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As many of you know, this past Saturday, I returned from a 15-day working trip to Kingston, Jamaica.
For the next 10 to 15 months I will be continuing to document the great works of the Mustard Seed Communities and Founder Catholic Monsignor Gregory Ramkissoon. Fr. Gregory actually traveled back with me to Los Angeles and he will be visiting a number of Catholic Churches during the next week here...
During my stay in the slums of Kingston...I also had the honor to meet a group of young people from New England, California and Georgia who were serving as volunteer "Missionaries" for the Mustard Seed Communities. These young people stole my heart, and I am thankful for having ALL of them in my life today.... You will be hearing more about the lives of these remarkable young people in this documentary down the road.....
I wanted to share this first hand experience from Laura Doherty, the Executive Director of Mustard Seed Communities USA from this amazing journey. I will be updating my readers over the next several months and will be doing more traveling to complete this amazing project.
So...thanks...and remember....the World Around Us is full of Blessings...and don't be afraid to SEEK them OUT....
From Laura Doherty:
Last week I experienced Mustard Seed Communities as I never have before. I participated in a week long mission trip to Kingston, Jamaica with a group of teens and adults. I witnessed the mission team bring the love of the world to the children of Mustard Seed and the children deliver the love of the Christ to the mission team.
As soon as our bus pulled in to Sophie’s Place the children who are mobile came to the edge of the yard to greet us. The first time you meet the children at Sophie’s Place can be overwhelming. The children, who can, rush towards you to give you big hugs. Those who can’t, look on from their wheelchairs waiting for you to approach them with the same level of enthusiasm and with excitement at the prospect of people who might play, laugh and sing with them. Many of the children have limbs that are thin and twisted – something most teens and adults in the U.S. have never seen before. I expected our group to be unsure around the children upon first meeting them – I was wrong.
Within ten minutes our group was fully engaged with the children. Footballs (American) and soccer balls were being thrown and kicked about; kids were receiving rides in their wheelchairs; smiles and laughter could be seen and heard through out the yard. As one of the teens shared later in the trip, “I determined right away that I would talk to and play with the kids as I would with friends at home.”
The week was not all fun and games played with the children. Monday and Tuesday were spent in the (very) hot sun mixing and laying concrete without the use of mechanical tools. The group used pick axes to loosen the damaged concrete that was to be replaced; loaded wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of gravel and rock; mixed the rock with cement and water using shovels; loaded more wheelbarrows with the concrete and poured it onto the driveway. Jim and Mary
After long days of manual labor, the children at Sophie’s would be waiting for our return. The group, many of whom were exhausted, and all of whom were filthy, left their desire for a shower and meal behind in order to play with the children.
I experienced many invaluable things while on this mission trip. The strongest being the unconditional love that the children of Mustard Seed have for each one of us. Every child at Mustard Seed greets you with smiles and hugs – lots of hugs! They love you first, last and always – as you are. I am grateful for my mission experience and grateful for Mustard Seed’s children who are filled with love, joy and grace.
Thank you for letting me share this experience with you!
Mustard Seed Communities USA!
Mustard Seed Communities USA!