Mary, full of grace
So perhaps this day for rememberance of the Virgin Mary, is a good day for recalubrating how we see those in the world about us. The Occasional Rev., David Hall, spent the summer in a medical mission trip and followed it with an immersion course in Spanish. Between the two, he was in Honduras and Guatamala for several weeks this summer and writes of the experience saying,
Actually, the time away proves to me once again that I and we just have no clue how good we have it. In Honduras, we worked in a village that had electricity for the first time this year. Their running water comes out of communal spout and it is anything but pure. Most of the people suffer from parasitic infection - a problem largely unknown in the U.S. Antigua, Guatemala may be a tourist town, but poverty is everywhere. I had the chance to visit an interfaith ministry working with children who are homeless and live at the town dump. They bring hope to people living beyond our ever so limited imaginations.
Traveling always reminds me that we are the exception rather than the norm. My heart and conscience scream wondering why the world doesn't do something about this. We will spend billions to go to war, but so little to help the hungry not at war. When I talk about medical teams and mission groups in 3rd World countries, I am amazed at those who question why we need to go off somewhere to offer the ministry of Christ. Aren't there people right here who need the help? Of course there are and there are people in Honduras and Guatemala and Africa and Asia who need help as well and the teachings of Jesus relieve us from none of that responsibility. We are to love all of our neighbors and loving in Christ's name does not involve sitting on our comfortable backsides helping no one and questioning why anyone would.
The whole post is online here.
Short term mission trips are a way to see Christ in the faces of some people whose lives are very different from your own. We know that this is how God sees the world, for God once chose the outwardly unlikely Mary to be the God-bearer as the Orthodox Christians call her.
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church