We Went, We Worked, We Received and Were Blessed
We supervised the cutting up of a pig! We painted the exterior of a recently completed home (and the color scheme, well, let’s just say that it fits Haiti). We hung a new door for the storage room in the Bakery. We did some very extensive cleaning up in the Guest House and the Convent/Chapel. We helped on the day for distribution of food for the destitute; we helped on the day for distribution of uniforms. We visited the hospital and Missionaries of Charity.
Anybody can go to the mission and paint, or clean-up, or perform the many odd jobs that need to be done. But, I believe we are primarily called on mission to reveal and be the Jesus in each of us: the Jesus that listens, the Jesus that loves unconditionally, the Jesus that embraces and defends the marginalized of society; the Jesus that forgives, turns the other cheek, goes the extra mile, and gives from the heart.
Certainly, one reason for going on mission is to serve others. But, it is also an opportunity to be still and listen for the Lord to speak. During this mission, the Lord spoke to me on several occasions, one being through the Gospel of Sat. Sept 20th, where Jesus speaks about the seed that fell in different areas/types of soil. In speaking about the “seed that fell among thorns and was choked”, I feel like I have one foot in the “thorns”, where I do get choked by the anxieties, riches and pleasures of life, and fail to bear “mature fruit”; and I feel my other foot is in “rich soil”, where the Lord says I will “bear fruit through perseverance”. I am hopeful that through patience and perseverance, the Lord will provide the opportunity for me to bear mature fruit by planting both feet in rich soil – the question is where.
The Lord also spoke to me through the Gospel of Sunday, Sept. 21st, which told of laborers being sent to work in the vineyard at different times of the day. The last ones are asked “Why do you stand here idle all day?”, and they answer “Because no one has hired us”. This speaks to me that, even at my “late” age, Jesus still seeks me out and asks me why I am not working for Him. And I believe that His response to me is the same as the owner’s response was in the Gospel, “You, too, go into my vineyard”.
A little message in the Gospel of Monday, Sept. 22nd, was to “take care then how you hear”, where the Lord is asking me to listen carefully. He will speak to me about where He wants me and what He wants me doing, I just need to “take care how I hear”. The following day, the Gospel has Jesus saying “My mother and brothers are those who hear the word and act on it”. In taking both Monday and Tuesday’s Gospels, I believe I need to listen carefully and then act on it.
When considering whether to do missionary work, here or abroad, it’s important to remember Matthew 25: 35-36:
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.
The SOLT Mission in Haiti provides the opportunity to serve the Lord in many ways. While a personal trip may not be feasible for all, we can certainly contribute the financial resources needed to continue these good works, and always pray for the Mission and all who serve and are served in it.