Friday, January 06, 2006

Praised Be the Lord!

Jesus is so good to me. I asked him to provide the money needed if He wanted me to join the Dominican Republic mission trip this year. I only could think of 7 people to send letters to and one of them had an unlisted address. Thus, I sent out my 6 letters, each accompanied by lots of fervent prayers. Wednesday, I was starting to get worried and prayed really hard in holy hour that God would please please please encourage people to be generous if He wanted me to go (please!) Well, yesterday, I received three checks adding up to $1,450, plenty for me to go and to contribute toward the mission trip program as a whole. I love receiving postcards from God saying "do this;" I think that counts. Epiphany arrives and I've already met my own personal three kings bearing gifts. Thank you Jesus!

When I went two years ago, the mission work/retreat helped me to understand so much more about true poverty, myself, and the Dominicans. That sounds shallow and cliche, but there's no eloquent way to express how the trip helped to change my world view. I worked harder than I ever had before. I remember one day in particular where there were only a couple of guys at the work site, so I ended up mixing concrete with gravel using rough, splintering tools while the sun and rain alternately bore into our backs. I came back to my host family's house that day exhausted, covered in drying concrete, half-sunburned & half-drowned, and watching the skin on my hands peel and blister from the constant abrasion. It felt wonderful--wonderful to be to tired to move because I was helping to build a chapel where a handful of natives could gather to encounter Our Lord. Talking to the Dominicans (esp. in the poorer villages) also impressed me with an understanding of their gratitude. The truly poor people have none of the reserve, offended pride, or greedy expectation of some of the American or Italian poor that I have come across. In one town in Haiti, one man spoke a little broken English. We only came to that small village (the poorest we had seen yet) to visit and show them that we cared enough to try and make contact with them (they view Americans like royalty that would never be interested in truly respecting the dignity of people like them). We gave them nothing but love and a smile. However, as we drove away, piled in the back of a truck, this one man came running after us. He shouted, "Thank you! We ask God give many blessings to you! Come again! My name is Wallo (sp?); remember my name!" I haven't forgotten his face, his joy, his voice. I want to go back. I want to again pray and work until I'm too tired to move and then wake up and do it all again. I want to try my hardest to be Christ to one of His children. Thank you Jesus for giving me that chance!


Blogger Adrienne said...

I'm here! Still alive. That's a beautiful story about your sister and all the articles, especially the one about your dork moments. God knows I've had them myself!

1/06/2006 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Michele said...

That's really beautiful--your trust in God and His answer to your prayer!

1/10/2006 11:38 AM  

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