Today's Home Team reflection is from Jen Ayres:
“Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord? I have heard You calling in the night. I will go, Lord, if You lead me. I will hold Your people in my heart.”
These lyrics clearly define how I feel about our missions work in Labrande. Last year, I heard Him calling, and I allowed Him to lead me to St. Anne’s. I now hold His people there in my heart every day. By the end of the week, I’m sure this team will feel the same.
By now the team has settled in, and hopefully gotten some rest. They are enjoying Father Effener’s generous hospitality, and Evette’s delicious cooking. They have experienced Sunday mass with the people of Labrande, in Creole, with beautiful music and song. Perhaps their hearts have already been broken, seeing those in the village come up for offertory during mass empty-handed and miming the action of placing money in the collection box. In our busy and rich culture, we might not understand that. We might wonder why someone would pretend to give instead of actually giving, and wonder why they wouldn’t just stay quietly in their seats until the collection is over. At St. Anne’s, it means so much more than just tallying up the funds. It is a symbol of their deep faith. In that action, they are giving back to God everything He has blessed them with and thanking Him for their many blessings. They are showing that if they had money to give, they would give it. And when God does bless them with money, they will come forward again in gratitude, freely offering what they have been blessed with, in full faith that God will continue to provide. This is just one small example of the deep faith our sister parish has, a faith that we can learn so much from just by being present with them and allowing their passion and love for the Lord touch us.
It has been a true blessing to be part of the 2015 home team! It has been amazing to see God’s love bring the travelers together, from that first quietly nervous meeting to last week’s cookout full of noisy and enthusiastic fun, and big hugs all around as we sent them off before the sun came up on Saturday morning. Carly, Kelsey, Kelli, and John are perfect additions to our amazing C2 Haiti family, and Carol is a natural leader whose strength and faith brings people together beautifully. God has called each one of them to meet our friends in Labrande, and carved out a space for His people in each one of their hearts. I am so proud of this team for stepping out in faith, for answering His call and trusting that He will lead them safely to where they need to be. I pray that they continue to be open and present as camp gets underway this week. They will experience love like they have never seen before in the eyes of the beautiful children, in their hugs, laughter, and song. I pray that they can find God’s love and blessings when things become difficult, and remember why they are there – to be with our friends – and how truly important those relationships are in being disciples of Christ.