power of the Word

September 2020

Meg McConahey

Meg McConahey, Journalist, Daily Word

Meg McConahey is a daily newspaper reporter in Northern California. She is pursuing licensed Unity teacher credentialing and is president of the board of trustees of Unity of Santa Rosa, California.

Volunteers Power the Spread of Daily Word Across the World

When an onslaught of mammoth rains and mudslides engulfed northern Argentina three years ago, Beatriz and Frank Bell knew the local people would need more than emergency food, clothing, and housing to help them recover.

In the wake of the catastrophe, the couple made their way into some of the poorest and hardest hit communities, delivering messages of hope, faith, and healing.

The Bells came bearing copies of Mensajes de Esperanza de La Palabra Diaria (Messages of Hope from Daily Word). As they walked through the village, sometimes door-to-door, open hands eagerly reached for the magazine, filled with spiritual reminders that the power of God’s healing love is present, even in the most challenging times.

Their first destination? Volcán, a tiny, Andean village 600 miles from their home, where landslides in January 2017 killed four people and displaced 1,000. Roads were impassable and buildings stuck like islands in the mud. Most of the homes in the town of 1,700 were inundated with up to 31 inches of muck.

Spreading the Ministry of Daily Word Internationally

For 12 years this has been the boots-on-the-ground ministry for the Bells: ensuring that Daily Word (in Spanish, La Palabra Diaria) is available in a country where the postal service is unreliable and persistent recession and economic crises have made it hard for people to afford an international subscription.

Beatriz and Frank Bell, Daily Word International, Argentina La Palabra DiariaTheir mission also took them that spring to La Madrid, a town of 2,800 in the flood-prone province of Tucumán, where overflowing waters forced most of the community to evacuate, some permanently. The determined couple entered via a temporary bypass; the only highway into the village was cut to allow the town to drain.

By the time they arrived in May in their Ford pickup filled with magazines, both communities were recovering physically. But many people still grappled with the lingering psychological and emotional trauma and were hungry for the hope that comes with spiritual affirmation.

The Bells visited health centers, a tribal arts and crafts center, and a municipal relief center. They left magazines with community leaders to distribute and gave magazines to the hospital patients.

“We found that people were very grateful for this support,” Beatriz said. “When we have brought issues to the hospital in our area and explained about the spiritual and positive content, they said it was very comforting for them in those difficult times.”

The Bells had anticipated this need well before the heavy rains. With weather-related disasters becoming increasingly common in Argentina, they arranged in 2016 to print a Spanish-language special edition of Messages of Hope from Daily Word.

“We keep going knowing that God is our Source.”

The Creative Spark for a New Calling

Unlike the Daily Word periodical, its entries were undated. Underwritten with help from donations, it was free, as the Bells put it, “delivered to people in Argentina who are experiencing difficult situations, so they will have something of inspiration and hope.”

Beatriz knew from experience the uplifting power of those daily messages of hope, courage, and abundance. She discovered La Palabra Diaria in 1995 when she joined a metaphysics study group in her hometown of Córdoba. She felt excited by Unity and Daily Word, which teach that we cocreate our reality with God through our thoughts and prayers.

“Something that I learned at that time that started a shift in my perception of life,” she said, “was that there were not two powers fighting in the universe, as I believed, but there was one presence and one power, God, and it was absolute good.

“The other revelation to me was that a spark of this presence and power was in me. The next awakening ideas were about the creative power of thought and the power of prayer.”

Beatriz, who had a long career as an attorney and judge, found through prayer a new calling in the ministry, a means of sharing with others the comfort and the abundance of blessings that are ever present when our hearts and eyes are open to see them.

While enrolled in the International Students Program at Unity Village in Missouri, Beatriz met her future husband, Frank, and together they established Unity, Sembrando Luz (Unity, Sowing Light), an alternative ministry that provided personal and spiritual support to Spanish speakers in their Olathe, Kansas, community.

Beatriz and Frank Bell, Daily Word International, Argentina La Palabra Diaria

The Challenges of Bringing La Palabra Diaria to Argentina

When Frank, a technician with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, retired in 2008, they moved their outreach ministry to South America. From their home in Villa La Bolsa,  ascenic town in north central Argentina, they embarked on a mission of distributing Daily Word, a magazine with a circulation of 400,000 copies in 19 countries, but almost no presence in Argentina.

They now sell approximately 220 copies of each issue, doing everything they can to keep the price affordable during the country’s financial crisis. Their distribution efforts now extend to in-person sales through Unity centers and study groups in several provinces as well as to a growing digital and radio ministry.

When we take on new callings, the efforts are not always smooth, and require persistence and faith as we keep our minds open to new pathways around obstacles.

“Even as we have faced challenges, we always attempt to be grounded in our spiritual principles. As we do that, we can realize that our inner guidance never makes a mistake. The more we trust, the more we see.”

The Bells met some resistance when they tried to find a printer.

“The printer representative tried to discourage us, saying it will cost us more to print the magazine in Argentina than to have it imported. We left depressed,” Beatriz recalled. “We prayed for guidance and calmly continued looking for other printers.”

They finally found a printer who would work with them, and continues to do so, more than a decade later. Printing costs remain a challenge.

“However, we keep going knowing that God is our Source. We have never changed the quality of the paper or printing but have cut costs by reducing the number of issues printed to more accurately reflect the demand,” Beatriz said.

A Community for La Palabra Diaria Messages Online and on the Air

They have fostered community by establishing a new Unity study group in Buenos Aires and use social media to share Daily Word with a wider audience at little to no cost. For several years the Bells have maintained an abbreviated Facebook page, “La Palabra Diaria en Argentina,” in which they share daily affirmations and quotes. They currently have 854 followers.

This past year, after being interviewed by the online radio program La Magia del Silencio about Daily Word and its messages of spiritual assurance, they were invited to do a weekly program covering spiritual topics such as forgiveness, the power of thought, gratitude, and inner guidance.

Through their efforts, Frank and Beatriz Bell have found renewed meaning in work that feeds their spirits but also is in service to others.

“At this moment we can say that we feel really blessed and grateful,” Beatriz said. “Even as we have faced challenges, we always attempt to be grounded in our spiritual principles. As we do that, we can realize that our inner guidance never makes a mistake. The more we trust, the more we see.”

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