MISSION TRIP 2017 DAY 2
MONDAY, July 24, 2017
“A tired volunteer is a happy volunteer.”
We started our day bright and early attending 7am Mass at St. Jude Church in Louisa. After blessing our hands last night, we were delighted to notice that the stained glass in the church all had images of hands of them. The Holy Spirit was already nudging us. Our new missionaries were able to experience liturgy celebrated by the 6’10” pastor, Fr. Mike. He is an inspiring speaker and a big supporter of the mission program. Today he spoke about the fact that Jesus was fully human, yet fully God and entered fully into the human condition. (Even suffering from human ailments such as food poisoning). This week he challenged us to “touch the face of humanity in a different way” and to share a little bit of the Kingdom with each other and those we were to serve.
After Mass we went to the mission center for our orientation. Cindy Capria spoke to us about Fr. Beiting, the mission and the people we would be serving. Fr. Beiting often asked, “Have you asked God what He wants you to do with your life?” Cindy reminded us that we must also take the time to listen for God’s answer. The mission has recently lost some of its funding from their archdiocese, so they are having to make some difficult changes to keep mission programs going. They are listening closely to hear God’s answers. Poverty is strongly affecting many of the families in the area. Sometimes food, toiletries, cleaning products and bed sheets are luxuries. Homelessness here is not living on the streets, it is 12 people living in a 2 bedroom home, sometimes with no heat or running water. She stressed to us that we are here to bring God to the situation. The experience needs to be about developing relationships and giving hope.
We were all given our assignments, our building supplies and sent on our way with a mission intern (most of them are seminarians). Mark, Joe S., Cameron, Christie and intern Brad were sent to Walter and Whitney’s home to replace sub-flooring in the bathroom that was damaged by water. Due to some missing supplies, they were not able to complete the project today, but did make plans and spent time with Walter and his 3 year old daughter, Chloe. They look forward to working there tomorrow.
Rocky, Joseph C., Bob, Sheryl and intern Evan were sent to Miss Velma’s home to repair rickety exterior stairs to a second floor. They got half of the job done today and will finish tomorrow. Miss Velma was a gracious hostess to them and provided lots of cold water to our missionaries to help them stay hydrated in this very hot environment.
Dan, Stan, Chuck, Dylan, Ashley and intern Alex headed to Miss Hazel’s home to replace exterior siding. Miss Hazel is bedbound in a hospital bed in her living room. She was happy to welcome our missionaries into her home to pray with her there before they started work on her home. They were able to complete the siding on one side of the house and will return there tomorrow to continue their work.
Renee’, Michelle, Kitty and Christine stayed at the mission center to do some badly needed work in the storeroom of the Attic Thrift Store. Tables of donations were sorted and stocked in the store. The huge area was then swept and mopped and the tables were cleaned so we could start sorting some of the many other donations in the warehouse. We had many opportunities to interact with locals shopping in the store.
After a barbeque of hot dogs and hamburgers we ended the day with evening prayer. We talked about the many ways we have been chosen and blessed by God. After prayer everyone was free to socialize or to get to bed a bit early. We look forward to another full day tomorrow. (By the way, our song sounded a little better tonight! One more day to rehearse before the big performance).