Mission Day 4: Wed. July 26



“Sing a New Song On To the Lord”


        Yahoo, an extra hour of sleep this morning! After some breakfast pizza we headed off to work at our various sites for a couple of hours. At 10:30 we headed to St. Jude Thrift Store for some live Gospel music. Local musicians sit in a circle and the community surrounds them sitting on couches or chairs that are for sale in the shop. All are encouraged to sing or clap along. Old favorites, as well as some original music, was played. Some of the songs included were “Amazing Grace” and “This Little Light of Mine.” Many of the songs addressed grief and sadness. One of the musicians explained that they felt that sad times are meaningful and they change us. We need to trust in the Good Shepherd and always seek to reach the heavenly shore. It was a very moving and inspiring experience for us all. I’m not so sure our performance was moving, but God is Good- All the Time. He takes care of details that we didn’t even know would work. One of the young men on guitar knew our song and offered to play with us. That was the “difference” we needed! It wasn’t actually rock concert worthy, but it wasn’t half bad.

        Beautifully decorated, delicious sugar cookies sent by Nancy, a St. Martin parishioner, were given to Miss Mae to share with everyone at the sing-a-long. Miss Mae is a little dynamo who runs the thrift store. She insisted everyone, including the musicians, have a sweet treat and the few cookies that were left were put on the counter for her customers who came in later.

        After the singing, the groups headed to Point of Hope, one of the buildings owned by the mission. We shared lunch with groups of missionaries from Pennsylvania and New York. After lunch we were sent out on well visits. These are follow-up visits with families that have received help from missionaries in the past or visiting residents of local nursing homes. We had the opportunity to visit a single mother of three children, two with disabilities, that we built a deck for last year. They are doing well and are still appreciative of the help received. Another group visited Miss Sylvie, a 90 year old woman who had some home repairs done in April. She referred to our missionaries as teenagers (a boost to their egos) and was a delight. Miss Sylvie is very lonely so some of the missionaries promised to write to her when they return home.

        Our final group went to Mountain Manor, a nursing home in Paintsville, a nearby town. Ashley played the piano and others sang along. They sat individually with residents and shared stories and faith. One man, James, shared stories of being in the military serving in Korea. They even met some people originally from Michigan. Chuck had to remind one of the residents that he is a married man, as she was quite smitten and flirtatious with him.

        Music seemed to be the theme of the day. Some of the girls went to a local antique shop in town after well visits. The man running the store was playing guitar and singing. When he saw us looking at crosses he asked if we knew the song, “Tough as Nails.” When we said we did not, he played and sang it for us. The song described how strong Jesus was despite his non-violent actions. We feel like we are receiving new blessings everywhere we go.

        This evening we attended a holy hour of Eucharistic adoration followed by Mass. Today is the feast day of Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anne. Fr. Mike spoke about dedication and that we need to be faithful to what God calls us to. God does not abandon us, and we should not abandon God.

        Cindy and Dominic Capria joined us for a pasta dinner and told us stories about the mission and Fr. Beiting. All of the missionaries are doing well and are thankful for our communities at home praying for us. Thank you to all who provided baked goods. We are enjoying the sweet treats. We look forward to another busy day of work tomorrow.