Mission Possible XII – Day 5

Context may not be everything but it certainly is helpful.  Today was  a day of context for the team as we concluded the work day  by visiting the area by the river (aka Tin City).  It certainly creates context for what we are doing.  It’s a moment to visually see and walk among the poorest of the poor.  It’s a jolting reminder of why we are here doing what we are doing for those most in need.  Equally jolting is that 1 in 7 people in the world are living in abject hunger.  1 in 4 children go to bed hungry.  And the stats could go on and on.  What is most important is that we are working together…here and around the world…to help those most in need.

Great progress was made on many fronts today:

…The medical team saw 25 families (with each having between 4-8 members) and continue to reach out with the greatest of compassion.

…the Quantum Learning Super Camp concluded with great energy and enthusiasm.  The regular school teachers participated and were equally enriched with some new ways to help the students learn.   God bless Teresa Szary and Father Andy who helped focus 110 energetic children.

…Thanks to the housing crewing….the walls of the two new houses under construction are almost complete…with floor and roof quickly to follow.

…High Praise to the PAINT crew.  They have done an amazing job making the place clean and bright by painting the nursery….new kindergarten center….along with major paint refreshing all over the place.

…the Church is on the rise…..it will certainly stand as a symbol of the Light and Love of Christ.  Wait till you see the pictures.

…the children were given a special treat as three players from the Indians Academy came to the community….to the children these players were larger than life and a reminder of what can happen one day for them.

At the end of the day (almost midnight) I think it is safe to say that most are tired….exhausted and in the best way spent as they have used this day to serve those most in need in the heat of the Dominican in June.   I think they are also tired of PB and J….but it is safe…affordable…and will be their lunch for two more days.  All good….very….very good.

I would share with you a few moments of context that marked out my day….

…Today I saw Raphael carrying his hammer all over the place with him….whether working or carrying things….whatever he was doing his hammer was with him…..as it is his means of making an income for his family.

…Today I saw Tito, another of our workers, who are building the Church run over a mile after lunch to ‘share’ his lunch (some rice and a piece of chicken) with his wife and young child….and then run back to work.  They have nothing to eat and he shared what he had.  In the same spirit I saw Juan take a Gatorade we gave the workers after moving 24 ton of gravel and instead of drinking it himself….gave it to his young son.

…Today I saw Tiburon (shark) look at a pile of wood used to form and pour cement and was able

To pull from the large pile the six pieces that he loaned out to his friend.  Why….because these six pieces of word (2 x 4 and 2 x 6) are precious….they are his way of working…..he knows them almost in a most personal way.

…today while in the DR one of the members of SA (46 years old) was called home to the Lord and one of my priesthood classmates had a massive heart attack…..every day is a gift.

Context isn’t everything but it’s a lot.  This time in the mission is always a time for all of us to put some things into perspective.  Stepping out of our ordinary life allows us to look at things  with some perspective.  We have been really challenging the team to look at things from the perspective of God who is calling out to each of us in a most personal way.

I concluded the tin city trip by asking the team this question….”What would happen if you didn’t bother taking the time to think/consider/ponder all the things you did not have?”  Answers followed:  you wouldn’t worry about so many things….you wouldn’t know what are missing….you would be more peaceful….you would have a greater appreciation for what you do have and what you have been given from the Lord.  While we have many more things and are blessed with a different way of life, those who have left seem very much at peace….and are grateful….and certainly don’t typically have the stress  we bear on each and every day.

Context isn’t everything but it certainly helps put things in perspective.

God bless.  Keep the team in your prayers.